In our opinion, CPR is one of the best things a hooman parent and pawrent can learn. You never know when you may find yourself in a bit of a hairy situation! Out of all the pet safety tips, we hope this one sticks.
Although we’re no dog-tor, we think we can offer a helpful paw. Dog and cat CPR isn’t that different from hooman CPR. However, cats and dogs can be a bit trickier to perform it on. Knowing how to give a dog CPR can be a bit awkward at first, but don’t worry; we’re here to help you through it.
So, are you ready to take your pawrenting skills to the next level? Let’s jump in.
WHEN WILL YOU NEED PET CPR?
We know this is any paw-rent’s nightmare, but the more we know, the better. Remember, safety always comes first, and education is vital.
First and foremost, we’d just like to point out that we’re in no way professional dog-tors. If your pet is showing signs of distress, please immediately contact your emergency veterinarian service.
Now, with the formalities out of the way, how do you know if your pet needs CPR?
Before doing anything, you will need to assess your pet’s condition:
1. Is your pet breathing?
2. Are there airway blockages?
3. Does your pet have a pulse?
If your pet isn’t breathing and isn’t showing signs of a pulse, you will need to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
Note: NEVER practice CPR on a healthy pet. This can be harmful and isn’t necessary if they are not showing any signs of distress.
HOW TO GIVE A DOG CPR AND GENERAL PET CPR TIPS:
Firstly, we’d like to point out that cat and dog CPR isn’t a cure-all. Of course, it’s necessary for emergencies, but keep in mind that it’s a pretty hectic procedure too. It can put further strain on your pet’s weak body and can even cause further damage. It’s for this reason that we’d like to point out, again, that you need to contact the emergency services ASAP.
Now, the most significant difference between CPR for hoomans for pets is that dogs and cats don’t need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. CPR for pets is all about breathing into your pet’s nose. Huh? How? Why? We answer this all below.
1. Position Your Pet On a Flat Surface
A stable, flat surface is best for pet CPR. You will want to place them on their right side down, straighten their head and neck to create a direct passage for their airway.
Next, pull their tongue forward so that it rests against the back of their teeth. Then, shut their mouth and position yourself behind their back.
2. Find the Heart and Get Ready for Compressions
Take both of your palms, one over the other, and place them at the top of the broadest part of the rib cage. The goal is to get your hands close to the heart but not directly over it.
3. Begin Compressions
Keep your elbows straight and push down on the rib cage firmly and quickly. Compress 1/4 to 1/3 of the chest width at a quick rate of 15 per 10 seconds. For smaller dogs, use your thumb and finger and compress for 17 per 10 seconds.
4. Give Rescue Breaths
If you’re doing CPR alone, give your pet a rescue breath after each set of compressions. Ensure that their mouth is sealed and gently breathe into their nose. Their chest should rise with your breath but if not, check the mouth’s seal.
5. Administer An Abdominal Squeeze
Give one abdominal squeeze after each set of compressions and one breath. To do this, place your left hand under your pet’s abdomen and your right hand on top. Push down and squeeze the belly to assist the blood circulation back to the heart.
6. Check Again for a Pulse and Heartbeat
Never use your thumb to look for the pulse. You will want to use your index and middle finger and feel for a beating or vibration. Ideally, you will want to count 60-170 beats per minute for medium and large pets. Smaller pets will be more around the 110 to 220 mark.
Repeat this process until your pet’s breathing and pulse has stabilized. Unfortunately, if after 20 minutes, your pet still hasn’t recovered, you may need to consider stopping treatment.
We know, this is a lot of information for just one blog post. Thankfully, YouTube is here to save the day! Click the video below to watch a pet CPR demo.
Putting this blog post together for you opened up our eyes to some pawsome resources. If you’d like to read more about the RECOVER guidelines and CPR in general, here’s what we recommend:
Now, pawrents, we hope that this blog post broadened your pet safety tips and gave you a good idea of cat and dog CPR. Knowing how to give a dog CPR can save its life, and what would we do without our furry fur-ends in our lives?