Your CPR certification for adults does not automatically mean you also know the correct way to perform CPR on a puppy. Chest compression for humans and dogs involve forceful motions, with one hand on top of the other on the surface of the chest. However, this sort of force may do more harm than good when dealing with a puppy. Learn the steps to modified respiration and CPR for puppies to increase their chance of survival with this step-by-step puppy CPR guide from Carrington’s veterinary technician program.
Puppies who are injured or sick can have difficulty breathing or experience a dangerously slowed heart rate. In order to perform dog CPR safely in these situations, first check for a pulse and signs of breathing. While you do that, ask someone else to call your veterinarian right away.
If there is a heartbeat with no breathing, perform artificial respiration by doing the following:
- Clear away mucus or blood from the airway, and try to remove any objects that are blocking the airway if possible.
- Gently pull your puppy’s tongue forward to keep the airway clear.
- Shut your puppy’s mouth and place a hand under her chin and over her lips when the airway is clear.
- Cup your puppy’s nose with the other hand in a tube-like shape.
- Breathe out through your hands and into your puppy’s nose every five to six seconds.
- Keep exhaling through your hands and into your puppy’s nose until she starts breathing again.
How to Perform Puppy CPR When There’s No Pulse
If your puppy has no pulse, use the following steps to safely perform puppy CPR:
- Place your puppy flat on her right side if she’s large. If she’s small, put your thumbs and forefingers over her chest right behind her front legs.
- Compress your puppy’s chest once per second, then exhale into your puppy’s nose every six seconds.
- Repeat steps one and two until your puppy starts to breathe or until you get help from veterinary professionals.
How to Perform CPR on Newborn Puppies
You might need to perform CPR on newborn puppies who aren’t breathing when they’re born. Again, have someone else give your veterinarian a call while you perform CPR or artificial respiration. You can start attempting to revive a newborn puppy by doing the following:
- Lower the puppy’s head to help drain fluid from his lungs, mouth and throat.
- Place a suction bulb inside the puppy’s mouth and nose to get rid of extra fluid.
- When the airway is clear, cover the puppy’s mouth and nose with your mouth, then breathe slightly two to three times. Don’t deliver a full breath into the puppy’s mouth, or you could hurt his tiny lungs.
- Put two fingers on the puppy’s chest to check for a heartbeat.
- If you can’t find a heartbeat, put your thumbs and forefingers over the puppy’s chest right behind his front legs, then gently press down rapidly.
- Keep giving your puppy small breaths every 15 to 20 seconds until he begins to breathe again.
- Check for a heartbeat or breathing every minute.
- If your puppy’s heart beats again, turn him over and rub him with a towel. Continue giving him small breaths if he stops breathing again.
- Keep taking care of your puppy for about 20 minutes after he is revived, or do pet CPR for about five minutes if you still can’t find a heartbeat.
Success Rate of Pet CPR
Although the success rate for pet CPR is relatively low (fewer than one in ten pets end up surviving with CPR), it still gives your puppy an improved chance at survival compared to not administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).