First of all, never risk your life for a drowning pet. Do not go into water to rescue your pet.
Dog and cats are usually able to swim pretty well. However if they become trapped or tired it is still possible for them to drown.
If you find your pet unconscious in water:
- Check the mucous membranes for a grey or bluish discolouration which would mean they are cyanosed.
- Check for breathing
- If you are able to, hold your pet upside down and gently shake them.
- Alternatively put them onto their right hand side with their head lower than their body.
- Locate the last ribs and push into the dent beside these in an upward motion towards their head to try and force out any water.
- Repeat this 4 or 5 times and continue for about a minute
- If they do not begin to come round or start breathing and there is no pulse, start rescue breaths and then if appropriate, CPR.
First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.