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Do You Know How To Perform Dog CPR?

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I was on Pinterest today and found this interesting infographic with some detailed information on how to perform CPR on a dog.

A couple years ago at our monthly guide dog meeting we had a little dog CPR class to show us puppy raisers how to perform CPR with our dogs in case of an emergency.  I had the opportunity to work with a stuffed dog built for dog CPR classes.  I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember a few things from that CPR class that I hopefully won’t ever have to use with my dogs.

When I saw the Dog CPR infographic today I thought it would be a good idea to post here on the Puppy In Training blog as reminder for myself and so others could see some of the basics on how give a dog cpr.

How To Perform CPR On A Dog

Here’s the Infographic from Pinterest:


The source is listed as American Red Cross, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on their website.  I still wanted to credit them with a link back.

In case you can’t see the image above here are the details from the dog cpr infographic:

Saving Your Pet With CPR

With pets increasingly being treated like a member of the family, many owners are learning emergency techniques like CPR to keep their pet alive before bringing it to a veterinarian

If there is no breathing and no pulse begin CPR immediately.

  • Check For Breathing And Pulse – Check pulse using middle and index finger below the wrist, inner thigh (femoral artery), below the ankle or where left elbow touches the chest.
  • Look For Other Warning Signs
    • Gums and lips will appear gray colored
    • Pupils will be dilated and not responsive to light
  • If Not Breathing, Give Breath To Animal
    • Cats And Smal Dogs – Place your mouth over its nose and mouth to blow air in.
    • Medium-Large Dogs – Place your mouth over its nose to blow air in.
  • Heimlich Manuever – If breath won’t go in, airway may be blocked. Turn dog upside down, with its back against your chest.  Wrap your arms around the dog and clasp your arms around the dog and clasp your hand together just below its rib cage (since you’re holding the dog upside down, it’s above the rib cage, in the abdomen).  Using both arms, give five sharp thrusts to the abdomen.  Then check its mouth or airway for object.  If you see it remove it and give 2 more rescue breaths.
  • Start Compression If No Pulse – Lay animal on right side and place hands over ribs where its elbow touches the chest.  Begin compressions.  Do not give compressions if dog has a pulse.
  • Repeat Procedure
    • Check pulse after 1 minute and then after every few minutes.
    • Continue giving CPR until the animal has a pulse and is breathing.
    • Stop CPR after 20 minutes
Animal SizeCompress ChestCompressions Per Breath Of Air
Cats/Small Dog (under 30 lbs)1 1/2 – 1 inch5
Medium-Large Dog (30-90 lbs)1 – 3 inch5
Giant Dog (over 90 lbs)1 – 3 inch10

So there you go, some basic instructions on dog CPR. Hopefully you never have to perform CPR on a dog, but just in case you now know a little bit about how it’s done or at least you can look back an find this resource on the Puppy In Training blog.

Have you ever given CPR to a dog?  Have you ever sat in a dog CPR class?  Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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  1. We raised 2 sons and tons of animals. I can’t even count how many times my husband had to use cpr on kids and dogs. Also can’t count how many times our truck ran over bikes, wagons etc. lol I do a round check just like the truckers ever since.

  2. My dogs had accidentally played too rough w one of the cats one night. I have several of each, dogs & cats but they all play & get along great for the most part. I found the kitty on the deck w both dogs standing over her not realizing why she wouldn’t play anymore! Her eyes were open & blank, her mouth open.
    When I picked her limp body up I began rubbing her chest, held her head back & gave her a breath w my mouth over her nose & open mouth. Nothing. I kept rubbing her chest & ran to the kitchen faucet…began running water over her chest & rubbing..another breath…still nothing…the 3rd breath brought her back to life but full of the fright I’m sure she felt as she was dying! She screamed & bit thru my bottom lip, my thumb & several other places before I could let loose of her! She had been dead for approx 30 seconds that I know of. Seemed like 30 mins while I was going thru it! I had to get tetnus & antibiotics shots as well as oral meds! My lip swelled out like a frog! But that has been a lil over 2 yrs now & she’s still alive!

  3. Thanks Daniel!

    I’ll probably add that infographic to the blog sometime in the future.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. @Phil, hopefully you never have to use the instructions on this dog CPR infographic, but just in case you have it bookmarked now. My sister and girlfriend showed me pinterest a few months ago. Lots of interesting pictures and definitely good if you’re into crafts and recipes.

  5. This is great information! It hadn’t even occurred to me that you could perform CPR on a dog. The dog has her own first aid kit, and the vet’s number is saved to my phone, but that’s as far as I have taken first aid for her. I am going to bookmark this page for sure.

    And I though Pinterest was just for recipes!

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