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Dog CPR: When and How to Revive Your Pup

Dog CPR: When and How to Revive Your Pup

A Lifeline for Your Furry Friend

As a proud dog parent, the thought of my beloved pup in distress is enough to send my heart racing. But what if I told you there’s a way to potentially save your canine companion’s life in an emergency? That’s right, folks – it’s time to talk about dog CPR.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “CPR for a dog? Isn’t that just for humans?” Well, let me tell you, our four-legged friends require a slightly different approach when it comes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. And trust me, knowing the proper techniques could make all the difference in a crisis.

Recognizing the Need for CPR

The first step in reviving your pup is recognizing the signs that something is seriously wrong. If your furry friend is unresponsive, isn’t breathing, or has no pulse, it’s time to spring into action.

VCA Hospitals advises that you should start by checking for a pulse on the inside of your dog’s thigh. If you can’t feel a heartbeat, it’s time to begin CPR.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But what if I mess it up? I don’t want to hurt my pup!” Trust me, I get it. The thought of performing CPR on your beloved canine can be downright terrifying. But the truth is, doing nothing is far worse. Your pup’s life is on the line, and time is of the essence.

The Puppy CPR Protocol

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to perform dog CPR. The process may seem a bit different from human CPR, but trust me, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

First things first, you’ll want to call your veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital. While you’re on the phone, have someone else in the household grab a towel or blanket to help support your pup’s body during the procedure.

ASPCA Pet Insurance recommends starting with artificial respiration. Gently tilt your dog’s head back, lift their chin, and use your mouth to cover their entire snout. Blow into their nose until you see their chest rise, then release and let their chest fall. Repeat this process 12-20 times per minute.

If your pup still doesn’t have a pulse, it’s time to move on to chest compressions. Place your dog on a firm surface and locate the center of their chest, just behind the front legs. Using the heel of your hand, apply firm, rhythmic presses, compressing the chest about one-third to one-half of its depth. Aim for 100-120 compressions per minute, alternating with two rescue breaths.

Remember, the key is to stay calm and focused. Your pup is counting on you, so don’t be afraid to get a little messy. After all, a few dog kisses are a small price to pay for saving a life!

Reviving Newborn Puppies

Now, what if your pup is a newborn, and you find them not breathing when they’re born? Don’t panic – there’s a protocol for that, too.

Carrington College recommends starting by gently rubbing the puppy with a towel to stimulate breathing. If that doesn’t work, you can try gentle chest compressions, using two fingers in the center of the chest, compressing about one-quarter to one-third of the chest depth.

And don’t forget to call your vet – they’ll be able to provide additional guidance and support during this critical time.

The Importance of Pet First Aid

While the success rate for pet CPR may be relatively low, it’s still a crucial skill to have in your arsenal. After all, the alternative is simply unthinkable.

That’s why I encourage all dog parents, myself included, to consider taking a pet first aid course. Not only will you learn the proper techniques for CPR, but you’ll also gain valuable knowledge on how to handle a wide range of emergencies, from heatstroke to bleeding.

Who knows, your newfound skills could one day mean the difference between life and death for your furry best friend. And trust me, that’s a responsibility I’m more than willing to take on.

So, if you haven’t already, head on over to and explore the various pet first aid resources available. Your pup’s life may just depend on it.

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