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CPR for Dogs - What to do When Your Pooch Needs Saving Mouth-to-Snout

Posted by SmarchPawz on March 3, 2020


Dog CPR Chest Compressions

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, especially when the patient is a dog, be careful that you don’t get bitten by the patient.


1) Check Surroundings - Make sure the dog didn’t get an electric shock or some other form of trauma. YOU need to be safe in order to help the dog.

2) Approach the dog and lay it down on its right side - This will allow the dog’s left side where the heart is located to face up for potential compressions.

3) Call for Help – Call your local pet rescue number

4) Check for Signs of Breathing – Check to see of the dog’s stomach is moving up and down

5) LLF (Look, Listen, Feel) – For breathing and pulse

6) Breath in dog's nose - Chin up to the sky, close dog’s mouth and breath into the dog’s nose until the stomach inflates. Repeat this 5 times.

7) Chest Compressions - If the dog is still not breathing, perform 30 deep chest compressions 

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.

Mouth to Snout dog CPR

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.

According to a March 2002 story from The Scoop, a website that reports on dogs in the news (you know the theory – “DOG BITES MAN” is not news while “MAN BITES DOG” is), a dog in Walla Walla, Washington that was accidentally choked nearly to death was saved by a quick-acting Good Samaritan who was trained in mouth-to-snout.

 After being revived, the dog was treated at the Walla Walla Associated Veterinary Clinic and released.

Dog CPR Chest Compression

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 rabbits 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 may be your dog’s.

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