AHVEC North Hobart After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre

CPR for your pet

CPR for your Pet

If your pet requires CPR, the following is a guide to help you through the initial steps before you get to the vet:

  1. Airway

    If your pet is not breathing, extend their neck so it is as straight as possible and open their mouth. If it is same to do so, pull their tongue out and see if you can look down the back of their throat to see if there is anything blocking the airway.

  2. Breathing

    If you are confident there is nothing blocking the throat, close your pet’s mouth and perform mouth to nose resuscitation. Take a big breath, cup your hands around the nose and blow into your pet’s nose. Allow the air to escape by itself – don’t breathe it in! You need to breathe for your pet approximately once every 12 seconds.


  3. Circulation

    This works best if you have another person helping, but if you don’t just alternate between compressions and breathing.

    Place your pet so they are lying on their right side

    • Larger dogs: Place the palm of your hand in the middle of the rib cage. Place your other had on top of that. Now press hard. Compressions are very hard to do and you need to do them firm and fast (about 2 per second). You need to try to compress your dog’s rib cage about 50% of its depth for each compression! Remember to give one breath every 12 seconds.


    • Smaller dogs & cats: Place one hand around your pet’s chest with your fingers on one side and your thumb on the other. Squeeze your fingers and thumb towards each other. Press firmly enough to compress your pet’s chest about 50% of its’ depth. You need to give one compression per second. Remember to give one breath every five compressions.

    compression small

  4. Keep breathing for your pet and compressing the chest to get the heart beating. Do it for as long as you are able to (or for a maximum of 20 minutes) until your pet has a heartbeat and starts to breathe on their own. Get to your nearest vet as soon as possible so they can take over CPR for you!