I searched for pet blood donation online and found there are several organizations. I don't have any numbers, put there are potentially hundreds in the USA. Looking at few sites, it appears there is no 'standard', this claim by one organization The only veterinary blood bank licensed by the USDA and the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture. We are inspected and approved for shipping by the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture. implies there are significant differences in quality across the available organizations.

So if I was considering allowing my pet to be a blood donor, what should I look for or consider before allowing them to participate?

If I have more than one emergency vet to choose from, what kind of questions should I ask about the source of their blood supply, while doing my pre-emergency research?

  • This is quite an extensive question, would it make sense to make a collaborative answer to include more different countries?
    – SerenaT
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 11:36
  • @SerenaT I don't know, but I would think the health concerns would be universal, country differences would be either legal or organizational. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 12:00
  • @ James Jenkins I think the conditions for a pet to be a pet donor and how blood banks operate would be quite different, I checked on the US and it is very different for different states. The health concerns would for me also depend on the kind of organization I choose and how they operate
    – SerenaT
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 12:02

3 Answers 3


I can't speak for the USA but in the UK a key factor is the pet's weight, another is its age.

No pet is accepted as a donor if it weighs less than a critical value. For example a dog must be over 25kg, irrespective of breed.

For more details, many of which will be useful in the US, look at this.


For cats and dogs in Germany:

Animals can give blood in any animal clinic and at most vets, the conditions are:


  • up to date with vaccinations
  • no worms
  • checked for ticks
  • no animals that take certain medication
  • no animals from southern countries
  • no animals that have been pregnant
  • no animals that have received a blood donation


  • Age between 1 and 7

  • weigh more than 25kg

  • patient character, has to lie still for ca. 10 mins
  • will donate 250-400ml


  • Age between 1 and 9

  • weigh more than 4kg

  • patient character, most cats receive a calming injection though if the owner agrees

  • will donate 10ml per kg of weight

I think when choosing an emergency clinic, go for proximity first. If there are several close by it might depend on the time of the emergency. If they have blood at the given time or if a blood donor can come in. If you want to prepare choose a clinic and talk to them beforehand and also check out the blood type of your pet.


Anicura Klinik - Blood donations

University Berlin - Blood donations


For cats and dogs in Norway to donate blood the criteria are:


  • Age 1-6 years old (must have started donating blood before the age of 4 years old).

  • At least 5 kg body mass, but not overweight.

  • Healthy and not using any medication (deworming and medication against parasites is OK).

  • Preferably indoor cats only.

  • Not have antibodies against FIP/FIV.

  • Not pregnant or planning to have kittens.

  • Vaccines need to be up to date, needs to be dewormed regularly.

Additional information: your cat will get a free yearly check-up, including bloodwork for the period it donates blood. The cat gives 40-50ml blood each time, is under anesthesia during this and will be kept at the clinic until awake.


  • Age 1-6 years old, healthy and fully vaccinated.

  • Needs to be calm and well balanced.

  • At least 27 kg body mass.

  • Blood values (hematocrit) above 40%.

  • Blood preferably type negative.

  • Must not have been out of the country, not have had puppies.

  • The dog must not have undergone a blood transfusion.

Additional information: the dog gives 450ml each time and it takes 5-10 minutes, with check-up it takes 30 minutes in total.

Sources for this information:

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