AN Innerleithen dog is at the heart of a national campaign to encourage owners to take their pets to give blood.

World Blood Donor Day (Friday) sees Pet Blood Bank UK charity launch a promotional video featuring Yogi the dog, to highlight the difference canines can make by giving blood.

The seven-year-old Dobermann has given 15 donations so far, with every donation having the potential to save the lives of up to four dogs.

Yogi’s owner, Angela Graham, said: “I would encourage anyone who has a dog that meets the donor criteria to consider registering them.

"Yogi loves going to the sessions, getting spoiled with treats and cuddles from the team.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that you can give something back by allowing your dog to be a donor. I’m so proud of Yogi.”

According to a report carried out by Vets4Pets, only two in five owners are aware that their dogs can give blood, something which helps save thousands of lives every year in the UK.

The primary focus will be on dogs with a negative blood type, as only three in ten dogs eligible to give blood have this blood type.

Breeds that are most likely to have a negative blood type include Dobermans, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Greyhounds, and German Shepherds.

Vets4Pets Clinical Services Director, Dr Huw Stacey said: “Just like people, sick and injured dogs may need blood transfusions, and in most cases, it is the difference between life and death.”

And demand for blood is increasing across the nation. Last year, five thousand units of blood were sent out to UK vets.

Pet Blood Bank Clinical Director Wendy Barnett said: “Stocks are usually very low at this time of year.

"We hope by working with Vets4Pets it will help increase the numbers of people registering their dogs as donors.”

To be a lifesaving blood donor, dogs are required to be between one and eight years old and weigh more than 25 kilograms.

They must also have a good temperament and be up to date with all their vaccinations.

Dogs will not be eligible if they are on medication, or if they have travelled abroad.

A full list of donation locations can be found on the Pet Blood Bank website.