Drowning – Rhodes 2 Safety

Drowning – Rhodes 2 Safety


Today’s tip tackles the steps to take if your dog has been involved in a drowning/water based emergency.

Begin by using your DR.ABC assessment method:-


D = Danger (Is it safe?)

R = Response (Is he responding to you?)

A = Airway (Open his Airway, pull his tongue forward & clear his mouth of debris.)

B = Breathing (Is he breathing for himself?)

C = Circulation (Does he have a pulse?)


Hold a small dog just above the hocks on the hind legs to allow as much water as possible to drain from the lungs.  Ideally, for around 30 seconds or so.

treating drowning by holding the dog just above the hocks and allowing the water to drain from the lungs
Hold just above the hocks and allow the water to drain

2)   If your dog is a large breed, lay him on his side with his head as low as possible and pick up his back legs to tilt him as much as you can to allow the water to drain, again for a good 30 seconds.

3)  Clear any debris from his mouth to make sure his airway is clear.

4)  Hopefully, he should start to breathe for himself.

5)  If he does, ring your vet to let him know you are coming straight over.

6)  If he does not take a gasp by himself as the water leaves his lungs, give him 5 mouth-to-nose rescue breaths and then start your artificial respiration.

(here’s the link to our artificial respiration blog: Artificial Respiration blog )

7)  If he does not take a breath and has no pulse, commence CPR.

(here’s the link to our CPR blog:CPR blog  )

8)  Remember, whether he begins to breathe or not, ‘phone your vet as soon as possible for further advice due to the possibility of  what’s known as secondary drowning