PORTLAND, Ore. – You know that people donate blood to help other people. But did you know that dogs can donate blood to help other dogs?

In honor of National Blood Donor Month, DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital is asking dog owners to volunteer their pups as blood donors. The Blood Bank is running low on several dog blood types, and new donors are needed.

Just one donation can help treat up to four dogs.

In order to become a donor, dogs must be one to six years old, 55 pounds or heavier, healthy and up to date on vaccines, and have a gentle disposition. The donation process is quick and painless.

“Dogs need blood for the same reasons that humans need blood donations,” said Blood Bank Program Director Jill Greene. “Trauma or certain types of cancer, they can have organ issues, with kidney or liver that require a blood transfusion, so it’s very similar to humans. The difference is that dogs don’t really know they are donating blood to other dogs so we give them a massage we give them treats, and they get to choose a toy out of the toybox.”

A dog will need to go through a screening process before they can be selected as a donor, and volunteers are asked to commit to giving blood for two years (four to six donations per year).

If your dog is selected, they will also receive some medical benefits.

Each year, the DoveLewis Blood Bank provides enough blood and plasma for more than 500 transfusions throughout Oregon and the United States.

If you are interested in having your dog become a donor, and to learn more visit here.