Pet Collapsed

Do they respond to you?

(talk to, or touch them)


Great, they’re not unconscious, they don’t need CPR. You should still call your vet.


Lie your pet somewhere flat and firm with their right side down and left side facing you. Check their ABCs and call your vet.

Call  Your Vet


Taking care not to get bitten or push object further down throat, pull their tongue forward and check nothing is lodged in mouth. If they resist you, they’re not unconscious, and don’t need CPR.
Dog Choking - pull tongue out


If you’re not sure if their chest is moving, put some hair/tissue paper/mirror in front of their nostrils. If the paper moves/the mirror steams up, they’re breathing and don't need CPR.


Check for a pulse by feeling over their heart (which is located on their left-hand side chest, behind their elbow), or check on the inside of their thighs for the femoral artery.

You can also find a pulse on the back of their legs half way between the toes and the ankle or wrist joint. This is worth practicing on your animal now just in case.

Cat Circulation - where to check pulse

If not breathing

is there a pulse?


Give rescue breaths only.


Give rescue breaths and chest compressions .


Extend your pet’s neck out.

Small dogs or cats
Cover both their nostrils and mouth with your mouth and give a breath.
Small dog or cat - how to give rescue breaths
Larger dogs
Hold their mouth closed and give breaths into nostrils only.
Large dog or cat - how to give rescue breaths
  1. Give 20 to 30 breaths per minute, 1 every 2 - 3 seconds.
  2. Check their chest rises and falls with each breath. If the chest does not rise there may be an obstruction. Perform the Heimlich manoeuvre.
  3. If their gums are pink your breaths are working.


Medium to large dogs
  1. Kneel over your pet, keep you elbows straight.
  2. Using the heel of your hand over the widest part of their chest, compress it down a third of the way each time:
    • For dogs weighing more than 15kg, use one hand on top of the other.
    • For dogs weighing less than 15kg, use only one hand.
  3. Let their chest come back up before repeating.
Dog - how to give chest compressions
Small dogs and cats
  1. Place your hand directly over their heart (thumb one side of their chest, fingers the other)
  2. Squeeze your hand
    • Give 2 compressions per second (do it to the beat of the song Stayin' Alive or Nelly The Elephant!).
    • Give 2 breaths for every 30 compressions.
Cat - how to give chest compressions
General Tips
  • Give 2 breaths for every 30 compressions.
  • Check regularly for return of pulse or breathing.
  • Be prepared to stop after ten minutes if unsuccessful.
  • Remember that they will get brain damage if they've not had oxygen for more than 5 minutes, sometimes less.
  • CPR for animals with serious underlying health conditions e.g. heart disease is sadly often not successful but can be life saving in animals that have been choking or drowning.
  • If their gums are pink your breaths are working.