Just like in humans, CPR is a simple and life-saving technique for dogs whose hearts have stopped. Heart attacks are not the only reason a mammal's heart may stop: electrocution, drowning, strangulation, and choking are frequent causes of cardiac failure that rapid CPR may be able to correct. This video is the best I have seen for large canine CPR and I recommend dog owners acquaint themselves with the methods. Take a few minutes to find your dog's pulse, visualize how you would perform chest compressions, and mentally rehearse how you would deal with an emergency in various places: at the park, in your car, at home, in the woods. CPR is mainly useful in keeping the body viable until professional help can be reached, so plan to continue CPR in a car while someone else drives you to a vet.


Resuscitated drowning victims should be kept under close observation for signs of "secondary drowning", which occurs hours or days later as the water-damaged lung walls leach body fluids into lung space, resulting in further organ damage and death.

In the event of household electrocution, the safest course is to turn off the current at a breaker box. If this is not feasible, use a wood-handled broom, chair leg, rug or other non-conductive objects to move the victim WELL away from the source of electricity before rendering aid. The damage to internal organs and muscles in an electrocution may not be obvious at first. These victims should be transported to a vet, especially if signs of shock or pain arise: disorientation, pale gums or tongue, slowness, panting, agitation, hunching, or any unusual behavior.