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Could Your Dog Become a Blood Donor?

On Health and Wellness Wednesday, let's talk about the importance of blood donation and dogs.

The American Red Cross promotes January as National Blood Donor Month to encourage more people to donate blood. It often surprises people to learn that dogs can donate blood for other dogs just as people do for each other.

If you're thinking you might like to volunteer your dog for blood donor services, here's a few things to know. Every state has different rules so your best bet is to start with talking to your veterinarian first. There are several canine blood banks around the country as well that you can contact if one is close to where you live. Pet Place has a list of them on their website. If there's a veterinary school near you, try contacting them as well since they may have a blood donor program as well.

Requirements vary but in general, your dog should be easy going and comfortable with veterinary procedures. Giving blood is not too different from how it's done for humans. Your dog will be awake during the process and it takes approximately an hour or less. Your dog should also, of course, be healthy and have the needed blood type for a universal donor. Most programs have a minimum weight of around 50 pounds and an age range that starts around a minimum of year and the maximum ranges depending on your dog's size and breed.

Of course, if your dog finds the vet extremely stressful, donating blood isn't a good option but if your dog is healthy and and comfortable giving blood, this is an incredible way to help save other canine lives. (Not to mention, this is also a great time to consider donating blood yourself - visit the Red Cross website for more information!)


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