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How to Help a Drowned Dog

Most dogs are excellent swimmers. Occasionally, however, a dog drowns because she gets caught in something underwater or gets overwhelmed by an undertow. Sometimes a dog who is an experienced swimmer drowns inexplicably.

Some breeds have trouble swimming and may drown in shallow, safe water. Bulldogs, Pugs, Dachshunds, and Pekingeses, for example, all have bodies that can make swimming difficult.

The first thing to do after you bring the dog ashore is to empty the lungs of water. If the dog is small, you can elevate the rear end of the dog and water will drain out of the dog’s mouth. If necessary, you can hold the dog upside down and swing him gently until the water is expelled.

Pumping the chest and opening the mouth periodically may be helpful as well. If the dog is large, try to sling him over your shoulder so that her head, front legs, and chest hang down in front of you and the rear legs hand down your back.

When the water is expelled, start rescue breathing. When the dog is breathing on his own, wrap him in a blanket and transport him to a veterinarian immediately.

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