Taking on the same techniques as humans, the crucial combination of mouth to mouth and heart massage apply also apply to your dog.

The first step is being able to feel your dog’s heartbeat and pulse – it’s quite easy to do but should be done when your dog is relaxed and calm.

The heartbeat can be felt where the left elbow reaches the chest. Place your hand gently and count the number of beat per minute. It can be anywhere between 60 and 160 beats and depends on age, and size of your dog. The easiest place to find the pulse is the inner thigh.

The ABCs of Dog CPR

CPR is based on three basic principles, as simple as A,B,C.

A is for airway

Take off your dog’s collar and check to see if the mouth and throat are clear of foreign objects. If it’s not clear, you will need to clear the throat as follows:

With the animal lying on its side, gently tilt the head slightly back to extend the neck pull the tongue between the front teeth and use your finger to remove any foreign material.

B is for breathing.

If they are not breathing, commence mouth to nose. For medium to large dogs, seal the mouth and lips and use your hands to hold the muzzle closed.

For small dogs, your mouth will seal the mouth and nose. This mouth to nose technique is done in conjunction with the last step:

C is for circulation

It’s important to remember that the pulse or heartbeat must be very weak or non-existent.

For a dog between 15 – 40kg, kneel with the dogs back towards you, cup one hand over the other and compress the chest so the chest moves a distance of 2-5cm with every compression.

For a small dog, lay the animal down on its right side with its chest facing you. Place your palms above and under the ribs where the elbow touches the chest – compress the chest 1-2 cm the ratio is 5 compressions for every breath.

The bottom line for CPR is to follow your ABC

That’s airway, breathing and circulation. Continue your CPR until your dog has a heartbeat and pulse, or until you can get to a vet. 20 minutes is the maximum amount of time you can perform CPR for and still hope for a positive result,

Warning – don’t assume there is no heartbeat simply because your dog is not breathing.

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