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.
- Put the dog on its side.
- Check its mouth to ensure that nothing is blocking your dog's airway.
- Straighten your dog's throat by lifting its chin.
- 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):
- Place both hands, one on top of the other, over the rib cage, over the heart.
- 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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.