Pet First Aid

Would you know what to do if your cat or dog was choking on a toy or food? It is life threatening if your pet cannot breathe!

For Choking: the Heimlich Maneuver for your Cat or Dog

1. Open your cat or dog’s mouth to see if you can pull out what is there. Use your index finger if you can safely do a finger sweep. Be very careful not to get bitten.

2. Hold your pet with his back against your chest, feet hanging. Use your hands to push on his belly gently but firmly in a succession of quick, upward thrusts, about five times.

If your first set of blows doesn’t dislodge the object, hold your cat or small dog up by his back hips with head down and gently sweep her mouth again. Tap your hand firmly against his back and check his mouth again. A large dog’s back legs can be lifted wheel barrow style.

Resource: Animal Emergency Center of Memphis

Not Breathing: CPR for a Cat or Dog

If you are still unsuccessful in getting your pet breathing, CPR is necessary.

Only proceed with CPR if your pet is not breathing and has no pulse.

    1. Place the animal on its right side.
    2. For pets under 30 pounds, hold the chest in your hand and squeeze over the heart. With pets over 30 pounds, use one hand over the other to push down on the chest.
    3. Press the chest down to ½ of its normal width for a count of one; let go for a count of one. Do this between 100 and 120 times per minute.
    4. Every 15-20 seconds, close the pet’s muzzle and breathe directly into its nostrils. (The chest compressions, however, are more important.)
    5. Online Course: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/cat-dog-first-aid
CPR chest compression for a cat

Click pictures to enlarge

CPR chest compression for a dog

In all cases, bring your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

Videos for Cats