The BBC has fiercely defended Pooch Perfect and insisted the dogs were not mentally or physically harmed during filming after viewers complained that the show sets a bad example to pet owners.
The new competition series, hosted by Sheridan Smith, sees 16 professionals compete in a bid to find Britain’s best dog groomer.
Each week, the teams reveal their creations on The Dogwalk, where the judges will deliberate over the canine contenders, and their owners are given the chance to see their newly transformed dogs for the first time.
As well as ‘transfurmations’, the show is packed full of useful information for dog lovers and owners, delivering top tips on responsible ownership, fun facts about dog breeds and a guide to at-home pooch pampering techniques.
Some audiences have expressed concern for the Pooch Perfect dogs’ welfare, however, the BBC has insisted that every precaution was taken throughout filming to ensure each individual dog’s health and safety.
‘Grooming is a healthy and necessary part of responsible dog ownership particularly with certain breeds,’ a spokesperson said.
‘Some breeds require more regular grooming than others to ensure that they can see properly, move easily, keep cool and breathe freely.
‘During the production process, the producers consulted with both the RSPCA and British Veterinary Association (BVA) to ensure best practise as regards animal welfare. Both organisations were given details of the proposed grooming challenges and both were happy to recommend individuals who then became part of the production team.
‘The Animal Welfare Consultant is himself an ex-RSPCA Officer, and was recommended by Dr Samantha Gaines of the RSPCA and our on-screen vet was suggested by Daniella Dos Santos, Senior Vice President, of the BVA.’
All the challenges were designed to highlight the skills and knowledge of the professional groomers taking part in the show, the corporation explained.
At no point did the animal welfare team feel there was any risk to the dogs’ welfare and all the dogs were monitored throughout to ensure they were happy, did not show signs of stress, that they had sufficient food and water and had adequate rest away from the studio environment.’
The BBC made it clear that any use of dye was strictly controlled and only used to highlight the groom and any use of colour was explained and contextualised for each groom.
All colour was temporary, animal safe and washed out almost immediately depending on the dog’s coat.
In one groom, the dogs were dressed in an outfit. These outfits were all ‘dog friendly’ and checked by the animal welfare team to ensure that they did not restrict the dog’s movements, that the dogs did not get too hot or caused them any discomfort.
Elsewhere, in challenges in which contestants used some small accessories to accentuate their grooms, every item was checked by the animal welfare team and only permitted if it passed their strict criteria and did not pose any risk to the dog.
A spokesperson added: ‘Throughout Pooch Perfect, it is made clear that the contestants are professional groomers and that dog owners should not try these creative grooms at home.
‘Every precaution was taken throughout filming to ensure each individual dog’s welfare and the production team firmly believes every dog was well treated and that no dog was harmed physically or mentally by the process.’
Pooch Perfect continues tonight at 8pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.