How To Perform CPR On Your Dog And Maybe Save His Life (INFOGRAPHIC)

I was looking at my little dog Myrka earlier, and I was thinking that she was getting old. She’ll turn 12 at the end of March. I can’t believe it, 12 years have passed since we brought home this tiny ball of fur. She was so small; she looked like a little hamster.

And she is such a good dog, very smart and quick. In fact, sometimes my husband and I think that she understands everything we say. She is extremely affectionate and loves to cuddle on the couch with me.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. My point is that when you have a dog in your family, you get very attached to him, and you want him to live for a long, long time. That’s why if something would happen and your dog would stop breathing, you should know what to do.

Learn how to recognize your dog’s condition

Seeing your dog in a life-threatening situation can be a very traumatic and stressful experience, especially if you’re alone with him. That’s why it’s important to have the knowledge to recognize your dog’s condition and take the necessary actions. Knowing what to do can save your furry friend’s life.

In respiratory distress, your dog may show some telling behaviors. Here are the signs that your dog may be choking:

  • Gagging or drooling profusely
  • Standing in the “air hunger position” (Having his head and neck held low and in a straight line)
  • Coughing forcefully and continuously
  • Gasping for air and wheezing
  • Gums or lips turning gray or blue
  • Vomiting
  • Acting unusually agitated or frantic
  • Pawing at his mouth and whimpering
  • Excessive chest movements
  • Loss of consciousness

What you should do before performing CPR

The first thing to do if you see your dog exhibiting some of those signs above is to try to calm him down because the more he panics, the more it will demand more oxygen. It will only make the situation worse. Secondly, you have to encourage your dog to swallow. If he can’t, it can be because of a physical blockage.

Thirdly, you can check inside your dog’s throat to see if an object is obstructing his airway. Click here to learn how to dislodge the object safely, for you and the dog.

Finally, you have to see if your furbaby is breathing. To do so, you can put your hand up to the nose and feel for air and also watch the rise and fall of the chest. Furthermore, you have to check for a pulse. The best place to check for it is on the inner thigh.

How to check for a pulse on your dog

On the inner thigh is located the femoral artery. This is where you are most likely to find your dog’s pulse. By running your hand along the hind leg’s interior until you’re almost to the point where the leg meets the body.

You should feel a small dip; this is where the femoral artery is the closest to the skin. Use your fingers only, not your thumb, to press down softly and feel for a pulse. If you can’t feel anything, you can also try just above the metacarpal pad, which is the large center pad, of your dog’s front paw.

The last place that you can try is directly on top of the heart. It is located on the left side of the chest, just like us, humans. To find it, lay your dog on his right side and bend the left front leg, so the elbow touches the chest. The point on the chest where the elbow touches is the position of his heart.

How to perform CPR and AR on your dog

AR (artificial respiration) is when you breathe into the nostrils and is a part of CPR. It is done by holding the nose shut and administer one breath every two to three seconds at a steady pace of 20 to 30 breaths per minute. You can perform AR alone when your pup has a pulse but doesn’t breath by himself.

If the heart isn’t beating, CPR must begin immediately. CPR is the acronym for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. CPR isn’t only for humans, but can be done on animals also.

Created by the team at TruDog, this infographic below is the perfect guide so you can learn how to perform CPR on your dog. This procedure can potentially save your best friend’s life!

Click on infographic to enlarge

[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Perform CPR on Your Dog


CPR is a pretty intense physical procedure and can cause additional injuries to your pup. This could include broken ribs; a collapsed lung (also called pneumothorax) and general stress on his body. However, these injuries can be treated later on and shouldn’t stop you from performing CPR.

   Do NOT practice CPR on a healthy dog. It can cause extremely serious harm.

Remember that any first aid should be followed by veterinary care. You should call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Always have your veterinarian office phone number handy in case of an emergency.

Over to you

Did you know that CPR existed for dogs too? And did you know how to perform it? Personally, I’m really glad I found this. Please, share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!



8 thoughts on “How To Perform CPR On Your Dog And Maybe Save His Life (INFOGRAPHIC)

Add yours

  1. This is great information, Nataly. I’ve often thought about what I would do if I found one of my babies choking or not breathing. I’ve seen a few infographics and articles on performing CPR and have saved each one. It’s one of those things that you might not think about but would help save your beloveds. Thanks for sharing with us. Hopefully, neither of us will have to resort to this.



    1. Hi Bren,

      I’m glad you liked it! When the guy from TruDog sent me this infographic, I thought about Myrka and what I would do if it happened to her. That’s why I decided to share it.

      Just like you said, we don’t think about those things very often, but it’s definitely worth knowing! Hopefully, we won’t ever need it!

      Thanks for stopping by, gf! Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂


  2. Hi Nat,

    I am so glad you shared this because I would have no idea how to help my babies if they had any crisis where they needed me. I love that I learned something so valuable to take care of them. They are my family and I would hate myself if something happened I didn’t know how to at least try to help them. Thanks so much.

    Stay warm my friend. Spring can’t get here soon enough. : )



    1. Hi Irish,

      I’m really glad you liked this, hun! Before getting this infographic, I didn’t know either how to perform CPR on dogs. I’m only disappointed for not learning this before!

      My husband and I also consider Myrka as a family member, and we want to be able to do whatever possible to save her if something would happen.

      Actually, we don’t have as much cold as usual! Hope you don’t have too much cold! 🙂


  3. OMG Nataly, just the thought of one of my furbabies choking is scary! Thanks for sharing this important information with us. I love the infographic! I saved this one but I hope I never have to use it ;).

    Thanks for sharing gf! Hope you’re well. 🙂



    1. Hi Cori,

      Yeah, I’m with you on that one! I’m glad you liked the infographic. I hope I don’t have to use it too!

      I wake up with a sore throat this morning. AGAIN! I guess this weird weather is getting to me. I hope you’re well, my friend! Happy hump day! 🙂



  4. Hi Nataly,

    What a useful post.
    I’ve never given any thought about the role of CPR in animals, but it makes sense.

    Most everyone I know has a dog. While I don’t at the moment, I know this will come in handy for them.

    Thanks for putting this together. It’s life-saving material – and we do love our pets with everything we have.


    1. Hey Dana,

      To tell you the truth, I never thought about CPR for animals before finding this infographic. Better late than never! I’m glad that it could be helpful to your friends who have dogs.

      And you’re right, it’s life-saving material. I would have never forgiven myself if something would have happened to my dog Myrka and I wouldn’t have known what to do. Fortunately, now I do! And that’s why I knew it would be helpful for all pet parents.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, gf! Btw, happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂


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