Can your dog give blood?


When I was approached by Pet Blood Bank UK, to enquire if we may be interested in including a blog article on pet blood donation, I was eager to help spread the word.

Just like us, dogs often require blood transfusions if they are sick or injured, which is why in 2007 Pet Blood Bank UK was formed and they are the first and only animal blood bank charity in the UK.

Can your dog give blood?


How many dog owners consider offering their dogs as blood donors? In all my years of dog ownership, it really is nothing that I had considered before.

Emergencies that require blood transfusions

  • Surgery
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Rat poisoning
  • Anemia
  • Sepsis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Bleeding in the stomach
  • Low platelet count
  • Gastric torsion

Criteria for blood donors

  1. Your dog should ideally be aged between one and eight years old
  2. Be fit and healthy.
  3. Not be taking any medication.
  4. Be up to date on both flea/ worm treatments and vaccinations
  5. Have not previously received a blood transfusion
  6. Weigh more than 25kg
  7. Have a good temperament
  8. Easy to handle
  9. Never travelled abroad.


How long does the procedure take?

Once your dog has received a full veterinary check, a small amount of fur will be clipped away from the needle site on the neck. The area is cleaned and some local anesthetic cream will be applied to minimise the needle sensation. During the process, your dog will be comforted and stroked and if at any time, they seem under duress, the procedure will be stopped.  It takes 5 – 10 minutes for a dog to donate 450ml of blood.

Different blood types

Different blood types

Like us, dogs have different blood types and in the UK we test for DEA 1 positive and negative.  With only 30% of dogs having a negative blood type, keeping up with demand can be challenging.  Research by Pet Blood Bank shows that certain breeds of dogs are more likely to be negative blood type and it is these dogs that the charity particularly needs to come forward.

The breeds are:

  • Airedales
  • American Bulldogs
  • Border Collies
  • Boxers
  • Dobermans
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Bull Terriers
  • Flat-Coated Retrievers
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Greyhounds
  • Lurchers
  • Old English Sheepdogs
  • Pointers
  • Weimaraners

Following the procedure

Once the dog has given blood, they will be given a snack, water and time to relax. The blood is then taken to the charity’s center, where it is processed and stored until it is required.

Your dog is then presented with a red bandana to show that they have donated. A lovely touch, which when worn, could help to encourage other owners to put their pooches forward.

If you would like further details, please contact Pet Blood UK on the link provided at the beginning of this article.

Rescue Dogs / Bringing a Rescue Dog Home

Bringing a Rescue Dog Home

There is nothing quite so rewarding as rehoming a shelter dog and with  thousands in rescue centres up and down the country, not only are you offering them a loving home, but you are also making room for another dog who is equally deserving.

Under resourced

Rescue centres are under resourced and often overcrowded and some shelters only have a limited time before euthanasia is considered.  Older dogs and those will health issues are often overlooked and it is they that are most likely put to sleep if homes cannot be found.

What to consider before adopting

Taking on any dog is a huge commitment and taking on a rescue dog can be a little more challenging.

The majority of dogs end up in rescue through no fault of their own.  Breakdown of marriages, moving overseas, ill health of their owners or in some cases, they just may not go with the furniture.  Yes it can be as heartbreaking as that!, but in some cases dogs can have been left alone for long periods of time and have therefore developed some issues, but nothing can cannot be overcome.

Things to consider

If you live in rented accommodation, you should first check the terms and conditions of your lease.

  • Does your landlord allow pets
  • Is your home pet friendly
  • Do you have an adequate exercise area
  • Are you at work each day and if so, can you afford the expense of a dog walker each day
  • Vet fees.  Veterinary care can be expensive, but necessary when your pet(s) become ill

A good rescue center will undertake a home visit to check that your house is a suitable environment and you will need to consider that some dogs may not have been house trained meaning that your carpets may become soiled and your furniture may be at risk until they are fully trained.

Which rescue centre to choose

There are rescue centres up and down the country, but it is important to choose the right one.

