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How to do CPR on a dog (or cat)

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CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and it is a crucial part of being a vet, but if you are a dog owner, you can save your pet’s life. It is good to learn CPR from an early age and today, I will walk you through the steps. Before we learn to do CPR on a dog (or cat), take a moment to pin this to your dogs board. 

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How To Do CPR On A Dog Or Cat

  1. Step one

    Check if the dog is breathing. If it is, there is no need to perform CPR. Check for a rise and fall in the stomach. If you can’t tell, put your cheek near the dog’s nose and check for an airflow. or go to the thigh area of the hind leg and check for a pulse. If there is no pulse, you should carry on with these steps.

  2. Step two

    Call a vet. It is important that if your dog is in distress, that you call a vet or an animal hospital. It will take time for them to get there, so start acting NOW to take care of that dog.

  3. Step three

    Check for a heartbeat. You can find your dog’s pulse on the thigh of his hind leg.

  4. Step four

    Check for obstructions (blockages) in the airway. Open your dog’s mouth, gently bring tongue forward, and check if there are any obvious obstructions in the mouth. If there are, remove them and carry on with CPR. If not, carry on.

  5. Step five

     Get ready for artificial respiration. Line up the head with the back, pull the tongue forward if it went back, and tilt it back just a tiny bit to help open the airway.

  6. Step six

     Put your mouth over the airway. For small dogs, put your mouth over the nose and mouth, and this also works on cats. For large dogs, put your mouth over their nostrils.  

  7. Step seven

    Blow firmly into the nostrils to lift the chest. Aim for 20-30 breaths a minute.  Once the chest lifts gently, stop blowing and let the air escape by removing your lips. 

  8. Step eight

    Make sure the dog is on its side, then get ready for chest compressions. Find the heart by swinging the front arm so the elbow points at the heart, put both hands on top of each other, then press gently but firmly, compressing the chest to 1/3 or 1/2 of its normal depth. If you have a larger dog, do the compressions in the abdomen (lower stomach). Do 30 quick compressions, then 2 breaths into the nostrils as you did before, and continue the pattern of 30 compressions, and 2 breaths, stopping every 2 minutes to see if your dog has started breathing on its own. If it has, then stop. If not, continue artificial respiration until help arrives. 

How to do CPR On A Dog Or Cat

It’s so important to know how to take care of your dog if something terrible happens. You could save your pet’s life or even a friend or family member’s pet. It’s also important to know how to do this if you want to be a veterinarian because if you have a dog that stops breathing, you want to know how to help. Practice on a larger stuffed animal or a pillow. If a friend is there when you are performing CPR in a real emergency, have one person breathe into the dog’s mouth/nose and the other does the compressions.

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