Your pet is vulnerable to accidents, injury and illness as much as your human family. Every year, thousands of pets are injured from accidental poisonings, auto accidents, electrocution and near drowning in or near their home. Unfortunately, many people feel helpless when they are faced with an injured or unconscious dog or cat. Without the knowledge of the simple steps of CPR or the basic understanding of pet first aid, you may lose the chance to rescue your most vulnerable member of the family. Take the time to show your pets how much you love them and learn how to perform CPR on your best friend.
Step by Step Guide to Animal CPR and First Aid
Finding an unconscious dog or cat can be a terrifying experience, but if you are familiar with the steps of pet first aid, you may save the life of your dog or cat. Follow these instructions and get CPR Certification to acquire CPR knowledge and skills to protect your pet with the chance of a long and happy life.
How to Perform Dog or Cat First Aid
If your pet has been injured in an auto accident, quickly check for signs of bleeding at the head, body, and legs. If your dog or cat is bleeding profusely, apply pressure to the area and attempt to stop the bleeding. If someone is with you, ask the bystander to apply the pressure to the wound while you quickly examine your pet for the presence of breathing and a heartbeat. If your pet is unconscious and does not respond to their name, begin the steps of CPR.
Follow the ABCs of Pet CPR
If you witness or find an unconscious cat or dog, start pet CPR immediately and instruct a bystander to call a veterinarian and arrange for an emergency transportation.
- Airway: If your pet is unconsciousness, place your hand over their nose and mouth and feel for the movement of air from breathing. If your pet is not breathing, open the mouth and gently pull the tongue forward to unblock the airway or throat. If breathing is not resumed, gently close the mouth and breathe “mouth-to-snout” with two quick breaths that expand the lungs.
- Breathing: If the lungs do not expand from the rescue breath, re-position cat or dog’s neck and attempt to ventilate the lungs again. After ventilation, check for the presence of a heartbeat.
- Circulation: Next, quickly check that your pet has a heartbeat. Lay your pet down on their right side, and kneel down alongside the spine of your dog or cat. The heart is located on the left chest where the bent elbow and ribs meet. Place your ear over this area and listen for the sound or feel the vibrations of a beating heart. If no signs of a heartbeat are present, begin chest compressions.
- Chest Compressions: If your dog is very small or you are performing cat CPR, use the thumb and forefinger on one hand and squeeze the chest 100-150 times for one minute. Then, immediately deliver 12-15 rescue breaths 12-15 times.
- Chest Compressions for Larger Dogs: Use the heel of one hand for medium sized dogs and hand over hand for larger sized breeds and press the chest area firmly 80 to 100 times to circulate blood and alternate with 12-15 breaths mouth-to-snout. Continue animal CPR until your pet regains consciousness or help arrives. If necessary, continue cat or dog CPR while transporting your pet to the animal hospital as another person drives.
What Classes are Available for Pet CPR and First Aid?