A local veterinary clinic is looking for a few more dogs to donate blood and help other canines across the country.

The Weir Veterinary Service is hosting a dog blood donor clinic on October 20. The blood will go to the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, a not for profit based in Winnipeg, which provides blood to animals that need transfusion therapy. 

The blood bank is open for all veterinarians in Canada to use but veterinarian Kent Weir says the clinic hasn’t needed their services yet. Weir says he’s received some requests for the clinic but he needed a minimum number of dogs registered to hold the drive.

“This is the first one that’s been offered anywhere rural; most of them are done in the bigger centres like Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton.”

Weir says there are 12 different blood types in dogs however there is a unique aspect when it comes to blood transfusion.

“The cool thing about dogs is that usually, you can get what they call ‘one free’ transfusion before you have to worry about it. As long as the dogs have never had a transfusion before pretty much any blood will work.”

To be a donor, dogs must be 55 pounds or over, between one and eight years old, up to date on their vaccinations and must have a good temperament.

“We’re drawing a certain amount of blood and we need to make sure that the animal is able to handle that blood [being taken out] and also important is that we want to make sure that blood is coming from a healthy dog.”

Weir says the process will take about 20 minutes but it all depends on the dog. 

“Like humans, there is a need for blood products and in an emergency situation that can be a bit hard to find.”

Pet owners that are interested in registering their pet for the clinic can contact Weir Veterinary Service.