Puppy Love: Dogs Donate Blood, Help Save Other Canine Lives

JJ and Logan have donated blood more than a dozen times in the past three years.

The only difference between JJ and Logan and the average blood donor is that JJ and Logan are Labrador retrievers. And instead of the American Red Cross or the local blood center, they donate at Sun States Animal Blood Bank.

The demand for animal blood is as real as it is for humans because many veterinary procedures require transfusions, according to U.S. World News & Report.

JJ and Logan’s owner, Joanna Goriss of Deerfield Beach, Fla., said she is happy her pets can help other dogs survive surgeries and illnesses.

"You're helping out," she reasoned. "It's similar to giving blood as a person — what benefit do you get for that? You're just doing a good thing."

Andrew Mackin, an associate professor and service chief of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said it is possible for dogs to require blood transfusions for illnesses such as chronic anemia, clotting disorders and bone marrow diseases.

Too often, Mackin said, dogs also make the mistake of consuming rat bait containing the anticoagulant warfarin, which can lead to massive blood loss.

The ideal dog blood donor is healthy and under 8 years old, weighs more than 50 pounds and has a friendly disposition. It must also be up to date on all its vaccinations and be free of fleas and ticks.

Goriss said the dog donor also benefits from donating.

"If, God forbid, something happened to my dog — he was hit by a car or something and needed a blood transfusion — I have some [stored at Sun States] and I can get it for free," she said. "And they also test the blood, so that if something was wrong with your dog you would know."

Various blood banks across the country allow for blood to be stored and some clinics even host blood drives.

Click here to read the full story from U.S. World News & Report.