Giving blood is a terrific thing to do. It saves lives. Did you know dogs can give blood too? Arnie is a 9-year-old English Springer who started donating blood to the Pet Blood Bank in 2015. He started donating when his owner, Rachel McFarlane, read an appeal for more dog blood donors.
Each pint can save four dogs’ lives. Dogs can give blood every eight weeks. That means that Arnie has helped about 84 dogs.
Arnie started donating when he was three, but Rachel says she would have signed him up sooner had she known about the service before.
“It’s amazing the number of people who have never even heard of dogs donating blood,” she said.
She also explained a little about the process.
“Dogs have two blood types, positive and negative with positive being the most common, which is what Arnie is.
“It’s very unusual for a springer spaniel to be able to donate because they are generally under 25kg. It’s normally bigger dogs like Poodles, Labradors, and German Shepherds you see donating, but Arnie is big for his breed, so he’s been able to do it.
“When he goes in, they take a little sample of his blood to make sure everything is okay.
“Then they get him up on the table to put the needle in his neck to draw the pint.
“Some dogs are so relaxed, they are almost sleeping when the blood is being taken.
“The nurses distract Arnie with lots of gravy bones and treats.
“He is always fine when he is getting it done and loves having everyone fuss over him.”
Rachel also mentioned that Arnie gets a goodie bag filled with treats and toys in it when he donates. The goodie bags get bigger after the fifth time donating. That helps a lot!
She also said that many people may not think about having their dogs donate blood until one of their pets gets sick. Maybe some people should think of it sooner!
Now that Arnie has turned nine, he must retire from donating, and more dogs are needed to take his place.
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Blood can be donated at most vet’s offices. Will you be taking your dog in to do his or her part?