What is CPR for Dogs?
Anyone who has been to a CPR class is familiar with the basics of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. First, you’ll check to be sure the patient has a clear airway, then check to see if the patient is breathing, check whether the patient has a heartbeat and, if the patient awakens during the process, be careful that you don’t get bitten by the patient.
The American Red Cross has been instructing people in CPR for pets for quite some time now and has classes that include all manner of first aid, including mouth-to-snout resuscitation. You read that correctly; mouth-to-snout.
The procedure is similar to traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation between humans, the chief difference being that the person performing the procedure will close the dog’s mouth and instead provide breaths into the dog’s nose. The process sounds humorous in theory, but it works, and knowing how to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation on your pet could literally save its life.
In addition to the mouth-to-snout procedure, dogs can have chest compressions performed in an emergency where the heart stops. Learning and knowing these techniques can save the life of a dog in distress and let him live to chase squirrels or play fetch another day.
The concept of pet CPR is gaining much notoriety and is starting to be taught by organizations all over the country that formerly provided traditional CPR training and certification. If you’re interested in taking these classes yourself, contact your local Red Cross. The life you save maybe your dog’s.