Can Dogs Donate Blood?

Can Dogs Donate Blood?

Author WDF Staff


Yes! Just like humans, dogs can be blood donors. In fact, veterinary medicine is rapidly developing, so critical care, internal medicine, and soft tissue surgeries are becoming a common thing. With such rapid development, the need for different types of dog blood is on the rise. If you ever thought your dog might donate blood and help a dog in need, here is what you should know about donating dog blood.

How do dogs donate blood?

As you can imagine, donating blood for dogs is similar to human blood donation. Unlike humans, dogs will donate blood from the large vein in their neck. The donated blood is then collected in a special blood bag, where it is ready for transfusion. However, before the vet starts sticking needles in the dog, there are a few things vets need to test. Your dog needs to fulfill some basic requirements before they can donate blood. Here are those conditions;


Dogs need to be at least 50 pounds to donate blood. Small dogs are not eligible because the amount that could safely be extracted from them would be too small.

Blood tests

Before your dog becomes a blood donor, the vet needs to make blood tests and make sure there aren’t any blood-borne diseases present in your dog’s bloodstream. Vets usually look for signs of Lyme disease or heartworm.

dog blood bagImage Source


Your dog needs to be vaccinated and up-to-date on the vaccinations. If that’s not the case, the vet can tell vaccinate your dog, wait a few days, and then proceed with the blood donation.


Dogs have to be of a certain age to be blood donors. Too young dogs can suffer unwanted consequences. Therefore, dogs under 12 months shouldn’t give blood. Only dogs between 1 and 7 years can donate blood.


Dogs that donate blood are required to sit still while the procedure is being done. Dogs that are scared of vets or too excited can be excused and welcomed at some other time.

How often can dogs donate blood?

Dogs can donate blood a lot more often than humans can. Men can donate blood every 3 months, and women every 4 months. Dogs can donate blood every three weeks since their body works differently than ours. If someone requests your dog to donate blood more often, you should deny it and keep your dog safe.

How much blood is extracted?

When we donate blood, the final amount is close to 450 mL. When large dogs donate blood, the amount is about the same. Adult, healthy dogs can donate 450 mL (one pint) of blood completely safely every three weeks.

blood donation

Do dogs feel pain when donating blood?

It would be foolish to say there is no pain involved since there is a bit of poking involved. However, generally speaking, the procedure is not painful after the needle is in. Your dog will not feel any pain after the vet inserts the needle.

Is shaving involved?

Yes. A small portion of the dog’s hair has to be shaved. It is usually a tiny square 1.5x1.5 inches. It is necessary for the dog’s safety, and the vet will have fewer problems finding a vein.

Are there any risks for my dog?

The risks of dog blood donation are minimal. Most dogs are completely fine afterward and even happy because they get baby food, treats, and loads of love from the staff. However, some risks were noticed. They are mostly connected with razor burns, rash, or skin issues caused by an antiseptic. In extremely rare cases, the point of extraction can start bleeding again, and you should call the place where your dog donated blood if that happens.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Dog blood donation is considered a safe procedure. Your dog can save a life, and there are many perks you can earn for your dog and yourself.

Perks of becoming a dog blood donor

Other than the satisfaction of knowing you and your dog did a fantastic and potentially life-saving thing, there are other perks you will “earn” from donating blood. Your dog will get 10% off on all vet services, complete physical before every donation, blood work, free parasite medications, infectious disease screening, chemistry screening, and full red blood cell count before every donation.

Some of these tests and check-ups can be pretty expensive, so if you weren’t sure whether your dog should donate blood, maybe these perks might change your mind. You can check your local animal blood banks and see if they have “Blood Donor Programs” you and your dog can participate in.

World Dog Finder team

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