Animals Donating Blood: Dogs and Cats Can Also Donate

Most people think donating blood is something only humans can do. However, animals can also donate blood.
Animals Donating Blood: Dogs and Cats Can Also Donate

Last update: 04 February, 2019

If you have a dog or a cat, their blood could help save the lives of other animals in danger. Want to help? We’ll explain what you can do to take part, where to go, and why animals donating blood is so important.

Animals donating blood can save other animals’ lives

Animals can also suffer accidents or suffer from diseases that can lead to bleeding. Because of that, some animals may need a blood transfusion.

Animals donating blood helps save other animals' lives.

In order for veterinarians to have the blood they need in the case of emergencies, they need donors. There are already hundreds of animal donors in the world that help other animals survive.

Would you like your pet to be a donor? Well, pay attention! We’ll tell you what an animal blood bank is, how it works, which animals can donate, and where to do it.

What is a blood bank?

A blood bank is a place where blood is stored and preserved, and then used in pets. However, it’s important that each animal receives blood from its species and blood group. Therefore, blood banks are organized very carefully to avoid mistakes.

A cat can’t receive a dog’s blood or vice versa. Animals have a large number of blood groups (for example, dogs have 8). Therefore, it’s necessary to have a large number of donors willing to give up their blood.

There are veterinary clinics and hospitals that have their own voluntary donors. In this way, they won’t need to go to a blood bank in the case of an emergency. Consequently, this makes it easier for them to provide animal patients with the blood they need.

Which animals can donate blood?

Just as with humans, blood transferred to animals mustn’t be contaminated.

To ensure this, animals donating blood need to undergo clinical tests that show they are healthy. They also need to be abiding by all laws. Therefore, they need to have their microchip, and be vaccinated, and dewormed. If any of the animals that want to donate don’t meet these requirements, they can’t be blood donors until they do.

It’s also important to consider the age and size of the dog. For example, a dog that is 4 kilos is likely to suffer complications if it gives blood. Therefore, in many countries, there is a rule that canines must weigh at least 20 kilos. In addition, they must also be young dogs.

How to know the blood group and donate blood

Animals donating blood have to undergo a few tests.

As we mentioned earlier, dogs have 8 different blood groups. On the other hand, cats only have 3. We recommend finding out what blood type your pet is before something happens or before he goes to donate blood.

When you adopt a pet, they generally tell you their blood type. This is important information for you and could help other animals as well.

If you think your dog meets the requirements to be a donor, you can search online for the closest animal blood bank to your home. Alternatively, you can go to your veterinarian and they can show you how to help.

There is currently a great need for animals who are willing to donate their blood to other animals that need it. We encourage you to consider this too! The satisfaction of giving to others is priceless.

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  • DeLuca, L. A., Glass, S. G., Johnson, R. E., & Burger, M. (2006). Description and evaluation of a canine volunteer blood donor program. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.