blood donation in dogs

Just like humans, dogs also need blood transfusion in certain conditions and fellow dogs can donate blood to help save their lives. While blood donation in dogs is not unheard of, there is a lack of information and knowledge concerning the subject. Blood transfusions in dogs are typically required in cases of trauma, surgery, or diseases that cause severe blood loss, anemia, or clotting disorders.

Know Your Dog's Blood Type

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Yes, similar to you, your dog too has a blood type. The presence of certain antigens (proteins and sugar) is what helps in determining the blood group of the dog. There are over 12 classified blood groups out of which (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) DEA 1.1 negative is generally considered the universal blood type.

There are two main types of blood donations for dogs (just like in humans): whole blood donation and blood component donation. Whole blood donation involves collecting a unit of blood that contains red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Blood component donation involves collecting specific components of the blood, such as plasma or platelets

Myths vs Truth

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While lot of us are still unaware of blood donations in dogs, the few who do know about it are usually accustomed to a lot of myths surrounding it. Well, let’s tackle a few of them today and see if it makes any difference in your perspective. 

  • Myth: Dogs can’t donate blood if they are on medication

Fact: Many dogs can donate blood even if they are on medication, depending on the type and dosage of the medication. It is important to discuss any medications your dog is taking with the veterinarian or blood bank before donating.

  • Myth: Dogs must be of a certain breed to donate blood

Fact: Any breed of dog can potentially donate blood, as long as they meet the necessary criteria such as being healthy, over a certain weight, and up to date on vaccinations.

  • Myth: Dogs can only donate blood once

Fact: Dogs can donate blood multiple times per year, as long as they meet the necessary criteria and are deemed healthy by the veterinarian or blood bank. However, this also does not mean that dogs can donate blood several times in a matter of days.

  • Myth: Dogs can get sick from donating blood

Fact: When dogs donate blood in a controlled environment with proper protocols, it is generally a safe procedure with minimal risk of complications. However, like any other medical procedure, there is always a certain level of risk involved. Dogs who donate blood should be monitored closely and administered proper care after the donation.

  • Myth: Blood donations in dogs are not necessary

Fact: Blood transfusions are often necessary in cases of trauma, surgery, or diseases (especially caused by tick fever) that cause severe blood loss, anemia, or clotting disorders. Blood donations in dogs can help save lives and improve the overall health and well-being of the animal community.

  • Myth: Donating blood results in weak immunity

Fact: Blood donation leads to better immunity. This is so because post-donation your pet’s body works two times harder to replace the donated blood. The dog may feel a little weakness right after the process, similar to humans after donating blood. This is nothing to worry about.

You can always give your pooch Supertonic syrup, a health booster blessed with the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and safety of modern science. It is formulated by combining two potent herbs – Carica papaya and Tinospora Cordifolia which are popularly known for improving platelet count and enhancing immunity.

When to avoid blood donation in pets? 

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It is important for dog owners to understand the facts about blood donations in dogs and to discuss any questions or concerns with their veterinarian or a reputable blood bank before going ahead with the process. By considering their own dogs as potential donors, dog owners can help ensure that other dogs in need have access to life-saving blood transfusions. However, there are certain conditions under which the pet-parents should avoid volunteering their dogs for blood donation. These conditions include:

  1. Pregnancy: Pregnant or nursing dogs cannot donate blood.
  2. Behavioral issues: Dogs who are aggressive or have a history of biting may not be suitable donors.
  3. Weight: Dogs who are under or over a certain weight may not be able to donate blood. Most blood banks require that dogs weigh at least 50 pounds.
  4. Recent surgery: Dogs who have undergone surgery within the past month may not be able to donate blood, as their bodies need time to recover.
  5. Age: Dogs who are too young or too old may not be able to donate blood. Most blood banks require that dogs be at least 1-2 years old and not older than 8 years.
  6. Health issues: Dogs with certain health conditions, such as anemia, heart disease, or infectious diseases, may not be able to donate blood. Additionally, dogs who are currently taking certain medications, such as steroids or chemotherapy drugs, may not be able to donate.

Things to Remember 

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Dogs can donate blood multiple times a year, but it is important to ensure that they receive proper care and nutrition to maintain their health after each donation. Some veterinary clinics and animal blood banks offer incentives or compensation for dogs who donate blood, such as free or discounted veterinary services.

To be eligible for blood donation, dogs must meet certain criteria, such as being healthy (clinical assessment via tests and examination is recommended), over a certain weight (not less than 25 kgs), and up to date on their vaccinations. The blood is usually collected from the jugular vein, and the process is generally safe and painless for the dog, with few side effects


It is important for dog owners to discuss their dog’s medical history and any medications they may be taking with the veterinarian or blood bank prior to blood donation. This will help ensure that the dog is healthy and eligible to donate blood. If your dog is a healthy citizen of the dog world, please volunteer for it. P.S. don’t forget to treat your furry buddy for the good work. Don’t know where to buy them treats from? Head over to Fur Ball Story where you can find so much more for your buddy.