The BBC has come out in defence of Pooch Perfect, its new dog competition reality show hosted by actress Sheridan Smith.
The broadcaster’s latest output has come under fire from viewers for setting a “bad example” for dog owners.
In a statement, the BBC said: “Grooming is a healthy and necessary part of responsible dog ownership particularly with certain breeds. Some breeds require more regular grooming than others to ensure that they can see properly, move easily, keep cool and breathe freely.
“For example, Brachycephalic dogs (like the Shih Tzus seen in episode one) need more regular grooming to prevent them from overheating due to their shorter snouts. During the production process, the producers consulted with both the RSPCA and British Veterinary Association (BVA) to ensure best practise as regards animal welfare.”
They added: “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.|