Why You Should Know CPR for Pets


Being able to perform CPR is a valuable skill to have during an emergency. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be a life saving measure for people and pets alike. But what many people do not know is that there is CPR for pets too.

What is CPR?

CPR is a process of trying to save an animal or human that is experiencing cardiac arrest, or a state where the heart is not beating anymore. Cardiac arrest stops the flow of oxygen rich blood to the brain and eventually causes brain damage and death. CPR can help move oxygen through the body to preserve life until other lifesaving measures are taken. These lifesaving measures, like attempting to restart the heart, would be administered by health care professionals and vets. It is important to note that CPR is only a temporary measure and not a fix to the problem and emergency medical professionals need to take over once you have arrived at the medical facility.

Emergency situations can be very stressful and not knowing what to do is even worse. Not having the proper knowledge and skills to assess a situation can leave you, as a pet owner or bystander, with the feeling of guilt and anxiety. But, fortunately, there are many programs that teach the skills of CPR and other helpful actions to take during an emergency.

Where can you learn CPR?

CPR classes can be in person, classes with physical practice with a dummy, or online courses with tutorials and videos. Either or can be helpful when confronted with a life or death situations. The American Red Cross has a pet specific online CPRclass that you can take. Most classes do charge a fee, but the information included is invaluable. Searching for local classes and asking your vet for information of pet CPR and other first aid practices are great ways to learn too. Always remember that talking to your vet and asking questions can save your pets life.

Knowing when to use CPR, how to do it, and when to hand it over to professionals are all skills that are taught in a CPR class. Keeping calm and taking action can save your pets or someone else’s pets life.

What are the signs your pet needs CPR?

Signs of cardiac arrest in pets can be scary and unsettling. Signs include; gasping for air, lack of consciousness, dilated pupils, cyanosis (bluish pigmentation of skin due to lack of oxygen), and your pet being unresponsive to things and situations around them. These can scare pet owners to the point where they feel helpless. But with proper training and the ability to stay calm, pet parents who have taken CPR classes can recognize these signs and check for a heartbeat. If one is not present, this could be the time to administer CPR.

CPR is an important skill to have and knowing how to spot the signs of cardiac arrest in pets is a huge plus. But keeping in mind that CPR can also be dangerous when administered to someone or a pet that doesn’t need it is also important. CPR on a healthy pet or a pet that does not need CPR can be life threatening as well.

Do you know pet CPR? Leave a comment and let us know!

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