Canine Blood Donation-Did you know?

Written by Christian Ackman
Here are some interesting facts about Dog Blood Donors

Most people are aware of the need for blood donors. When people are sick or injured, blood donors play a huge role in their recovery. Did you realize the same is true for dogs? Blood transfusions save the lives of hundreds of dogs each day. And where do these dog blood donors come from? While there is extensive testing required, regular pets donate blood every day. Even your dog could be a candidate to be a blood donor!

There are a few requirements your pet must meet in order to become a dog blood donor.

  • Over 50 pounds
  • Between 1-7 years old
  • Calm demeanor
  • Universal Blood Type (Pit Bulls and Greyhounds carry this blood type most often)
  • No medications (excluding Heartworm and Thyroid)
  • Overall healthy

If your dog can meet these requirements and you are interested in signing them up to become a dog blood donor, the next step is to get the proper testing done to make sure they are as healthy on the inside as their appear on the outside. The first round of testing done is to confirm they are a Universal Blood type. Once they are approved as the correct blood type, the extensive testing begins. These tests include a Complete Blood Cell Count, Chemistry Profile, Heartworm Test, Fecal Analysis, & Urinalysis. If those tests come back perfect, then your dog is a great candidate! 

Approved dogs get added to a database, and local vets can call upon your dog for donation when needed. It is recommended that dogs only donate blood every two to three months. Donating more often than that can increase the dog’s chances of becoming anemic. Once your dog donates, their name is “blocked” in the database for three months. 

Typically it isn’t until you have a sick dog who requires a blood transfusion that you think about the need for dog blood donors. If you are interested in signing your dog up to become a donor, reach out to your Veterinarian and ask how you can get involved. While not all dogs can donate, if yours can, they could help save many beloved dogs!