Did you know that pets can donate blood? It’s true! Just like in human medicine, pet patients who are critically ill or injured often require blood and plasma products as lifesaving resources. In an emergency, when every minute counts, it’s essential to have an ample supply of blood on hand.
That’s why Guardian Veterinary Specialists has an onsite blood bank program. It’s completely voluntary, and our inventory of blood is donated by pets just like yours.
How Do I Know if My Pet Can Donate?
For safety purposes, there are eligibility requirements each pet must meet to be a blood donor, including age, weight, and health parameters. First, prospective donors take a brief survey to see if they’re able to donate – we have one survey for dogs and one survey for cats. If they are eligible, we’ll next set up a physical exam to ensure they’re physically and emotionally suited to donating blood.
Once your pet passes, we ask that you commit to the program for a minimum of four donations per year. Pets can safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks – just like humans!
The Donation Process
When your pet arrives at Guardian to help save another life, a member of our blood bank team will greet you and begin the procedure immediately. Pets remain awake and are kept company throughout their stay by a member of our team. During the procedure, your pet’s vitals will be monitored closely by our board-certified critical care specialist and a licensed veterinary technician. After your pet donates, we feed them a good meal and administer IV fluids to help them feel their best after their donation.
The entire donation process takes 4-6 hours. Your pet will never be left alone, and we always do everything we can to make the visits as stress-free as possible. We do our best to get our donors in and out as quickly as possible, but there are occasional delays while waiting for room or doctor availability.
Pets that meet the requirements for donations tolerate the procedure extremely well, and in many cases, look forward to the treats and attention they receive from the care team.
Pet Blood Donor Perks
Speaking of treats, to show our appreciation for pets that donate blood, we offer these complimentary benefits:
- A thorough physical exam at each donation
- Comprehensive blood screening, including a copy of lab results for your records
- Blood typing should your pet need emergency care or a blood transfusion in the future
- Blood transfusion should your pet ever need it in the future—1 free unit of blood for every unit donated
In addition, pet parents of blood donors receive:
- Discounted veterinary specialty and emergency care services
- A gift card to purchase pet supplies
- A complimentary gift bag
- An official certificate and stylish GVS Superhero! pet bandanna
- Publicity about your Superhero pet on social media
If you’d like your pet to participate in our blood bank donor program, visit our website to learn more, take the eligibility survey, and read the full FAQs about the donation process.