Most dog, cat owners unaware of pet blood donation schemes

According to recent findings of a survey, most dog and cat owners are not aware of pet blood donation schemes and animal blood banks.

However, the majority of owners in this study said they would be willing to allow their pets to donate blood, suggesting that just like human blood donation, raising awareness could help to increase donor numbers, say the researchers.

The need for small animal blood is growing in veterinary practice. The proportion of pets that donate blood is unknown but is likely to be very small, and the demand for blood is probably greater than the supply available.

So, researchers at the Royal Veterinary College set out to investigate pet owners awareness of small animal blood donation and their attitude and motivations towards their pet being a blood donor. Their findings, published in the journal of Vet Record, are based on data from 158 dog and cat owners over the age of 18 who attended a veterinary clinic for an appointment over a 10-day period. There was no significant difference between the proportion of male and female owners willing to let their pet donate. This study suggests that donor recruitment could be markedly increased by improving the awareness of pet owners about pet blood donation.î While donor blood can be vital in saving the lives of critically ill or injured pets, using animals for blood donation raises certain ethical questions, as highlighted in the study.