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Bentley and Friends: Pet blood donation

We spoke with BluePearl Pet Hospital about the process and importance of animal blood donation. Could your dog or cat be a donor?

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — We all know the importance of donating blood and how it can save lives, but have you ever thought about your pet's life?

"If your pet donates, you can pretty much guarantee that they have saved a life," Danielle DeCormier of BluePearl Pet Hospital explains.

Just like for humans, donating blood is critical in saving lives and when your pet has some sort of life-threatening disease, a cat or dog's donor blood may be their last hope.

"For example, if a dog or cat has too many fleas, the process of the fleas sucking the animal's blood can deplete their blood supply. Also if your pet has some sort of disease, a blood transfusion may be necessary," DeCormier said. 

The process of donating is a simple one for dogs. No anesthesia is required and it takes less than 10 minutes. 

With dogs, they have to be over 50 pounds due to vets taking the same amount from them that a doctor would take from a human. Dogs also must be between the ages of one and eight years old. 

For cats, the weight requirement is a healthy eight to 10 pounds and around the same age range as for dogs. The biggest difference with cats is that they will receive anesthesia, due to them being less likely to stay still for a period of time. 

The animals must be spayed or neutered.

Dogs and cats can safely donate every six weeks and due to the chronic shortage of animal blood donations, it's crucial that pet owners are aware of the need.

BluePearl Pet Hospital has two locations in Hampton Roads: one in Chesapeake and one in Virginia Beach. The Virginia Beach location will soon be taking pet blood donors again.

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