27 June 2022
Every dog owner’s worst nightmare is discovering their beloved pet unconscious or not breathing. Pets have long been a part of their owners’ families, so it’s understandable if owners feel a sense of helplessness and panic when their dogs are in life-threatening situations.
Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on your four-legged family member can significantly affect their chances of survival. Most people are likely familiar with CPR for humans, but this is not the case for dogs, so read the guide on how to administer CPR to your dog correctly.
You must first assess your dog’s condition to determine what to do. It’s vital to stay calm in an emergency, do everything as quickly as possible, and remember to check the ABCs: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation.
Examine the inside of the mouth, particularly if there is a lot of drool or coughing, but be careful not to get bitten by your dog. And if you discover an object blocking the throat, remove it before attempting CPR, as it might cut off the air supply and affect dog CPR efforts.
If you struggle to determine whether the dog is breathing looking on his chest movement, place your cheek near his nose to check for airflow. If the dog isn’t breathing and the airway is clear, try CPR by compressing the chest in a rhythmic manner. On the other hand, CPR is not necessary if the dog is unconscious but breathing.
Place the dog on its right side and bring the front elbow to the chest. The location of the heart should be where the elbow touches the chest. If you don’t see any movements, try placing your hand on the same spot to feel for a heartbeat.
You can now start performing CPR on your dog after checking the airway, breathing, and heartbeat. Even though CPR can save a life, it can also cause harm. So, if your dog reacts negatively to you performing CPR, it’s likely that your dog doesn’t need it.
Place your dog on their left or right side down on a stable, flat surface. Unless they are a breed with a very flat chest like English bulldogs, they must be on their back.
In preparing for chest compressions, you must place both palms on top of the broadest part of the rib cage, near the heart but not directly over it, with fingers interlaced. And then, at a rate of 100–120 compressions per minute, aim to compress the chest to 1/3–1/2 of its width.
Give your dog artificial respiration after each set of 15 compressions if you’re performing CPR on your own. To perform artificial respiration, close your dog’s mouth tightly, place your mouth over his nose and gently exhale.
It will always be worthwhile to make an effort to keep your dog from losing his life. So make sure to check to see if the dog has resumed breathing approximately every two minutes. And if your dog still is not breathing, continue doing so until help arrives your way.