Doggie CPR

By Rachel Leigh - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Most know what to do for a person in an emergency situation, but what about when it happens to your pet? The American Red Cross Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter teaches owners how to react if their pet is in danger.

David Winters says it's important to know how to check for the basic vital signs. Then, contact your veterinarian. "In order to check what's normal for the pet, you would lay the pet on its right side. You would lift the inner leg and take two fingers where the thigh meets the body. That's where you would check for the pulse."

If there's no pulse and the dog has stopped breathing, make sure the airway is open. "Then, you want to do four or five very quick, short breaths. How you do the breaths is close the mouth on a medium to large dog and breath through the nose."

With a smaller dog, you would breath through the mouth and the nose.

"If we have a larger dog, we'd give more compressions. We'd do almost 10 compressions to one breath."

And five compressions for a smaller dog. "With a smaller dog, the compressions are a little bit different. If you can fit the dog in the palm of your hand, you're basically squeezing the middle of the chest to compress the heart, and that also circulates blood which also circulates oxygen to keep the brain and other vital organs alive."

Just like children, chocking and poisoning are major causes for emergencies with pets. "Make sure you keep chemicals, such as antifreeze, in a lock cabinet."

It's also wise to keep shoes out of reach. Pets are known for choking on your laces.

For more life saving tips and how to sign up for classes, go to For group classes, call Daniel Vassi at 561.650.9122.