Check your dog for a pulse
Located on their inner thigh, the femoral artery should be the easiest place for you to find your dog’s pulse. This can be found by running your hand along the inside of the hind leg to the point where their leg connects with their body. Search for a slight dip, use your thumb pressing down gently to search for a pulse.
If you discover your dog has a pulse but is not breathing, it’s recommended that you administer artificial respiration. If you find your dog does not have a pulse, performing CPR can be lifesaving
Here’s how to perform CPR and Artificial Respiration on your dog:
1. Position your dog for treatment
Lay your dog on a stable flat surface with their right side down. To create a direct pathway for their air flow, straighten their head and neck to your best ability. Pull the tongue forward so that it rests against the back of their teeth. Shut their mouth and position yourself behind their back.
2. Find the heart, prepare for compressions
Place both of your palms one over the other, atop the widest part of the rib cage near the heart, but NOT directly over it. *If you have a smaller dog of 30lbs or less, cup your hands around their rib cage and place your fingers on one side of their chest with your thumb on the other side.
3. Begin Compressions
Be sure to keep both of your elbows straight. Begin to push down on your dog’s rib cage using firm, quick pulses. It is important to only compress 1/4 to 1/3 of their chests width.
4. Begin Artificial Respiration
If you happen to be performing this CPR alone, give your dog artificial respiration after each set of compressions. After sealing the dog’s lips, place your hand over their muzzle ensuring it is completely closed. Place your mouth over the dog’s nostrils and blow gently. Watch for their chest to lift and expand. If their chest does not rise, blowing harder into their nostrils and check again to make sure their mouth is properly sealed. *For smaller dogs, you can place your mouth over their entire muzzle.
5. Perform an abdominal Squeeze
Placing your left hand underneath your dog’s abdomen and your right hand on top, push down to squeeze the abdomen assisting the circulation of blood back into their heart.
Continue this process until your dog starts to breathe on their own and has regained a steady pulse. If after 20 minutes your dog is still unresponsive, unfortunately its time to discontinue treatment.