You already know it's good to keep your CPR chops up to date so you can help a human, but dogs and cats can benefit from CPR too. The guidelines in this video might just save your furry friend's life.
Pets don't commonly have the same type of cardiac arrest that humans do, so you're less likely to meet a dog who needs CPR than you are a person. Still, this is the right thing to do for a dog who is unconscious after drowning or if they do have one of the rare health conditions that requires it. Send someone to call an emergency vet clinic, and proceed.
The basic steps are:
- Carefully approach the animal, and look inside their mouth. (If they try to bite you, they don't need CPR.)
- If they're not breathing, give 4-5 rescue breaths, watching the chest rise and fall.
- Check for a pulse using the artery on the inside of the dog's thigh.
- Perform 30 chest compressions, aiming to put your hands on the animal's heart, right around the place their elbow touches their body. For large dogs, use both hands like you would for a person. For smaller dogs and for cats, you can squeeze the front of their chest with one hand.
For a rule of thumb, the rhythm of Stayin' Alive (about 100 beats per minute) is a good speed for dogs and cats.
Once you've watched that video, if you'd like more information you can read the technical guidelines written for veterinarians, or check out this segment from the Hallmark Channel that gives some extra tips on how to handle very large and small dogs.
Dog CPR - How to Resuscitate Your Pet [First Aid for Life]