We’re often reminded that more people are needed to give potentially lifesaving blood.

More than 6,000 donations are required every day, and around 200,000 new donors are needed each year to keep up with demand.

It’s a good thing to do, if you can. Go to www.blood.co.uk

Something you’re possibly less familiar with is how pets can also give blood, helping to save the lives of other injured or ill animals.

According to the charity Pet Blood Bank UK, more than 1,000 dogs needed a blood transfusion last year.

Andrew Bucher, chief veterinary officer at online pet healthcare retailer MedicAnimal, said: “Being told that your pet requires a blood transfusion is probably one of the last things an owner may expect to hear from a vet, yet it’s something that cannot be overlooked.

“Issues such as accidents, anaemia or leukaemia could result in your pet needing to be given a transfusion.

“Like humans, donating blood is something we may brush off and never get around to, but you never know when your pet may need it.”

He added: “The blood donation process takes about five to 10 minutes, but you should allow for up to 30 to 40 minutes at a blood collection session. It’s simple, painless and you’ll be helping another pet across the UK.”

Wimbledon Times:

Photo: Getty Images

The eligibility criteria for dogs and cats is as follows:


  • Must be aged between one and eight years old
  • Weigh over 25kg and be in good health
  • Dogs must never have travelled abroad, must be up-to-date with their vaccines and have never received a transfusion
  • A standard blood donation is around 450ml (known as one canine unit)
  • Your dog will be fine after approximately 24 hours but the actual volume of blood can take around two months to be replaced
  • Like with humans, dogs are asked to donate up to three to four times a year
  • There are 13 different blood types in dogs, and eight blood groups that are most commonly seen. Between a third and a half of the canine population are considered to be ‘universal recipients,’ meaning that they can generally accept blood from any blood group.


  • Cats must be aged between one and five years old
  • Weigh over 4kg, but not overweight
  • Fully vaccinated, in good health and calm when visiting places such as the vets
  • In cats, there are three types of blood groups and the correct match must be established before a transfusion can take place.

Pet owners should consult a vet or look online for more information.