Did You Know That Your Dog Can Save Lives by Donating Blood?

Posted by Krissy Howard
Ill golden retriever on operating table in veterinarian's clinic

It's not just people who are encouraged to donate blood -- dogs can save each other's lives by giving as well. 

Everyone knows that blood donors help save lives but did you know that that doesn't only apply to people?

Blood donations from dogs can help their canine companions in life-threatening circumstances including surgeries, transfusions, and other medical emergencies.

Beautiful doberman puppy lying on a veterinary table and gets an infusion. Vet holding infusion line attached to dog's leg. Short DOF and selective focus on veterinarian hand

A video posted on Facebook through BBC South Today explains the process, as well as the impact even one dog can make when giving blood -- a single donor candidate can save up to four lives.

Regular donors like the friendly pooch featured in the video, a fluffy Golden named Cassie, can really make a difference. She has helped 16 dogs through her acts of giving.

Dogs can get infectious diseases just like humans, and blood transfusions can help in emergency cases like when a dog contracts parvovirus.

Blood-donating dogs aren't just limited to the UK, and Seattle-based veterinarian Beth Davidow explains that blood donor program requirements here in the states are the same as those across the pond.

According a Huffpost report, dogs and cats between the ages of one and six are eligible to give, although the clinic will accept donations from pets in good health up to nine years old. A weight requirement of 50 pounds for canine blood donors is something to consider as well.

"There's no specific blood bag made for dogs, so we're using human blood bags," Davidow said. "A 50-pound dog can donate safely the amount that will fill a blood bag."

Dog blood has a shelf life of 30-35 days in collection bags so consistent donor animals are important.

READ MOREThis Good Dog Saves Her Buddy with an Emergency Blood Transfusion

dog giving blood

Simple preparation at veterinary clinics is encouraged to assure the safest and most comfortable experience for donating pups, and veterinary technicians work to keep dogs happy while on the table by feeding them treats, and providing toys and affection throughout the donation process.

But the dog can get back to normal activities soon after.

"It's just like if you or I were to give blood," Davidow explained. "You wanna make sure you eat, you don't do something crazy after because you can be a little bit tired the next day. But many people tell us they can't tell any difference at all afterward."

While more animal blood banks are popping up, there is still a shortage around the country. Check out Pet Place for canine blood banks near you. Your dog can be a hero, too.

Has your dog ever given blood? Tell us in the comments below.

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Did You Know That Your Dog Can Save Lives by Donating Blood?