Reputable shelters will:

  • Give each dog a health check before being collected
  • Be neutered or spayed
  • Vacinanted
  • Evaluate your circumstances and suitability
  • Match you to a suitable dog
  • Provide guidance and support if required

The decision to take on any dog should be considered carefully and the whole family should be in agreement.  By rehoming a rescue dog you are taking on their history and they must be given time to adjust.

Dog ownership in an enormous responsibility.  You are also offering the dog a second change at happiness and deserve to be rehomed in an environment where they will be loved and cared for and they will reward you a thousand fold.




The Cruelty Behind The Traps

There is a hidden side to greyhound racing which race goers will never see. This includes painful injuries; kennels not fit for purpose, lack of socialisation and wanton neglect to name but a few!

This money driven industry, with its poorly maintained tracks, cause frequent injuries to these beautiful dogs and thousands will die or vanish each year that are deemed ‘surplus to requirements’. Their bodies have been found dumped in mass graves, often with their ears cut off to avoid identification.

In 2010 Government regulations were introduced to address these problems, but The League Against Cruel Sports states that they are woefully inadequate.

As a result of over breeding and the demand for better performances, dogs that do not make the grade are cruelly disposed of, with their ears sliced off and often shot with a bolt gun,  while some are sold for experimental purposes.  Such a cruel and bloody end for dogs whose only crime is being ‘unfit for purpose’!

Greyhound racing remains big business, where profit is put above animal welfare and of course while the Government continues to rake in taxes, there is little hope of a change.  There is an old saying within the racing fraternity, ‘You bet, they die’, which is sadly true of such a barbaric sport.

People who patronise these races, are quick to point out how Greyhounds love to race, but there is no freedom of choice on the racetrack.  These dogs can reach speeds of up to 40mph and if they collide at full sprint they can receive such horrific injuries that they have to be destroyed.

Sadly, an early death is the fate of most dogs born into the racing industry and due to the vast number bred each year it is impossible to re home them all.  So until people wake up to the reality behind the traps, they will continue to suffer!

The biggest welfare challenge for the lucky dogs that survive the track,  is what to do when they do retire.  The normal age for retirement is 4 – 5 years of age and that does not account for the puppies who do not make the grade.

Sadly there is still public perception that Greyhounds do not make good pets and that they require to much exercise when in fact the opposite is true.

They are still misunderstood and make wonderful, placid pets and contrary to public belief, do not need that much exercising. In fact the majority of retired Greyhounds that have been through our hands as pet sitters, only required a twenty to thirty minute walk, twice a day.  In the course of our dog walking duties, we would often enter the clients home, to find them feet up, sound asleep in a comfy bed and those dogs from the racing industry, often retire early, so have many years ahead of them.

Greyhounds make lovely pets

One word of caution however, a Greyhounds instinct is to chase, so they may require training in order that that can live happily with small pets, but we have cared for quite a few of these lovely dogs, who happily live with cats.

I cannot praise these dogs highly enough. They have been a joy to walk (although vigilance is required when spotting a squirrel or passing little furry), docile, biddable and an all round lovely companion, so next time you are looking to re-home a low maintenance dog, why not contact The Retired Greyhound Trust, who will be more than happy to match you with an appropriate dog.


Animal Cruelty

I honestly believe that introducing ‘animal welfare’ into the school curricula will undoubtedly see a decrease in animal cruelty. I would therefore please ask all visitors and clients to sign and share our petition to ‘Introduce Animal Welfare into the School Curriculum’.

Animals have encouraged the moral and personal development of children, bringing social benefits to their communities. Scientific research has also proved the health benefits as well as promoting a general feeling of wellbeing.

Animals also bring out the nurturing instinct of a child and help them to understand the responsibility of owning a pet.

Therapeutic and educational benefits have been identified, especially benefitting those children with special needs. Their calming affect can also help to reduce stress, improve concentration and help to boost self esteem.

