Saving dogs from drowning

By Connie Orcutt • Published: August 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

After a dog drowned last summer at a Miami-Dade beach, county officials provided American Red Cross training in canine resuscitation for their beach lifeguards.

Because of anatomic differences between species, CPR—or cardiopulmonary resuscitation—is different when used for dogs instead of humans. So using techniques developed for people won’t necessarily save the lives of our furry friends.

Most dogs are solid swimmers, but even they can get caught in currents or trapped in pools. So supervise your dog closely when you’re near water.

If your dog begins to struggle while swimming, make sure you’re safe before attempting a rescue. Then get your pooch to dry land and keep him warm. If he’s nonresponsive, you may be able to drain water from his chest by placing his head below his lungs and thumping his sides. But don’t delay—get help as soon as possible.