Canine Blood Donations

Many people are surprised to find out that dogs can donate blood! There are times when a dog is in need of a blood transfusion, so regular donations are needed. This is where the Canadian Animal Blood Bank comes in. Based in Winnipeg, they have expanded across Canada and have been having blood donation clinics in Southern Ontario since 2016.

If you are interested in having your furry friend help the cause and donate blood great! The blood bank is always looking for new donors. Several requirements must be met:

  • Must be 55lbs or over, but not overweight
  • Between 1-8 years of age at the time of the first donation
  • Up to date on vaccines
  • Even temperament, these dogs do have to stay still on a table for 5-10 minutes while donating which may be a challenge for overly enthusiastic dogs
  • It is also preferred that donors be spayed or neutered and recommended that they be on heartworm prevention

Congratulations, if your dog fulfills these requirements, s/he can become a blood donor! There are various clinics help throughout the country; here at Park Road we typically have one every few months. A usual blood donor appointment lasts 15-20 minutes. First, a small sample of blood is taken to determine the blood type (there are seven different types of blood in dogs!) and to make sure his red blood cell levels are high enough to donate. If everything is good to go, they are placed on a table, and approximately 450ml of blood is taken over the next 5 minutes.

So long as they are healthy and meet the requirements dogs can donate every three months up until they are ten years old. Further information can be found on the Canadian Animal Blood Bank website.

Written by: Dr. David Baker, DVM