Pack Members

COVID-19 Information

CABB is following provincial COVID-19 guidelines. Please contact your local CABB representative for further information.

Why You Should Donate

Just like humans, dogs need blood too! The Canadian Animal Blood Bank collects blood from healthy donors to transfuse into critically ill animals across Canada. Each day, ill and injured animals rely on transfusion therapy. From cancer therapy support to surgery and times of trauma, each donation can make a difference in the lives of three other dogs.

If you are interested in helping to save dogs’ lives, please visit our registration page. There you will find our Donor Registration Form as well as the regions we operate in.

Maybe you love dogs but don’t have one of your own, OR, perhaps your dog isn’t eligible to donate. Have no fear, you can still get involved and help us to save dogs’ lives. 

Benefits of Donating

Dogs like to help. It’s in their blood! You will be proud that your participation in this unique activity will support other dogs’ recovery of illness or injury, as well as your dog receives:

  • One complimentary blood product for each unit of blood donated, should the need ever arise.
  • Free microchip identification
  • Bandana & blood donor tag
  • Milestone dog tags very 5 donations
  • Complimentary testing for blood-borne diseases and heartworm

Donor Criteria

  1. Healthy and even-tempered
  2. Weighs 25kg (55lbs) or more
  3. Between 1-8 years of age (18 months for giant breeds)
  4. Up to date with vaccinations/titres
  5. Receiving heartworm and tick preventative medication (strongly recommended)

Dogs that are energetic are always welcome, as long as they have a reasonable level of obedience and are confident, they usually go on to become great donors. These dogs will often surprise their owners by being able to lie still for the donation.

If your dog is anxious or nervous, wary of new people, or fearful at a vet appointment, it would be encouraged that you support our cause in another way. Dogs like this may find the donation process too stressful. Your dog’s health and well-being are our top priority and we want your dog to enjoy coming to see us.

If your dog has what it takes to be a hero, we would love to hear from you. Please complete our registration form and a member of our team will be in touch.

What Happens During The Donation

Upon arrival, you will complete a brief questionnaire while your dog is weighed. A small blood sample is taken to obtain blood levels. We then help your dog onto the table and ensure the collection site is suitably prepared by shaving a small patch of fur from their neck. No sedation is ever used.

Your appointment time is thirty minutes, but the donation itself takes less than five minutes. We always leave time for plenty of belly rubs and tasty treats. Blood donation is not painful, nor will it jeopardize your dog’s health. Your dog will only experience the inconvenience of lying still for a few minutes.

Dogs have blood types?

Just like people, dogs have different blood types too! We type for the Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA) 1 Negative and Positive. Only 40% of all dogs have the blood type DEA 1 Negative and they should ONLY receive Negative blood if they are in need.

Demand for the DEA 1 Negative blood type is very high. In an emergency, this blood type can be given to any dog which is why they are considered to be a universal donor. This means our supply of DEA 1 Negative is often low. We are looking for more dogs to join the pack, especially those that are more likely to have a negative blood type.

Whether your dog is DEA 1 Positive or DEA 1 Negative, every donation matters and helps to save the lives of dogs across Canada.

Some dog breeds that are more likely to be DEA 1 Negative  include:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • American Bulldog
  • Cane Corso
  • Doberman
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Bull Terrier
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Greyhound
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Lurcher
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pit Bull
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Siberian Husky
  • Standard Poodle
  • Weimaraner

Meet Our Proud Pack Members

The Blood Collection Journey

Every unit of blood donated can help save the life of three other dog’s and their families across Canada.

At the Donor Clinic

At the time of your pet’s donation, we collect the blood into a special bag and filter it into one of the three other bags that are attached. This bag contains a unique mixture of ingredients that stops the blood from clotting. Each bag is carefully placed into a protective box and transported to one of our processing centers. Each unit is assigned a reference number so that we will always know which one belongs to your pet.

Processing a Unit of Blood

When the unit arrives at one of our processing centers, we carefully check each unit. A small sample of your pet’s blood is sent to the laboratory where it undergoes testing for blood-borne diseases.

The blood is then placed into a centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that spins the blood very quickly like a washing machine spins the water out of your clothes. The red blood cells are heavier and will sink to the bottom. This leaves the plasma on top. Plasma is a light yellow-coloured liquid that carries water, salts, and proteins.

The plasma is then moved to a different bag. Remember how each donation is collected into a special bag with three attached bags? This is why.

We then add nutrients, which we call food, to the bag containing the red blood cells. If needed, the red blood cells or plasma can be split into two smaller units.

Storing the blood

While red blood cells can be stored in one of our temperature-regulated fridges for about 4 weeks, we rarely have any red blood cells in our fridge that are older than a few days. The demand for canine blood products is very high. Almost all of our red blood cells are shipped out as soon as their test results are received.

Shipping the Blood

All blood products are placed securely into a box that is made for shipping items at the right temperature. It is our goal to provide blood products on an overnight or faster basis to the patients who need it.

Interested in making a donation?

If you are interested in helping to save the lives of other dogs, please contact your veterinarian to fill out our Donor Enrollment Form.