BBC show Pooch Perfect has been criticised for ‘sending a worrying message’ after some of the dogs were dyed bright colours.
The new series, which starts on Thursday and is hosted by Sheridan Smith, sees 16 dog groomers from around the UK compete by transforming family pets.
However in a promo video, some of the canines are seen sporting brightly coloured fur causing the RSPCA and British Veterinary Association to worry the show may suggest the animals are ‘accessories,’ reports The Mirror.
Controversial: New BBC show Pooch Perfect has been criticised for ‘sending a worrying message’ after some of the dogs were dyed bright colours (pictured is host Sheridan Smith)
On the show, the 16 groomers are competing to be crowned the nation’s Top Dog Groomer and win The Golden Stanley trophy.
They then have to face challenges such as the Breed Makeover and Dog Walk Challenge to test their skills and creativity.
As the series goes on, themes get harder and in some of the rounds the groomers use temporary colour, with a sneak peak being seen in the promo clip.
Although praising the show for having a vet present for filming, RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines told The Mirror: ‘We do not believe animals should be painted or dyed for cosmetic reasons.
‘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.’
Daniella Dos Santos, British Veterinary Association Senior Vice President, said in a statement to MailOnline: ‘Grooming is important for pets to upkeep their coat and to keep them comfortable.
Not impressed: The RSPCA said the use of colour and dye on the canines ‘sends out a worrying message’ that pets are ‘fashion accessories’ (pictured one of the dogs on the show)
‘Most owners consider pets a part of the family, which is great, but we should remember that pets are not fashion accessories.
‘Owners should be aware that inappropriate anthropomorphism such as dyeing fur to match their ‘personality’ or otherwise unnaturally changing their appearance is not only unnecessary and potentially harmful, but in some cases can also prevent pets from expressing their natural behaviours.
‘We’d advise consulting your vet if you have any questions regarding pet grooming.’
A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: Throughout the filming of Pooch Perfect, the care and wellbeing of the dogs was of the upmost importance.
‘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.
‘All the products used were animal safe and temporary and they were used by professional groomers who have great experience of handling and managing dogs.’
The BBC also shared lots of detail about the show on their website, explaining that they spoke with several experts during filming and the dogs were always ‘cared for’.
Competition: The series, which starts on Thursday and is hosted by Sheridan Smith, sees 16 dog groomers from around the UK compete by transforming family pets
All dressed up: Groomers will take part in several rounds to test their creativity and skills
They explained: ‘Animal Welfare was incredibly important to us throughout the whole process and the production team was helped and guided by The Animal Welfare Consultancy who were recommended to us by the RSPCA.’
A Q&A section also explained that the colours used on the dogs’ fur were ‘vegan & eco-friendly’ and had been checked by the expert team.
It read: ‘The shampoo & conditioners were vegan & eco-friendly, concentrated, bio-degradable, pH balanced and contain no harmful chemicals or dyes.’
While going into even more detail, it explained: ‘The colours were created using either chalk (which is a natural product) or a vegetable/and or fruit based colouring which washes out almost immediately depending on the dog’s coat.
‘We also had a rule that no more than 20 per cent of the dog could be coloured. All the products used were very safe and temporary and they were used by professional groomers who have great experience of handling and managing dogs.’
‘Always cared for’: The BBC’s website also explained the colours used on the dogs’ fur were ‘vegan & eco-friendly’ and had been checked by the expert team (pictured is host Sheridan)
All safe: Ensuring animal safety, the colours used are said to have been made using ‘chalk or a vegetable/and or fruit based colouring’
It comes after 50 MPs demanded the BBC axe an ‘extremely irresponsible’ show about puppy breeding, which had the working title ‘Will My Puppies Make Me Rich?’
The controversial programme, renamed Britain’s Puppy Boom – Counting the Cost, will explore the rise of puppy breeding as a business among ‘aspirational, social media savvy’ Britons.
A number of animal rights advocates, including the RSPCA, have recently criticised the show for framing puppy breeding as an ‘ambitious’ business venture to undertake as a response to Covid-19 job losses.
MPs have written to BBC Director-General Tim Davie asking him to reconsider airing the film, which was commissioned last year following the BBC Three Pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Cute canine: A vet and other animal experts were used throughout filming
Coming soon: Perfect Pooch will start on Thursday January 7
There have also been recent protests from TV presenter Paul O’Grady, who hit out at the broadcaster’s ‘shameful’ decision to air a show about designer dogs.
The animal activist, 65, said the show could ‘encourage puppy farming,’ adding: ‘I only hope that the BBC come to their senses and take it off air immediately.’
However in a statement last month, the BBC said the film would be ‘underpinned by sound journalism, providing a balanced exploration of why more young people have become interested in turning their passion for dogs into a profession.’
Not impressed: It comes after 50 MPs demanded the BBC axe an ‘extremely irresponsible’ show about puppy breeding (pictured TV presenter Paul O’Grady who also hit out at the show)