What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Pet CPR

It is the stuff nightmares are made of –  your beloved pet, sick or injured and in need of help. Would you know how to give your pet medical assistance in an emergency? Every animal lover should know basic pet CPR, and Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here to get you off on the right foot.

Always Be Prepared

Just like a boy scout, a savvy pet owner is always prepared. Be sure to:

Basic Pet CPR

When it comes to saving lives, having an understanding of the basics is essential. Just as in people, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is fundamental in handling any major veterinary emergency.

While things can get a little more fancy in the emergency room, nearly everyone is capable of performing basic pet CPR. Before performing CPR, it is important to be sure that it is necessary as it can cause injury when not done properly. If your pet isn’t breathing or the heart isn’t beating, though, quick action can make all the difference.

The purpose of CPR is to circulate blood in order to provide oxygen to vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, and heart. Keeping it as simple as possible will help you to remember what to do.

  • If possible, place the animal on its right side
  • For pets under 30 pounds you will hold the chest in your hand and squeeze over the heart, while for those over 30 pounds you will use one hand over the other to push the chest down.
  • Press the chest down to about ½ it’s normal width for a count of one, then let go for a count of one.
  • You will want to compress the chest between 100 and 120 times per minute (you can use the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive” or the “Baby Shark” song to get an idea of the speed).
  • Every 15-20 seconds, deliver a breath through the pet’s nose by closing the muzzle and breathing 1-2 times directly into the nostrils.
  • Remember that chest compressions are much more important than breathing.
  • Continue until help arrives or you are unsuccessful after 10-15 minutes; ideally you are on your way to a veterinary hospital during this time.

When a pet needs CPR, the prognosis is typically not good. However, your quick action can make a big difference.
There are a lot of great resources when it comes to this topic, and we are always happy to answer your questions and help you be comfortable with pet CPR. Never hesitate to call us if you need our help.