The need for pet blood donors is being spotlighted as part of a national campaign.
Vets say the need for pets to require a blood transfusion can’t be ignored.
And owners are being urged to check with their vet if their cat or dog is eligible to donate life-saving blood.
The moves comes as part of National Blood Week, which started on Monday, and which stresses the need for more human donors.
Britons are being reminded that the UK needs some 200,000 new donors each year to meet demand.
But vets are concerned that a less familiar reminder is the need to provide donations for pets too.
Andrew Bucher, chief veterinary officer at pet healthcare retailer MedicAnimal, said: “Being told your pet needs a blood transfusion is probably one of the last things an owner might expect to hear from a vet.
“Yet it’s something that can’t be overlooked. Issues such as accidents, anaemia or leukaemia could result in your pet needing such treatment.
“Like humans, donating blood is something we may brush off and never get round to, but you never know when your cat or dog might need a transfusion. I urge owners to talk to their vet or go online to see if their animal is eligible.”
MedicAnimal gives these tips for anyone considering whether their pet could become a donor:
Dogs - must be aged between one and eight; weigh more than 25kg; never have been abroad; be up to date with vaccinations; never have had a transfusion. The dog will be fine after 24 hours or so volume of blood taken could take about two months to be replaced.
Cats - be aged between one and five; weigh more than 4kg; be fully vaccinated and calm when visiting places such as the vets.
Mr Bucher said: “More than 1,000 dogs needed a transfusion last year.
“The donation process takes five to 10 minutes. It is simple, painless and you will be helping another pet across the UK.”