CPR for Dogs

& Cats

One of the Most Important Pet 'Survival Skills' You Could Learn

How to Perform CPR on Your Dog

Place your dog on his side on the floor, kneeling behind his back with your knees against his spine (this applies to medium, large and giant-breed dogs).

Locate your dog's heart based on the shape of his chest:

  • Round chest: This applies to most dogs (Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, etc.). Put your hands on the widest portion of the chest, at the widest, highest point or top of the dome shape.

  • Keel-shaped chest: Greyhounds, Doberman Pinschers and some German Shepherds have this type of chest. With your dog on his side, pull his elbow back across his chest about one-third of the way toward her shoulder; his elbow will point to the location of her heart.

  • Barrel chest: For barrel-chested dogs, such as an English Bulldog or Pug, place your hands on his sternum (breastbone) at the center of his chest, similar to where you would place your hands on a human's chest.

  • Small dogs: If your dog's chest is small enough to fit in your hand, wrap one hand around her chest and squeeze, which will result in one-handed compressions.

Place one hand atop the other and put them over your dog's heart. Your shoulders should be directly over your hands and your elbows straight and locked. Bend at the waist as you make compressions.

Push down and compress the chest about one-third to one-half its width. Compress two times per second, or 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

This is similar in tempo to the beat of the song Stayin' Alive. Continue compressions for two-minute intervals, switching out with another person at that time, if possible, to avoid tiring.

After every 30 chest compressions, give two quick breaths to your dog's snout. To do so, close your dog's mouth (wrap your hands around it if necessary to prevent air leaking out). Extend his neck so the tip of his nose is in a straight line with his spine.

Place your mouth over your dog's nose, covering both nostrils. Create a tight seal with your mouth and give two quick breaths. Continue for another 30 chest compressions and repeat.