Can My Dog Be a Blood Donor?

Your dog being a blood donor might sound silly. But, there are thousands of dogs each day who need a blood transfusion. Dogs who have cancer, who have been hit by a car, or have another accident or condition, often require blood. And, how do they get it? Usually via blood donor doggies.

There are few blood banks for dogs, though. Most small clinics depend on the help of large clinics when they have a patient who needs blood.

What’s the Process?

The process for a dog blood donor is generally the same as ours. Your dog donates blood and it’s checked for blood-borne diseases. Dogs also have different blood types like we do- so that’s checked too. And, like us, one blood type is universal (O-).

The process usually goes like this:

  1. You visit the clinic.
  2. The blood is taken from the jugular vein in the neck.
  3. Your dog does not require any anesthesia to donate blood. And, the process usually only takes about 30 minutes.

That’s it. Some veterinarians even offer a discount to those who donate blood. So, on your next visit or if your dog ever needs emergency care, you can get it at a discounted rate.

Of course, dogs who are timid or are scared at the vets office are not good blood donor candidates. But, if your dog is outgoing at the vet’s office, and not anxious, he could be a dog who saves another.

What Else Does My Dog Need to Be a Blood Donor?

  • Many veterinarians recommend a dog be a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • The dog blood donor candidate must be healthy, and at a normal weight.
  • Short-haired dogs are preferred because they’re easier to clean and less likely to move bacteria from their fur into the blood.
  • Dogs should also be between 1 and 9 years of age.

How Can My Dog Donate Blood?

If you’re interested in having your dog donate blood, contact one of the blood banks below to find out how:

Or, you can even go talk to your vet and see where the closet blood donation program is.

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Unexpected Christmas Dangers for Dogs

There holidays are fun, and we love to include our dogs in our Christmas festivities! But, there could be some unexpected dangers we don’t usually think about… the main danger… batteries!

Batteries

With all of those Christmas presents, some of them probably require batteries. Batteries are sometimes left on the floor. Or taken out of our children’s toys. Or awaiting placement inside a toy. But, this makes them easier for our dogs to get ahold of.

If your dog eats a battery, you’re likely going to be looking at surgery during the holidays. On top of being a foreign object in your dog’s body, there is a moderate to severe level of toxicity associated with batteries.

Then… there’s another scenario. What if your dog chews them up? The battery acid could result in chemical burns in your dog’s esophagus.

If you do have any type of poison emergency, you should call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA hotline at 855-764-7661.

Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs

We all know there’s plenty of chocolate around at Christmas time. And although it affects all dogs differently, we don’t want to take the chance that our dog will be the one it affects.

There’s a chemical called theobromine in chocolate. It’s toxic to dogs. And, can cause complications even from consuming the smallest amount.

The darker the chocolate, the higher the theobromine content.

Xylitol in Many Sweets

Chocolate isn’t the only candy that presents a danger. Other sweets may contain a common sweetener known as Xylitol. It’s not harmful to us, but can be extremely toxic to our dogs.

Sweets, chewing gums, mouthwashes and toothpaste all contain Xylitol.

Xylitol stimulates the release of excess insulin from the pancreas resulting in low blood sugar, and even liver damage.

Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargic behavior or coma. The signs might not be immediately noticeable.

Extra Tips

  • If you have a natural Christmas tree, don’t let your dog drink the water in the stand. The pine sap in the water can be dangerous if ingested.
  • The tinsel can also be dangerous. If your dog ingests tinsel, there are all kinds of complications that could occur.
  • Don’t leave candles lying around. The candles could easily be knocked over when your dog is playing… or even just walking by.
  • Keep your dogs away from the poinsettias as they can cause upset stomach and vomiting if ingested.

Are You Afraid to Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

Most dog lovers are deathly afraid of cutting their dog’s nails. We often worry about cutting too far, and hurting our dog.

Sometimes, our dogs are so active we don’t even have to worry about cutting their nails. But, in the winter time, even active dogs might need their nails trimmed.

Do I Have to Cut My Dog’s Nails?

Yes, unfortunately. You do.

Eventually, your dog’s nails will become so long it pains him to walk.

When a dog with long nails walks, her nails push against the hard surface forcing pressure on her nail bed.

This could force the toes to be pushed side-to-side. And, result in the paws being sore.

Ok, Let’s Get To It: The Nail Cutting Begins

The guillotine-type nail trimmers are often painful to our dogs, and they crush our dog’s toes. Nail scissors for dogs usually aren’t painful, and they’re easier to use. Either way, if you use the guillotine-type or the scissors, make sure you keep them sharp.

If you really want an easy way to trim your dog’s nails, you might want to try the nail grinder by FURminator.

How to Use the Grinder

Most dog lovers are new to the dog nail grinder. If you want step-by-step directions on how to use the nail grinder, this video is a must-watch.

What If I Hit the Quick?

Of course, this is our biggest worry. We don’t want to hit the quick. If you do hit the quick, you can use corn starch or Qwik Stop to stop the bleeding.

What If My Dog is Afraid of Me Cutting His Nails?

To get your dog comfortable with nail cutting, you should first get her used to you handling her paws.

When you’re petting her, pet her legs. If she’s okay with you petting her legs, move to her paws. Gently petting them. Eventually, she should let you touch her paws comfortably.

You might also need to get him used to the nail trimmer. Slowly introduce the method you chose (guillotine, scissors or grinder) by holding his paw and clipping one nail.

If your dog is okay with you clipping one nail, continue to do the others. If not, give her a treat for being still while you cut one nail, and then give her a break. Try again in an hour or two.

This is a process, and it’s not natural for them. In the wild, their nails would naturally be filed with their ‘wild activities.’ Be sure to be patient. And, remember to praise your dog for doing a good job.

General Tips for Nail Trimming

  • Make sure to cut the nails in a well-lit area
  • Don’t overtrim the nail
  • Don’t squeeze his toes– ouch!
  • Associate your dog’s good behavior with nail trimming… with treats, love and praise.
  • Check your dog’s nails every 2-3 weeks

Get Started Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Trimming nails can be worrisome for us. But, our dogs can get used to nail trimming. And, with time and patience, nail trimming can become just another routine task.

Thundershirt Eases Anxiety

The Thundershirt applies a gentle, but constant, pressure to your dog’s body to ease her anxiety throughout different situations. Of course, the Thundershirt often helps dogs get through thunderstorms (which is why it’s called the thundershirt)… but it can also help decrease separation anxiety… or anxiety in general.

The Thundershirt is often recommended before you begin trying any kind of medication. After all, if the Thundershirt helps, why would we want to medicate our dogs?

To read more about the Thundershirt, click here.

 

Dogs Who Shed, and Ones Who Don’t

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