Could your dog save lives by becoming a doggy blood donor?

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Dogs owners are being urged to show their love for pooches on Valentine’s Day - by signing up their pet as a blood donor.

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group is holding a special Pet Blood Bank session at its Bletchley surgery on February 14.

The blood bank is a charity that provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practices across the UK.

They use the blood from healthy animals to help other pets in life-threatening emergencies. 

Jess McCarthy, veterinary nurse and session coordinator at the MK Veterinary Group, said: “My own dog, Westwood, almost needed a blood transfusion in an emergency situation as a young dog, I was so grateful that the vets were able to save his life.

“As thanks I am now committed to raising awareness and finding donors for the Pet Blood Bank.” 

Once Westwood recovered fully, he became a donor himself and now wears the Pet Blood Bank bandana with price, said Jess. 

To fit the doggie donor criteria a dog needs to be fit and healthy, aged between one and eight years old and weigh more than 25kg.

They should have a good temperament, be fully vaccinated and never been taken abroad.

All dogs will be weighed and undergo a physical examination each time they donate. Dogs will also be microchipped if they are not already. 

A small blood sample will be taken to check the dog’s health and determine their blood type before the donor blood is taken.

Just 450mls blood is collected and the process takes between five and ten minutes.

Jess said: “A light dressing will be applied to the dog’s neck after donation and their pulse is checked. They are then given lots of praise and cuddles, followed by a well‐deserved drink and bowl of food.

“They will even get a doggie bag of treats to take home!”

For more information about the Valentine’s Day donor session, which starts at 10am, contact the surgery on 01908 397777 and ask to speak to Jess. Alternatively register directly with Pet Blood Bank at www.petbloodbankuk.org