This is something all pet owners should know!

Pet ownership comes with its joys and responsibilities, and one crucial aspect of being a responsible pet owner is knowing how to administer CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) to your dog in the case of an emergency. Just as it’s essential to know basic first aid for humans, knowing how to perform CPR on your canine companion can make a difference between life and death in critical situations. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of giving your dog CPR and offer tips on when and how to apply this life-saving technique.

When is Dog CPR Necessary?

CPR for dogs is required when your pet experiences a sudden cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. Common scenarios that may necessitate CPR include:

  1. Choking or airway obstruction
  2. Electric shock
  3. Drowning
  4. Traumatic injuries leading to cardiac arrest
  5. Unresponsive or not breathing after an accident

Before you start CPR, always remember to ensure your safety first. If your dog is in a dangerous situation (e.g., traffic or an unsafe environment), make sure the area is safe before attempting CPR.

Steps to Perform Dog CPR

  1. Assess the Situation: Check for responsiveness by gently tapping your dog and calling their name. Look for signs of breathing, such as chest movement, and listen for any breath sounds. If your dog is unresponsive and not breathing or gasping for air, it’s time to initiate CPR.
  2. Establish an Open Airway: Lay your dog on their right side on a firm, flat surface. Straighten their neck and head to create a clear airway. Gently pull their tongue forward if it’s obstructing the airway.
  3. Check for a Pulse: Find the femoral artery, located on the inside of the hind leg, where it meets the body. Feel for a pulse. If you cannot find a pulse, proceed with chest compressions.
  4. Chest Compressions: Place the heel of your hand over the widest part of your dog’s ribcage, just behind the elbow. Compress the chest down 1/3 to 1/2 of its width. Perform chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
  5. Rescue Breaths: After 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths. Close your dog’s mouth and breathe into their nostrils until you see the chest rise. Continue with cycles of 30 compressions and two breaths.
  6. Continue CPR: Maintain a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths, ensuring you check for signs of recovery periodically.
  7. Seek Professional Help: Even if your dog begins to breathe or regain a pulse, it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary care, as CPR is a temporary measure.

Tips for Giving Dog CPR

  1. CPR Training: Taking a certified pet CPR and first aid course is highly recommended for every pet owner. These courses provide hands-on experience and a more in-depth understanding of how to perform CPR effectively.
  2. Stay Calm: In an emergency, maintaining a calm demeanor is crucial. Panic can hinder your ability to provide proper care.
  3. Regular Check-ups: Ensuring your dog’s overall health can help prevent emergencies. Regular veterinary check-ups can catch underlying health issues early.
  4. Practice CPR on a Mannequin: Just like with human CPR, practicing on a pet mannequin can help you gain confidence and precision.


Knowing how to perform CPR on your dog is a skill every pet owner should possess. In times of emergency, your quick actions can be the difference between life and death for your beloved canine companion. Remember to prioritize your safety and seek immediate veterinary care even if your dog starts to respond. By being prepared and informed, you can be better equipped to handle emergencies and ensure the well-being of your furry friend.