BBC backlash: Pooch Perfect series slammed by RSPCA for ‘sending out a worrying message’

Pooch Perfect: BBC release trailer for dog grooming competition

Sheridan Smith fronts Pooch Perfect, a new BBC series which sees Britain’s hairiest hounded get a makeover as the hunt is on to find the best dog groomer in the country. 16 professionals will compete to see who can transform the pooches into smart dogs. However, the series has been slammed by the RSPCA as some of the dogs have had their hair dyed.

A trailer for the series shows one pooch showcasing bright blue ears with their fur being dyed by one of the groomers.

Unsurprisingly, this does not sit well with the animal welfare charity who worry some viewers could view their dogs as “fashion accessories”.

A vet was on the set of Pooch Perfect during filming but expert Dr Samantha Gaines is still concerned about the message being sent out to dog owners.

“We do not believe animals should be painted or dyed for cosmetic reasons,” she explained.

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Gaines added to Mirror Online: “Our pets are intelligent and sentient; treating them in this way sends out a worrying message that they are ours to objectify and treat as fashion accessories or toys.”

The BBC have defended the show insisting “the care and wellbeing of the dogs was of the upmost importance”.

A spokesperson explained: “On set we had an RSPCA approved Animal Welfare Consultant, a Grooming Consultant, and a Vet, to ensure that we put every precaution in place to keep the dogs safe and well.

“Every owner was asked if they were happy for their dogs to have some temporary colour put on them.

“When colour was used it was kept to a minimum, it washed out almost immediately and was only used in the minority of challenges to demonstrate specific areas of skill and creativity.”

They added all of the products used on the pooches was “animal safe and temporary”.

Host Smith has also detailed the role of resident vet Bolu, who ensures the dogs are happy and healthy.

She commented: “We have our lovely vet Bolu, he is a vet of small animal practice, so he knows dogs inside and out, and has his own little Bichon Frisé.

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“He is on set at all times to make sure all the dogs are happy and healthy, just in case one of the groomers finds something wrong with the dog’s fur or skin, then he is there to treat it.”

Smith continued: “Also we have our doggy welfare, which is a huge team there to make sure the dogs are ok, they have regular toilet breaks, regular walks and they always have water.

“The dogs are so well looked after, the whole show is catered around them to make sure they have a lovely day!”

Resident vet Bolu has also detailed their role on the series looking after the welfare of the dogs.

“This meant helping the groomers if they need any medical attention, whether that’s a lump or bump, and it means I can speak to the owners and advise them further,” Bolu remarked.

“Before filming I would examine the pets, and chat with the owners about any conditions the dogs had, and see if there was any issues the groomers needed to be aware of.

“Ultimately I was there as a guardian for the dogs to make sure they were happy and healthy.”

Pooch Perfect airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm.

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