Unfortunately accidents do happen in the animal world and were it not for animal blood donor programs, many recoveries would not be possible. While we may not like to think about such things, our pets are just as susceptible to injury and illness as their human families and, in a worst case scenario, we hope and pray for their health and wellness in the same way we would for any other family member.
Well, animal blood banks do look for certain aspects in a dog before giving the go ahead to donate blood. An ideal age range is between 1 and 8 years old. Vaccinations need to be current and up to date and, Fido should be medication free. Expecting Mama dogs are not good candidates as their bodies are already maxed out by their unborn pups. There is a weight limitation as well, dogs under 50 pounds are rarely accepted as donor dogs however there are exceptions to every rule.
Also, temperament comes in to play. A high strung or anxious dog may not be suited to donate blood as the process could be a difficult one for an already sensitive animal. Your Vet or an organization like the Canadian Animal Blood Bank will give the best advice when it comes to your dog's ability to donate. Taking Fido in to donate blood 3 to 4 times a year is considered safe but again, a discussion with your Vet is a great idea to determine what is best for your pup.
Note: If you live in a region where blood donor clinics do not exist or visit, have a conversation with your Vet the next time you are in with Fido for a checkup.
The site where the needle was inserted to access the vein will likely be sore and could possibly be swollen for a couple of days following the blood donation. Your dog will likely be completely unfazed by the whole procedure and require little to no follow up treatment other than a light dressing and a pat on the head. Even though your pup will be completely unaware of the service he/she is providing, we highly encourage lots of treats and snuggles with your fur babies for their help in keeping other animals alive and healthy!