©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 1a

How to Save a Drowning Dog

Dogs are naturally good swimmers for short distances, but they can get into trouble. Sometimes they get too far from the shore and tire trying to swim back, or they fall into a swimming pool and cannot get up the steep sides.

Always protect yourself when trying to rescue a drowning dog. An extra few moments of preparation can save two lives -- yours and the dog's. Also be sure to watch for signs of shock, which include pale or white gums, a rapid heartbeat, or rapid breathing. Use the following tips when rescuing a drowning dog.

Step 1: Rescue the dog.

Step 1a: Holding the attached rope, throw a life preserver toward the dog. OR

Step 1b: Try to hook the dog's collar with a pole. OR

Step 1c: Row out to the dog in a boat. OR

Step 1d: As a last resort, swim to the dog. Protect yourself. Bring something for the dog to cling to or climb on and be pulled to shore.

Step 2: Drain the dog's lungs.

Step 2a: If you can lift the dog, grasp the rear legs and hold the animal upside down for 15 to 20 seconds. Give 3 or 4 downward shakes to help drain fluid from its lungs.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2a

Step 2b: If you cannot lift the dog, place it on a sloping surface with its head low to facilitate drainage.

Step 3: If the dog is not breathing, feel for a heartbeat by placing your fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the middle of its chest.

Step 4: If the heart is not beating, proceed to Step 5. If it is, perform artificial respiration.

Step 4a: Turn the dog on its side.

Step 4b: Extend the dog's head and neck. Hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Administer 1 breath every 3 to 5 seconds. Take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the chest rise.

Step 4c: After 10 seconds, stop. Watch the dog's chest for movement to indicate it is breathing on its own.

Step 4d: If the dog is not breathing, continue artificial respiration.

Step 5: If the heart is not beating, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

CPR for Dogs Weighing up to 45 Pounds

Step 5a: Turn the dog on its back.

Step 5b: Kneel down at the head of the dog.

Step 5c: Clasp your hands over the dog's chest with your palms resting on either side of its chest.

Step 5d: Compress your palms on the chest firmly for a count of "2," and release for a count of "1." Moderate pressure is required. Repeat about 60 to 90 times per minute.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 5f

Step 5e: Alternately (after 30 seconds), hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Blow for 3 seconds, take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the dog's chest rise. Try to repeat this 10 to 20 times per minute. As a general rule, use a CPR ratio of about 5 heart compressions to 1 breath of air.

Step 5f: After 1 minute, stop. Look at the chest for breathing movement, and feel for a heartbeat by placing fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the center of its chest.

Step 5g: If the dog's heart is not beating, continue CPR. If the heart starts beating, but the dog is still not breathing, return to Step 4.

CPR for Dogs Weighing More Than 45 Pounds

Step 5a: Turn the dog on its side.

Step 5b: Place the palm of your hand in the middle of the dog's chest.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 5b

Step 5c: Press for a count of "2," and release for a count of "1." Firm pressure is required. Repeat about 60 to 90 times per minute.

Step 5d: Alternately (after 30 seconds), hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Blow for 3 seconds, take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the chest rise. Try to repeat this 10 to 20 times per minute.

Step 5e: After 1 minute, stop. Look at the chest for breathing movement, and feel for a heartbeat by placing your fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the center of its chest.

Step 5f: If the dog's heart is not beating, continue CPR. If the heart starts beating but the dog is still not breathing, return to Step 4.

Step 6: Transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian. CPR or artificial respiration should be continued until the dog is breathing and its heart is beating without assistance.

Puppies love to chew -- and they rarely discriminate between what they chew and what they avoid. If your puppy gets a hold of an electrical cord, you may be faced with treating electrical shock. Check the next section for tips on dealing with this type of pet emergency.