If an animal is in need of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) you have to move very fast. It's best to learn how to do CPR by taking a course, such as one given by your local chapter of the Red Cross [source: Das]. However, it's a good idea for you to have a general idea of how to give your dog CPR even before you take the course. Here's a general guide to how to do CPR on your dog.

Administering breaths

  1. Put the dog on its side.
  2. Check its mouth to ensure that nothing is blocking your dog's airway.
  3. Straighten your dog's throat by lifting its chin.
  4. Blow into your dog's nose while keeping its mouth closed. Watch your dog's chest rise as the air goes in, and deflate as the air leaves [source: Glendale Animal Hospital].

Administering chest compressions for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms):

  1. Place both hands, one on top of the other, over the rib cage, over the heart.
  2. Push your hands down about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) and then release the pressure. Do this rapidly, at a rate of about 80 compressions per minute.

Administering chest compressions for dogs weighing more than 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms):

  1. Place your hands one on top of the other, but over the wide part of the dog's rib cage, which will not be over the heart.
  2. Exert pressure with your arms straight, so that you push down to about one-quarter of the width of the animal's chest. Release the pressure.
  3. Repeat the compressions, at a rate of about 80 compressions per minute[source: Foster and Smith].

It's best to administer breaths and compressions at the same time. However, if you're working on your own, give one breath of artificial respiration after every five compressions [source: Glendale Animal Hospital]. Repeat the process until your dog breathes by itself [source: Foster and Smith].

You may not have time to get to the veterinarian's office.