The BBC has defended Pooch Perfect, saying “no dog was harmed physically or mentally” while making the TV show.
The series, presented by Sheridan Smith, sees dogs get a makeover as part of the competition to find Britain’s best dog groomer.
The BBC received “complaints from viewers who felt the premise of the programme sets a bad example to pet owners”.
It said in a statement that “the producers consulted with both the RSPCA and British Veterinary Association (BVA) to ensure best practice as regards animal welfare…
“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.”
— Pooch Perfect UK (@poochperfectuk) December 26, 2020
The statement, on the BBC’s complaints website, said that “of the 20 challenges across the series, four made use of some form of limited temporary colour.
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“Any use of colour was strictly controlled and only used to highlight the groom… All colour was temporary, animal safe and washed out almost immediately depending on the dog’s coat.”
It added: “In one groom, the dogs were dressed in an outfit. These outfits were all ‘dog friendly’ and checked by the animal welfare team”.
The competition heats up as our groomers tackle the Welsh Terrier in the first of our Quarter Finals! There may even be some stripping involved! 👀 Thursday at 8pm on BBC One. #PoochPerfect #handsripping #welshterrier pic.twitter.com/vRaKq8P7B8
— Pooch Perfect UK (@poochperfectuk) February 2, 2021
“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.”
Every owner was contacted after the series finished filming “and reported that their dogs were happy and healthy, had enjoyed the process and had not suffered any ill effects,” the BBC said.
Throughout the BBC One series, the show made clear that the contestants are professional groomers and that dog owners should not try these creative grooms at home, the statement added.
The “production team firmly believes every dog was well treated and that no dog was harmed physically or mentally by the process.”
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