There may not be a ‘quick fix’ for animal abuse, but educating our children how to better care for our animals is a start. I would therefore ask EVERY person who reads this article, to PLEASE sign our petition. We can force change and we CAN make a difference. It is easy to tut tut at the horrific images of animal abuse, or feel sickened by the puppy who has just been put to sleep having been thrown from a motorway bridge!

I am therefore asking people to put their pen where their mouth is and to force our government to make animal welfare education part of the school curricula. Together, we can and will make a difference.

Saving Chloe

As an active member of a pet forum, I was appalled to hear of Chloe’s story.

Chloe is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued by a lovely member of from what looked to be a puppy farm. She was only four days away from having her puppies, when the despicable ‘owner’ decided she wanted to get rid of her. Someone alerted the forum member to Chloe’s plight and money was raised to bring the poor dog  to safety.

She was vastly underweight, extremely matted and extremely  fearful of humans.  The wonderful forum member who so kindly took responsibility for Chloe,  has helped her through her birth and both mother and puppies are doing wonderfully well.

Another pregnant bitch called Bonnie, was in a similar situation – she was also heavily pregnant and  being sold  by the SAME person, however when forum members enquired about Bonnie, they discovered that she had already been sold.  Her whereabouts sadly remain unknown.

The following petition is to protest against the sale of pregnant bitches.  Chloe and her puppies  are now enjoying the comfort of a safe and loving home.  The same cannot be said for Bonnie, who’s whereabouts its unknown.

PLEASE SUPPORT this petition by visiting and please do not  forget to invite your friends and family to join this group.

Thank you.

Just a quickie!

Here in the office we often receive the odd strange request, some of which are not to be taken seriously!  However, the most recent (a couple of hours ago), really took the biscuit.

A gentleman calling himself Mr Shere Khan, asked if we could care for a one eyed, incontinent anaconda during June – PLEASE.  I rather think that my reply stole his thunder when I explained that our current insurance would not cover this type of pet!  Needless to say the conversation was hastily terminated!!!

Did I ever tell you that a pet sitters life is never dull!

Iams – cruelty beyond belief!

by Lucy Johnson

A major sponsor of Crufts dog show has carried out horrific experiments on animals, it can be revealed today. Thousands of weekend holiday visitors to the famous show at the NEC in Birmingham will be shocked to learn the truth about IAMS, a pet food made by Procter and Gamble.

The Sunday Express has uncovered damning evidence of gruesome tests performed on dogs and cats during the development of the product, which is being heavily promoted at the event. IAMS has also been backed by the RSPCA – but after being told of our findings the animal welfare charity said it would sever all ties.
Last night Crufts organisers launched their own investigation and were considering removing a stand sponsored by Procter and Gamble. In supermarkets and pet shops across Britain, IAMS is being marketed as a breakthrough in animal health care and nutrition.

But our investigation as revealed that hundreds of animals suffered incredible agony in experiments designed to perfect IAMS. A huge dossier of research papers exposes how scientists deliberately induced kidney failure and other conditions in dogs and cats. Some experiments involved performing operations on healthy animals which were later killed.

Last night animal activists and MPs condemned the research.

Campaigner and comedy writer Carla Lane said: “It is horrifying to think people are buying pet food that involves so much experimentation. You don’t have to harm animals to find out what’s good for them to eat.”

And Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said: “It’s ironic to say the least that a company which purports to care for animal is conducting abhorrent animal experiments behind closed doors. Perhaps they should list their experiments on their labels and then see how much they sell.”

Animal rights organisation Uncaged Campaigns is to stage a protest at Crufts, distributing leaflets and waving banners highlighting “the suffering behind the science” and urging a boycott. Director Dan Lyons said: “Even the people representing IAMS at the show are unlikely to know they are promoting a company that inflicts pain and death on animals. Once they see the evidence they will be as appalled as anyone else.”

