Blood buddies

By Connie Orcutt • Published: August 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Just like people, dogs can lose blood from disease or injury. And also like their human counterparts, volunteer canines can provide life-saving blood donations to dogs in need.

The University of Florida’s Canine Blood Donor Program was set up to meet the increasing demand for blood products. Doggie donors are enrolled after an examination and tests ensure they are safe to donate blood and rule out the presence of diseases that could be passed on in transfusions. Blood types are also matched between donor and recipient.

There’s a bonus for the pups, too. Donor dogs receive canine cookies, dog food and a toy to take home. The program also pays for donors’ annual exams, basic diagnostic tests, vaccinations and parasite preventatives. And in the spirit of paying it forward, donors are entitled to the gift of blood if they have future need.