The general public’s awareness of, and attitude to, canine and feline blood donation is poorly understood. Increasing understanding of pet owners’ thoughts about donation may allow more effective blood donor recruitment. The aims of this study were to investigate pet owners’ awareness of small animal blood donation and their attitude and motivations regarding their pet being a blood donor. A mixed methods approach was used, with data collected from 158 pet owners attending a first-opinion veterinary clinic using a written questionnaire of closed and open questions. Most owners were unaware that dogs and cats could donate blood (70 per cent). However, 89 per cent stated they would be willing to let their pet donate blood if they were suitable. This was more likely if the owner did not work full time and less likely if they were aged over 71 years. Thematic analysis of owners’ motivations and deterrents towards pet blood donation resulted in four key themes: ‘Beneficence’, the desire to help others; ‘Necessity of service’, a recognition of the requirement for blood products; ‘Reciprocity’, a hope that if they participated this would result in blood products being available for their pet; and ‘Reservations and concerns’.
- owner attitudes to pets