PhotoCompleting any type of course feels good, but there's something about finishing a CPR class that gives you an extra special feeling.

But how many people feel that same level of preparedness when it comes to saving their pet's lives.

According to statistics and rescue advice released by Carrington College, 63% of dog owners are somewhat likely or likely to give CPR to their dog at some point.

And when it comes to being ready for an emergency, 54% of dog owners said they don't have an evacuation plan for their pet and only 20% of owners said they keep an animal first aid kit around.

Get ready

So how can you be better prepared?

The ASPCA says every animal emergency kit should include pet first-aid supplies, three to seven days' worth of pop-top canned dog food, disposable litter trays, litter or paper toweling, disinfectant and disposable garbage bags. And that's just for starters.

For a complete list of what you'll need for a pet emergency, you can speak to your veterinarian or visit the ASPCA website.

In addition, the ASPCA says pet owners should put a rescue alert sticker on the windows of their home, so rescue workers know there's a pet inside. On the sticker itself, you'll be able to list what kind of pet you have, how many you have and the name and number of your vet.

If you have to leave your home during an emergency, create a safe haven for your pet, and if necessary contact your veterinarian to learn where the nearest boarding kennels and emergency shelters are.

Plan out your evacuation route before an emergency hits, so you'll have an idea of where to go and what to do. And never leave your pet behind and assume he'll survive a disaster. If it's not safe for you, it won't be safe for your pet, says the ASPCA.

Puppy CPR

PhotoIf your puppy or dog has a CPR emergency, the first thing you want to do is check his heartbeat and breathing. If you don't feel a pulse, start doing CPR immediately and have someone call your vet while you begin the resuscitation process.

If you feel a pulse but no breath, start doing artificial respiration by clearing blood or mucus from the dog's air passage. You may need to remove your dog's tongue as well. Just pull it forward so that it is not blocking the air passage.

If the air passage is blocked by an object of some sort, remove it also. 

Once the object is removed, shut your dog's mouth and close his lips by placing your hand under his chin. You'll then take your other hand to seal off his mouth and nose, so you can start breathing into his nostrils.

Experts say you should gently exhale through your hands and into the dog's nostrils every five or six seconds, and you should repeat this process until your puppy or dog is able to breathe on his own.

If you don't feel a heartbeat, keep doing CPR.

For bigger puppies, you'll start by laying him on his right side. For smaller puppies use your thumbs and forefingers on both hands and place them around the puppy's chest.

From that point, you'll do chest compressions one time per second, while breathing into the nose every six seconds. You'll continue this process until help comes or the puppy or dog begins to breathe again. 

Helping kitty

If your cat isn't breathing, use your finger to clear out any objects, mucus or blood from the mouth and tilt the head back so she'll have a straightened air passage, say the experts at the Pet Guardian Angels of America (PGAA).

PhotoSimilar to giving your dog CPR, you would use one hand to close the cat's mouth and breathe into its nose and mouth, without letting air escape. If you see your cat's chest expand, you'll know your breaths are reaching the lungs.

If the chest isn't moving, begin the process all over again. Clear your cat's mouth and start breathing.

If you don't feel a heartbeat, place your cat on its right side, put your fingers on the ribcage and place the fingers from your other hand on top of your first hand.

Then in a steady manner, you would press down on the ribcage in rapid succession using both hands, pressing about three to four inches down. This should be repeated about 10 times, advises the PGAA.

Newborn pets

If you have a newborn puppy in the litter that's not breathing, experts say to remove any extra fluid that might be around the puppy's throat, nose or mouth, and lower the head so the fluid can come out by itself.

Once you clear the air passage, place your mouth around the nose of the puppy and give two to three small breaths. But be sure not to breathe fully or too hard, as a newborn puppy's lungs are still small and not very strong.

To check for a heartbeat, use two fingers to feel the chest. If you don't feel a heartbeat, place either hand around the puppy's chest and do rapid compressions. 

You'll then continue to press down, while you're breathing into the mouth and nose of the puppy every 15 to 20 seconds and repeat this step until you start seeing results or until help arrives.

It's always important to make sure someone is calling your vet, while you're doing the CPR treatment, experts say. 


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