Three Keys To Keep In Mind When Performing CPR On Your Dog

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life saving technique that is used to reignite the breathing mechanism and heartbeat while simultaneously working to prevent brain damage, due to a lack of oxygen.  While you may be familiar with the proper way to perform CPR on humans, you may be unaware of how to give CPR to an ailing family dog.  Although the process is very similar, there are a few important keys to keep in mind when administering CPR to a dog if the procedure is to be effective.  If you ever need to give CPR to your dog, keep these considerations in mind to increase the chances that your efforts will have a satisfactory outcome.

Make Sure Your Hands Are Positioned Correctly

The way that you place your hands on the chest of your dog has a huge impact on whether or not you are able to force the animal’s heart to begin beating again.  If your hands are situated too high or too low, you won’t be able to deliver sufficient vibrations to the heart so that it will start to beat on its own.

It is generally accepted that the widest part of the dog’s chest is the ideal placement for your hands when giving CPR.  Putting your hands squarely on top of each other in the widest part of the dog’s chest before you begin the swift pumps known to CPR is highly effective, and can even help to shorten the amount of time that you have to spend administering CPR.

Make Sure The Dog’s Muzzle Is Completed Closed

If you dog is in the middle of a health episode which causes the animal to lose air or a heartbeat (seizures, choking, etc.), it is highly likely that there will be little control over the faculties of the body.  This means that the dog’s mouth may flail open widely as your pet struggles to catch their breath. 

Because you will be blowing air into your dog’s nostrils, it is critical that you make sure the air is not escaping through an open mouth.  Although this is easier to accomplish if there are at least two people administering CPR to the animal, you can do this alone if you tilt the dog’s head slightly to the back so that the animal’s mouth naturally closes.

Know Where To Check For The Pulse

While it is entirely normal for you to check for a pulse by putting your hands against your dog’s chest, this may not be the best place to look.  Dog’s have an incredibly strong rib cage that can mask the heartbeat, causing you to administer CPR for longer than necessary.

There is an artery running alongside the back of your dog’s knee that serves as the perfect place to check for a pulse.  Between chest compressions and breaths, check this spot to see if you have been able to successfully restore your dog’s heartbeat.

Preparation is the key when it comes to giving CPR to your beloved family dog.  Use this information before administering CPR to your pet so that you can keep them around for as long as possible. Contact a company like American Heart Association – AED $40 CPR LLC – Certification Training Classes for more information.

Author: Alisa Henderson

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