It's Important to Know Your Dog's Blood Type!

Like with humans, it's important to know your dog's blood type in case it ever needs a blood transfusion. There are all kinds of reasons it might need one, but the important thing is to be prepared and potentially save its life.
It's Important to Know Your Dog's Blood Type!

Last update: 22 December, 2018

There are a lot of people that don’t realize that it’s just as important to know your dog’s blood type as it is to know their own. A lot of people don’t even know dogs have different blood types. However, just by knowing. owners can help save their pet’s life in case they ever need a blood transfusion.

The different types of blood

Dogs have 8 different internationally recognized blood types. They all fall under the initials DEA (dog erythrocyte antigen) and go from DEA 1 to 8. The most common are DEA 1.1 and 1.2

A dog’s blood type is identified and classified based on the shape of the membrane around their blood cells.

Why you need to know your dog’s blood type

know your dog's blood type

You will need to know your dog’s blood type in case of internal bleeding, an accident, or an operation, that might require a blood transfusion. Unlike humans, dogs can receive any type of blood in their first transfusion, as long as their body hasn’t rejected it before.

But if your dog soon needs another one, then they will need their own blood type. Otherwise, their body will reject the unfamiliar blood type and put your dog’s life at risk. When two different blood types mix in a dog’s blood, it destroys the red blood cells, which can be fatal.

The best way to find out what your dog’s blood type is by having your vet run a blood test, which is a short, simple procedure.

When your dog might need a transfusion

It’s always good to be aware of your dog’s blood type because you never know when an accident might happen.

Here are some situations where your dog could need a transfusion:

  • Blood loss caused by a disease. There are certain diseases that could cause constant blood loss and put a dog’s life at risk. Transfusions are vital in these situations.
  • Anemia. This is another potential risk that might require your dog to get one.
  • An accident. An accident could cause your dog to lose a lot of blood and be fatal if they don’t get a transfusion.
  • A disease that contaminates their blood.

Those are some of the main causes, but there are also others.

Where they get the blood from

vet with dog

So, if dogs require blood transfusions, then that must mean there are dogs that donate blood.

This is yet another good reason to know your dog’s blood type. Even if yours doesn’t need a transfusion (and hopefully never will), you could help other dogs by having yours become a donor.

Before a dog can become a blood donor, they’ll do a lot of tests to make sure they’re healthy. The dog will also need to have their shots up-to-date, have a GPS chip, and meet all the other legal requirements in their country.

Once your dog has been authorized to donate blood, then a sample be taken to figure out their blood type.

Knowing what it is will bring you peace of mind, because if your dog ever needs blood you can be sure you’re giving it the right kind. Plus, having your dog become a donor and helping others is absolutely priceless.

Don’t wait to find out your dog’s blood type until after something has happened. It’s best to know beforehand and be prepared to save your dog’s life, and possibly that of others.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.