Tips & Information

Can dogs donate blood?

Written by

Natalie Ardita


Published on: Jun 13, 2019

Can dogs donate blood?

Did you know that your dog could save other dog’s lives? That’s right, just like humans, dogs can donate blood to help pets in need.

A dog may need blood if they’ve been involved in trauma, such as a car accident, if they have cancer, parvovirus, hemophilia, anemia or are under veterinary care. And, just like humans, there is often a shortage of blood supply for pets surviving surgery, illness or serious trauma.

Is my dog a good candidate to donate blood?

According to the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, your dog may be a good blood donor candidate if he or she is:

  • In good health

  • 55lbs or over

  • 1-8 years old

  • Up to date on their vaccinations

  • Well-behaved and calm in stressful or new situations

What do I need to know before my dog donates blood?

  1. One donation could save up to four dogs. Although a blood transfusion can’t guarantee an ill dog’s survival, it can buy time for a dog’s body to heal and increase its chances of a healthy life.    

  2. There are 13 canine blood groups.  Just like humans, dogs have a universal donor type. Type DEA 1.1 negative is in higher demand as it can be used in emergency situations when there isn’t time to test for blood type.

  3. Donating blood takes about 30 minutes for dogs and requires no anesthesia.  Before donating, your dog’s blood is checked for blood-borne infectious diseases. After the blood tests prove to be negative, approximately 450ml of blood is taken from the jugular vein or front leg. Once the blood is drawn, your dog can go right back to playing, cuddling, and being a dog.

  4. There are several animal blood banks across the country. The Canadian Animal Blood Bank supplies blood products to veterinarians across Canada and has donation locations in Winnipeg, MB and Edmonton, AB. A quick search for dog blood donor clinics in your city will help you find one near you. Most blood banks are always looking for new donor dogs.

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