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CPR for Pets
- Learn How, and Perhaps the Dog You Save Will Be Your Own!

by Brigitte Smith

If you’ve ever been to a CPR class, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the basics of human mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  First, check to make 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 and numerous other first aid organizations around the world have 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. 

The procedure is similar to traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for humans, with the main difference being that the person performing the procedure will close the pet’s mouth and instead provide breaths into the pet’s nose.  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 rabbits or play fetch another day.

According to a story run on The Scoop (a website that reports on dogs in the news) in March 2002 a dog in Walla Walla, Washington that was accidentally choked nearly to death was saved by a quick-acting person who was trained in mouth-to-snout.

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

So far as I’m aware, this was the start of a new trend which extends CPR training to cover pets as well as humans.  Pet CPR is now being taught by organizations all over the world, organizations that formerly provided only traditional CPR training and certification.  If you’re interested in taking these classes yourself, or finding out whether they’re available in your area, contact your local Red Cross.  The life you save may be your own pet’s.

For more information on how to conduct CPR on your pet, see

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