The protest is likely to embarrass the show’s organisers who boast a star studded guest list, including Coronation Street’s Roy Barraclough (Alec Gilroy), actress Susan George and Eastenders Martin Kemp (Steve Owen) and Pam St Clements (Pat Butcher).

Details of the experiments are buried in obscure scientific papers uncovered by the Sunday Express and Uncaged Campaigns.

In one experiment, 24 young dogs had their right kidneys removed and the left partly damaged to investigate how protein affects dogs with kidney failure. Eight dogs were killed to analyse the kidney tissue. Dogs which became sick were not treated because it would have undermined the test results.

In another test, the stomachs of 28 cats were exposed so scientists could analyse the effects of feeding them fibre. The animals were operated on for at least two hours and then killed.

The research team sterilised 24 female cats, which were then over-fed until they became obese. They were then starved on a crash diet and when they had lost at least 30 per cent of their weight their livers were examined to investigate the link between weight loss and liver disease. The company also sponsored research in which 14 husky puppies were repeatedly injected with live virus vaccines and allergy-causing proteins for the first 12 weeks of their lives. They developed permanent illnesses in the test, which was designed to see how severely allergic they could become.

Twelve huskies, 12 poodles and 12 labradors were regularly given chest wounds to see if diet could affect fur regrowth. This was justified in the study on the grounds that “dogs are enjoyable to touch and look at… Dogs with coat problems are simply not handled as much.”

Dr Dan Cary, Director of technical communications for IAMS said that his company cared about the welfare of animals. He justified the scientific studies as being carried out to save pets from illnesses and improve physical well-being. He said: “Our mission is to enhance the health of dogs and cats. We take their welfare extremely seriously during the studies and don’t enter into research lightly. All our studies have to be valid science and we have to be sure they are never repeated as it is wasteful of animal time.”
Lucy Johnson, Sunday Express 27th May 2001.

The following is a list of all pet food companies that do not test on animals –

Gordon Ramsey, Yawn!

Will someone PLEASE explain why Gordan Ramsey is such an attention seeker. From what I can gather he has written some wonderful vegetarian recipes, and now is he on another self publicising mission turning vegetarians into meat eaters!

Real vegetarians would have been sick eating meat for the first time in years. I am a veggie, I do not promote it, it is MY choice. So WHY are we pilloried for choosing not to eat meat?

I really am extremely angry about this. I do not like him, and I find some of his remarks and actions despicable. Killing and eating their pet pig in front of the children, yet another act to draw attention to himself. I also note another Gordan Ramsey story in the Mail today. Apparently killing a Puffin, ripping out its heart and eating it raw!

Someone give me a gun PLEASE grrrrrrgrrrrrrgrrrrrrgrrrrrr Anyone for Ramsey on toast.

Hopping Mad!

Although I was working this morning, I planned to have my first afternoon off this year!

I was driving to my last appointment when I spied a baby rabbit sitting hunched up in the middle of the road. I tried blasting my horn, but after a few minutes I realised that this was a very sick little bunny.

I put my hazard lights on, stopped the traffic and put bunny into the cat box I carry in my car. It’s eyes looked particularly swollen, an obvious sign of  myxomatosis.

I immediately called the local vets surgery, who unconcerned, informed me to put it back into the wild.  Should I take it in to the surgery, it would be immediately put to sleep!

I then contacted St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, who were horrified with this advice and stated that under NO circumstances should I put the poor creature back into the wild.  This course of action  would see it die a long and painful death, and added that this was a typical reaction from a vet!

An hour later, the rabbit was safety in the capable hands of the wild life hospital, who are hopeful that with treatment, she will pull through.

To say that I was angry is an understatement, since it was nothing but callousness to suggest I return the rabbit anywhere near that busy road. Not to mention it being pecked alive by the crows!

I am losing all faith in our veterinary system and hope to God, that this is not a typical reaction from our vets.  It is easy to drive around a road casualty, or worse still, run it over.  It only takes a little while to see that it gets the treatment which could potentially save its life.