How to Give Your Pet CPR
Pets are part of the family, and just like learning First Aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills for adults and children allows you to care for your family, learning important first aid for your cats and dogs can help you best care for them.
The following course of action is recommended by the American Red Cross should your cat or dog need life-saving resuscitation.
Cat & Dog CPR
1. Check for breathing and a heartbeat
Check to see if the pet is breathing and check for a heartbeat. If you do not see your pet’s chest moving and cannot find a heartbeat, begin CPR with chest compressions.
2. Give chest compressions
Place your hands on your pet as follows:
- For cats, small dogs and deep chested dogs, place the heel of one of your hands directly over the pet’s heart and place your other hand directly over the first hand.
- For deep chested dogs, place the heel of one hand over the widest part of the chest and place your other hand directly over the first hand.
- For barrel chested dogs, place the dog on its back, place one hand over the widest part of the sternum, and place your other hand directly over the first hand. Lock your elbows and make sure your shoulders are directly above your hands.
Then, push hard and push fast at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute, compressing 1/3 to 1/2 the width of your pet’s chest. Make sure the chest comes back fully (recoils) before compressing again.
Perform 30 chest compressions
3. Then give rescue breaths
To give rescue breaths, gently close the pet’s mouth and extend the pet’s neck to open the airway. Cover your pet’s nose with your mouth and exhale until you see the pet’s chest rise. Give a second rescue breath.
4. Continue CPR
Continue giving CPR with a cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until your dog or cat begins breathing again on its own.
5. Check again for breathing and a heartbeat
Briefly check for breathing and a heartbeat every 2 minutes.
6. Get helpContinue CPR until you reach a veterinary hospital.
To learn more and register for the American Red Cross' online course, visit https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/cat-dog-first-aid.