The world of pet medicine has become so advanced that there are animal blood banks popping up all around. I have never even thought about a pet needing a blood transfusion or where that blood would come from until I saw a recent news report about an animal blood bank opening near me. People need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons, so it seems logical that pets would too. Pet Blood Banks are not Plentiful It stands to reason that pet blood donation drives are not as widely known about as a human blood drive. I was not aware that there were actual blood banks for pets, so I imagine that a lot of you are not aware of it either. Pet blood drives and banks work a lot like people blood drives. Blood is removed from a pet and then spun down and stored as plasma or red blood cells, just like for people. The only problem is that blood has a fairly short "shelf" life. Whole blood and blood cells are good for about a month and plasma can be frozen and stored for about a year. Dogs may be donating the blood, but if it doesn't get used in a month, it must be disposed of. Sometimes a dog needs a transfusion quicker than a vet can get it delivered to them if they do not have a pet blood bank near them. Vets have been known to use their own pet or a volunteer pet to draw blood from in an emergency situation. How Your Pet Can Help with Blood Donations You can check to see if there is a pet blood bank near your area. It might even be good knowledge in case your own pet needs blood at some point. Pet Place has a partial list of pet blood banks in the United States. Ask your vet for information about where he gets blood if necessary. Your vet's office may even host a pet blood drive or you can place your pet on a volunteer list with your vet. Dogs that become donor members of a blood bank must be fairly large. The requirement states that the dog must weigh at least 50 pounds, be in good health and never received a blood transfusion. Each blood bank organization has their own requirements, but generally they want the dog to donate several times a year. Some of the donor organizations may offer benefits for your dog to be a member donor. You could get annual blood work done on your dog for free or at a great discount. You may even get other free or discounted veterinarian services if your dog is part of a blood donor program. It would sure give me peace of mind knowing that if my dog ever needed blood due to surgery or trauma it would be readily available. Too many dogs have probably lost their lives because a transfusion was not available or did not arrive in time. Let's hope that more of these animal blood donor banks will spring up. I luckily now know there is one close enough to me that my pets can avail of it if necessary. Be sure to check the list to see how close one is to you so that your pet can be helped if necessary.