CPR For Dogs

If your dog stops breathing you have a few minutes before the heart stops. Artificial respiration must start before that happens, to keep your dog alive.  If the heart stops you have to start chest compressions.  The blood needs to circulate through the body and brain.

Artificial Respiration


Be sure your dog has stopped breathing.  Feel for his/her breath on your hand, check his gums (they will turn blue from lack of oxygen.  Monitor the heart rate.

  1. Lay your dog on his side on as flat a surface as you can find.
  2. Be sure your dog has stopped breathing.  Put your hand near his mouth and feel for a breath on your had.  Watch to see if his chest rises and falls.
  3. Clear the airway, if necessary.  Extend the head and neck.  Grab the tongue and pull it outward to see any obstruction.  If you see any objects use your fingers to try and remove it.  If you can’t dislodge the object try pliers or tongs.  If this doesn’t work do the Heimlich maneuver.
  4. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, lift the dog and place the dog’s spine against your chest.
  5. Place both hands under your dog at the waist line, behind the ribs. Clench your hands together to make a fist and place the fist behind the last rib. Perform abdominal thrusts by pushing up and in with your fist quickly 5 times.
  6. Once the airway is clear, begin rescue breathing.
  7.  With your dog on his side lift the chin and grasp the muzzle, hold the mouth shut.
  8. Put your mouth completely over the dog’s nose and blow gently.  Check to see if the chest rises.  If not, blow a little harder – until the chest rises.  You will have to blow harder for larger dogs.
  9. Wait until the chest falls before blowing again.

Continue until giving 20 breaths per minute.  If you cant gauge, that is one breath approx every three seconds.  Hope fully the dog will start breathing on his own.If the dog’s heart has stopped you will need to do CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

 If your dog is under 30 pounds:

  1. Lay the dog on a flat surface on his right side.
  2. Place your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other.
  3. Compress the chest for one to one 1/4 the width with the rate of 100 compressions a minute.  If you are the only person available  breath into the dog’s nose once for every five compressions., If you have someone else with you have one do compressions two or three times for each breath given.

For medium to large size dogs:

  1. Lay the dog on his right side.  You will have to stand towards the dog’s back.
  2. Put one of your palms on the dog’s rib cage, not over the heart, and put your other palm on top of it.
  3. Without bending the elbows, press the rib cage in a downward motion, compress 14 of its width.  Squeeze and release rhythmically at a rate of 80 compressions per minute.  If you are alone it is one breath for every five compressions.  If two people, once for every two compressions.
  4. Continue performing for approx 10 minutes.  If no improvement, you can stop.  The CPR was not successful.


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