I sincerely hope that none of you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to worry about whether your dog is breathing or whether his heart is beating. However, if this situation does arise, you’ll need to know almost instantly what to do. This video is great and will walk you through the process of doing CPR for your dog from start to finish.
CPR for Dogs: What to Do When Your Dog Stops Breathing
CPR, as you probably already know, stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Essentially, CPR is a means to provide artificial breathing and heart contractions when your dog is not breathing and/or his heart has stopped beating.
There are three different stages to CPR. I was taught to remember them as the ABC’s of CPR.
- A=Airway: Establish a patent airway. This means making sure there are no obstructions in your dog’s mouth or throat. In other words, make sure your dog’s airway is clear.
- B=Breathing: Breath for your dog, assuming that your dog has stopped breathing. You can do this by placing your mouth over your dog’s mouth and blowing into it.
- C=Cardiovascular system: Find out whether your dog’s heart is beating. If it is not, begin applying external chest compressions.
The video does a very nice job of walking you through all of these steps. So be sure to take a look at it. The video also mentions a few other details, such as calling out for help before you begin CPR for your dog and transporting your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. You can continue CPR in the car on the way to the hospital if you are able to enlist help in driving.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
While we all do everything in our power to keep our pet’s safety, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. When these situations arise, a successful outcome may depend on how well prepared you are to deal with the emergency.
One thing that I would recommend is keeping emergency phone numbers in a readily accessible location. These phone numbers should include that of your regular veterinarian as well as the phone number for the closest emergency hospital. Remember, accidents often happen after your regular veterinary hospital is closed for the day. You’ll also want to have directions to these facilities. You don’t want to be searching for the hospital while your dog is fighting for his life.
Having copies of pertinent medical records for your dog is a good idea also, especially if your dog has any medical conditions or is taking any special medications. If you have to go to the emergency hospital, they may not have immediate access to your pet’s records.