When people think of exploiting animals for entertainment, they often think of circus and zoo animals, racehorses, big cats at cub petting attractions, and so on. It seems like pets, which most people see as family, would be off-limits. Sadly, this is not the case. Many people still view these animals as accessories rather than beings that live, breathe, and feel things. This leads people to put the appearance of their pet before the needs of that pet, which can lead to unnecessary pain, suffering, and discomfort. A new Australian television show displays this exact behavior.

On “Pooch Perfect” dog owners compete against each other to see who can groom their pets the best. However, this isn’t normal, healthy grooming. It involves dyes, feathers, and other accessories to turn their dogs into different scenes and animals. The risks associated with extreme grooming under pressure can include toxic shock poisoning, stress, and allergic reactions. Even if the dyes are pet-friendly, dyeing a dog’s fur is still unnatural and uncomfortable for a dog. They can change the smell of the dog’s fur and interfere with how other animals or people treat them, which can increase psychological distress. Furthermore, the dogs are forced to be still for hours during the grooming process.

Source: Clevver News/YouTube

Dr. Samantha Gaines, an RSPCA dog welfare expert, commented, “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.”

Animals cannot consent to these unnecessary alterations to their natural states. They deserve respect and shouldn’t be props for a television show. This kind of “entertainment” could influence other people to dye their dogs without looking into proper safety measures, which could also lead to life-threatening burns. Sign this petition to urge the Australian Communications and Media Authority to flag this show as animal abuse and start making changes to the laws relating to animals in the media!

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