MAN'S best friend can also give blood, residents are being reminded.

MedicAnimal, a leading online pet healthcare retailer, has compiled some tips on what owners need to know.

Among dogs giving blood this week at Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital was Labrador Pete, six.

Owner Marc Evans, a journalist from Bloxham, said: "These donations save dogs' lives and Pete loves it because he gets lots of treats."

Andrew Bucher, chief veterinary officer at MedicAnimal, said: "Being told that your pet requires a blood transfusion is probably one of the last things an owner may expect to hear from a vet, yet it’s something that cannot be overlooked.

"Issues such as accidents, anaemia or leukaemia could result in your pet needing to be given a transfusion.

"Like humans, donating blood is something we may brush off and never get around to, but as you never know when your dog may need it, I’d urge all owners to speak to their vet or go online."

Dogs must be aged between one and eight years old, weigh over 25kg and be in good health.

They cannot have travelled abroad, must be up to date with their vaccines and have never received a transfusion.

There are 13 different blood types in dogs and eight blood groups that are most commonly seen.

According to the charity Pet Blood Bank UK, more than 1,000 dogs needed a blood transfusion last year

Mr Bucher added: "The blood donation process takes about five to 10 minutes, but you should allow for up to 30 to 40 minutes at a blood collection session.

"It’s simple, painless and you’ll be helping another pet across the UK."

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