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How to save your dog’s life

As promised, here’s a quick lesson on doggie CPR — a four-minute investment of your time that, while we hope you never have to use it, might pay off someday.

In the video above, Elaine Acker, CEO of Pets America, demonstrates the proper technique for performing CPR on pets.

Here, in a nutshell, is the drill:

If your dog is not breathing, use a finger to clear any mucus or other objects from the mouth. Tilt the head back to straighten the airway passage. Hold the mouth shut with one hand, and place your mouth over the dog’s nose and mouth, making sure the seal is tight.

Blow into the nose while watching to see if the chest expands.

If the chest does not expand, check and clear the dog’s mouth again, and start the procedure over.

If the chest does expand, release your dog’s mouth, allowing it to exhale.

Repeat the breathing procedure once every five seconds until your dog is breathing normally.

If your dog is not breathing and has no detectable heartbeat, and no other forms of help are available, cardiac resuscitation can be attempted.

To do this, put your dog on its right side and place the heel of your hand on the ribcage just behind the elbow. Put your other hand on top of the first hand. Firmly press on the ribcage in quick, smooth movements three to four times, using both hands. The compression should last no longer than half a second. The smaller the dog the fewer inches of compression and less force are needed. At all times take care not to damage the ribcage.

Repeat this procedure a total of 10 times. Then, if your DOG is not breathing, perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation again, alternating between 10 chest compressions and one breath into the dog’s nose.

Thanks to Pets America for the information.


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time January 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

This is great information. Just what was needed. I had no idea where a dog’s heart is located or how to find a pulse.

Comment from dtisinger
Time January 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm


Would you allow me to copy this post to my blog (with a link back to you and attribution)? I don’t want to have to reword everything, but this is an important enough topic, that I’d like to have all the information available in case links go dead or become unavailable.

Here’s my URL so you can get a sense of my blog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/mahlu002/oneday