Canine Blood Donations: Lend a Paw, Save a Life

When it comes to canine medicine, most people don’t immediately think of blood donations– but it’s a vital part of veterinary practice. Like humans, animals experience injuries and illnesses that require blood transfusions, like trauma, surgery, infections, and cancer. As the number of pet owners grow, the need for pet blood donors grows as well.

FETCH a Cure is excited to hear that the North American Veterinary Blood Bank is expanding to the greater Richmond area, particularly because of our Companions in Crisis program. We believe that no pet owner should be denied a choice for their pet’s health based on lack of resources, and that includes blood availability. There is a shortage of canine blood across the country, and the NAVBB is calling on our community to get involved. Your dog can help save lives.

How do blood donations work?

The NAVBB is looking for healthy adult dogs who are willing to lay still for 5-10 minutes and meet the following requirements:

  • Between 1-7 years old
  • Friendly and Sociable
  • Not on any medications for chronic illness
  • Greater than 50lbs
  • On heartworm, flea and tick preventatives
  • Up to date on Rabies and DHLPP vaccines
  • Has never received a blood transfusion

If your dog meets this preliminary requirements, the NAVBB will schedule a pre-evaluation. A veterinarian will perform a physical exam and take a small blood sample, which they will use to determine your dog’s blood type and completely screen for any infectious blood diseases. Provided the screening is successful, your dog will be a donor and will be eligible to give blood donations every 4-5 weeks.

While the donation process begins with the owner’s willingness to register your pet, the NAVBB will never force a pet to be a donor if they display dissatisfaction with the donation procedure. Their goal is “to save animal lives and make the process as positive an experience for everyone as possible!”

How do I register?

The North American Veterinary Blood Bank will be holding pre-evaluations this Friday, June 27th at Stonehenge Veterinary Hospital at 906 Southlake Boulevard in Richmond. The eligibility form can be found here. If your dog is eligible, you will be contacted to schedule the 30 minute pre-evaluation appointment.


Thank you to the North American Veterinary Blood Bank for reaching out to us, and to our partners at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts for providing more information.

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