Today, 14th June is World Blood Donor Day! And it may come as a surprise to many that cats and dogs can be blood donors too. So here are 5 things that you may not know about pets donating blood:
- Your pet needs to be a certain age: Ideally cats and dogs need to be between 1 and 7 years of age. This is because younger animals may not be strong enough or may not have sufficient reserves to cope well with donating. Also, older animals may have an underlying disease, that we can’t pick up on physical exam or blood tests and we don’t want to put their bodies under additional stress.
Your pet need’s to be big enough to donate: Ideally, dogs need to be over 25kg and cats need to be over 5kg. This is because the amount of blood they can donate is based on their weight and if we are going to put you and your pet through this, we want to be sure we’re getting enough to do the most good.
Your pet’s personality is the BIGGEST factor: Your cat or dog may be the sweetest, friendliest pet in the whole world but still may not be suitable to donate blood, which is part of why it can be so difficult to find suitable blood donors. Blood donation can take from 15 to 30 minutes and we need your pet to be calm and still during that time. So super relaxed pets make the best donors.
Your pet needs to be fit and healthy to donate. Every donor gets a full physical exam with a veterinarian before donating. Many may have screening blood tests to ensure they don’t have any hidden diseases. They also need to be fully vaccinated.
There are so many medically required TREATS AND CUDDLES! I am not joking. We need this to be as positive an experience as possible for your pet. This ensures that if they donate again, they are still calm and relaxed when they come in. We even send out donors home with a little goody bag of treats and toys afterward.