We don’t think of dogs as blood donors, but the demand is there.
Surgeries, traumatic injuries, pancreatitis, rat poison ingestion are some medical conditions where a blood transfusion may be necessary.
Allison Dietz, a licensed veterinary technician, runs a pet blood bank in Seattle, Washington. According to Ms. Dietz, one donation could potentially save 4 lives. There are at least a dozen pet blood banks across the U.S.
Canine blood donations take only a few minutes. Qualifications for a dog to donate blood are: the dog must be healthy, weigh at least 50 lbs. and be willing to lie quietly on their side for 5-8 minutes until a pint of blood is drawn.
Dogs don’t react to blood donations the way humans do. They have no after effects.
Some blood banks will offer a free animal blood screening and one free transfusion if necessary to donors. Most places offer donors a toy and a treat, rewarding them for their good deed.
Dogs are able to donate blood every 3-4 months and many become regular donors.
There is an increased demand for canine blood donors. If your dog meets the requirements, you can ask your veterinarian, pet hospital or clinic for more information.
Knowing you’re saving another dog’s life has to give you an especially good feeling.
P.S. My GSD, Quanah, has been a blood donor and I can attest to the fact that it’s painless. She jumped off the table immediately afterwards.