Could your dog be a life saver?

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Dog owners are being asked to see if their pet is suitable to give blood.

Charity Pet Blood Bank UK (PBB UK) is urging people to mark World Blood Donor Day on Friday (June 14) by considering registering their dog to become a donor as well.

This year’s World Blood Donor Day theme is Give the gift of life: give blood – a message that applies equally to canine donors.

Katrina Wilkinson, from PBB UK said: “At a time when millions of people around the world are marking World Blood Donor Day and acknowledging the vital role of human donors, we’d urge people across the UK to also celebrate the role of our canine companions who donate blood too.

“It is vitally important to recognise the need for donated blood in veterinary care, and to acknowledge the canine donors who so regularly help save lives.”

Just like the human blood service, PBB UK relies on the support of donors. Dog owners who want to make a difference by helping to save ill and injured dogs across the country bring their canine companions to regular donor sessions, which are held nationwide. Every unit of blood collected can help save up to four dogs’ lives, saving thousands of dogs every year.

Katrina said: “With so many seriously ill and injured dogs needing veterinary care, we still need more donors so that we can provide blood for them and give them the best possible chance of a full recovery.”

The charity is particularly keen to recruit more Dobermans, Greyhounds, Boxers, German Shepherds, Flat Coated Retrievers, Airedale Terriers, Weimaraners, Lurchers, American Bulldogs, English Pointers, English Bull Terriers and Mastiffs.

A dog can become a donor, providing it meets certain criteria. It should: be aged between one and eight years old; weigh more than 25kg; have a good temperament; never have travelled abroad; be up to date on all vaccinations; be fit and healthy, and mustn’t be on any medication

Owners can find out more and register their dog for a future donor session on the PBB UK website at www.petbloodbankuk.org/pet-owners/register-your-dog

There will be dog donor sessions at the Northlands Vet Hospital, Occupation Road, Corby on Saturday, June 22, and at Oundle Vets, on Sunday, June 23.

Anyone thinking about bringing their dog along to a donor session or looking for more information on PBB UK should visit www.petbloodbankuk.org