Canine CPR: What You Must Know

Do you know what to do if your dog’s heart stops beating?

The next 20 minutes could save your dog’s life. In this video, I go over some very basic steps of how to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) that anyone can do at home to potentially save the life of their pet in the event of an emergency.

In the unfortunate event that you ever need to perform CPR on an animal (or human), there are some very simple techniques that if well practiced, could save their life. The key is automation, which is why the practice part is so important. In an emergency, you don’t want to have to think, merely be able to act from memory, because of the intensity of the stress people are under in an emergency situation.

This is one tool for the toolbox that you will be very happy that you took the time to learn should you ever be faced with the situation of needing to know CPR. I strongly encourage you to learn and practice with your whole family for both animals and humans. This video is only 20 minutes and in-person CPR classes are usually about an hour – you’ll be glad you knew what to do should tragedy strike unexpectedly.

Once you’ve watched, don’t hesitate to grab a stuffed animal to practice on with your family and go through the video again together, step by step to practice.

CPR should ONLY ever be performed on an animal whose heart has stopped beating. Even if the animal is not breathing – you can severely injure an animal by compressing on their chest while their heart is still beating. You can breathe for an animal if they are no longer breathing (using the same method shown in the video), however, as mentioned, the best chance for survival is to rush them to the Emergency Room immediately if they are not breathing.

Here are a couple of take-aways from the video to help you retain the information:

  1. CPR should be performed on a hard, flat surface
  2. Check for a pulse to make sure the heart is not beating before starting chest compressions
  3. Lock your elbows and form a 90 degree angle between your arms and the hard surface
  4. Compress the chest firmly to about ⅔ of the depth of the chest
  5. Allow the chest to fully recoil after each compression
  6. Compress at 100 to 120 times per minute (use a song such as Staying Alive or Another One Bites the Dust as a rhythm in your head to stay at that pace)
  7. Perform for 2 minutes at a time before switching and/or checking for a pulse
  8. Know the best route to the closest veterinary emergency hospital ahead of time

I hope you enjoy this brief tutorial. Please smash the LIKE button if you found this video helpful, and consider SUBSCRIBING if you want to continue your canine learning process. Thanks for watching!

If you are in the Greater Charlotte area and would like to schedule a group canine CPR class for your business, club, classroom, neighborhood, or other, please email

Please take a moment to learn more about Jonny Justice, a pit bull rescued from the Michael Vick dog fight bust that is now a therapy dog spreading positivity about the true nature of pit bull type dogs through his work with his owners:

Follow Jonny Justice on Instagram @jonnyjustice

Staying Alive Hands Only Human CPR Video:

Thank you Michael Vick: