VICTORIA -- An emergency animal hospital in Langford is hosting a dog blood drive at its clinic Saturday.

The Westcoast Animal Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital (WAVES) has partnered with the Canadian Animal Blood Bank in order to encourage pet owners to help support the community’s canine blood supply.

According to Dr. Erinne Branter, owner of WAVES and an internal medical specialist, animal blood is always in demand, like it is in human medicine.

“Animals need blood as often as we do,” said Branter.

Branter says that any blood donations gathered in Langford will also be shared throughout the country. Similarly, other veterinary hospitals that have blood clinics also share their resources across Canada.

“(It) essentially creates a pool of blood for animals across Canada,” she said.

The donations themselves take about 10 to 15 minutes. To qualify to give blood, a dog must be generally calm, and be between one and eight years of age and weigh a minimum of 55 pounds.

Branter says that most dogs tolerate the donation “very well” and are able to go about the rest of their day.

During a blood donation, dogs will also be given a full medical examination.

“And they get to go home with a treat and a scarf,” said Branter.

WAVES is hosting its blood drive on Saturday and is planning on hosting another one in December.

Most animals can donate blood once every three months. The veterinary hospital says it is also developing plans for a cat blood drive.

“I think if you’re lucky enough to have a nice healthy, calm dog … that can save up to three other dogs’ lives, I think that’s an important thing to do,” said Branter.

The pet blood drive is taking place on Aug. 15 at WAVES, located at 947 Langford Pkwy.