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10 animal TV picks

Featuring ‘Bear’ a koala-saving dog, and the return of the infamous Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick, we’ve put together a fur-lined selection of shows to warm the hearts of animal enthusiasts and those, well, less enthusiastic alike.

Have a browse of our 10 animal TV picks.

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs - Back in Business - ITV

It’s eight years since Paul O’Grady first visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for this much-loved ITV series and during that time he has followed the stories of countless four (and occasionally three) legged friends that have come and gone through its doors.

But he’s never been to the famous animal shelter at quite such an extraordinary moment in its history.

This 60-minute special, airing on ITV on Wednesday [15 July], sees the charity in a race against time to find homes for dogs and cats before the sites close to the public because of the pandemic.

What they say: ‘Any time Paul O’Grady leaves Battersea Dogs Home, he’s likely to have a stray dog tucked inside his jacket.’ Radio Times


The Supervet: Noel Fitzpatrick - Channel 4

Noel Fitzpatrick is no ordinary vet. He is the Supervet, using the very latest cutting edge technology to help injured and poorly pets.

The Channel 4 fixed rig fly on the wall documentary series has been following Fitzpatrick and his team of world-class specialists in Surrey since 2014.

It’s fascinating, heartwarming stuff, but not even the Supervet can save every beloved animal brought to his practice, so it’s heartbreaking too. Tissues at the ready.

What they say: ‘This smouldering surgeon and his poochy patients are enough to make you swoon.’ London Evening Standard


Our Yorkshire Farm - Channel 5

Channel 5 returns for a third series to Ravenseat Farm to follow the fortunes of the ‘Yorkshire Shepherdess’ Amanda Owen, her husband Clive and their nine children.

Amanda gave up the city life to become a farmer, looking after a 1,000-strong flock of sheep on the family’s 2,000-acre hill farm in the north of the Yorkshire Dales.

The new series, which begins on Tuesday [14 July], joins them as winter approaches and Clive requires a hip replacement.

What they say: ‘A sweet, cheerful little peek into what looks to be a happily chaotic life lived in a hard-edged, but beautiful rural idyll.’ Radio Times

Bear: Koala Hero - Sky Nature

Bear: Koala Hero is the extraordinary true story of the dog who can sniff out animals from huge distances.

Bear saved countless animals during the bushfires that raged through Australia last year and this documentary tells the story of the four-legged hero’s efforts to protect koalas in southern Queensland.

The bright-eyed koolie - or Australian herding dog - can sniff out koala bears by the smell of their fur even when they are high up in faraway treetops. Presenter Tyson Mayr is here to tell this astonishing tale.

What they say: ‘We think we can all agree that Bear is, indeed, a very, very good boy.’ Metro

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The Zoo - Eden

The Zoo offers viewers a fascinating insight into the work of the keepers and the exotic animals they care for at Dublin Zoo.

Filming first began at the zoo in 2010, giving viewers a peak behind the scenes at one of the Irish capital’s most popular attractions.

All aspects of zoo life is here, from tigers undergoing emergency dental surgery to gorillas giving birth, from a conservation project in India to Hedgehog Rescue in Dublin, there’s never a dull moment.

What they say: ‘The highs and lows of life behind the scenes with the animals and staff at Dublin Zoo.’ What’s On TV


Best of Crufts - Channel 4

Channel 4’s compilation series about the world’s biggest and most prestigious dog show is an absolute treat.

Presenter Clare Balding and her Tibetan terrier Archie present some of the best moments from 10 years of the Kennel Club event on Channel 4.

The frenetic to and fro of Flyball is our favourite, but there’s so much to enjoy in this comprehensive retrospective. It’s anything but a dog’s life.


What they say: ‘High doggy drama indeed.’ Daily Telegraph

Wild Tales from the Farm - Sky Nature

This four-part documentary series on Sky Nature takes a different approach to filming life on a working farm.

Wild Tales from the Farm promises to ‘unlock the natural wonders and hidden drama of an idyllic farm’, following farm animals’ struggles in the most crucial months of the year.

Narrated by Hugh Bonneville, life on the farm will never seem quite the same again.

What they say: ‘A nature documentary filmed right here in the UK, this series shows that our familiar farmyard friends can be just as unpredictable as their wild animal counterparts.’ Radio Times

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Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly - Channel 5

Graeme Hall is a man on a mission, to take long-suffering dog owners whose whose pets are behaving badly and put them both on the straight and narrow.

The dapper dog trainer uses all his skills and experience to help solve every problem imaginable (and some that aren't), from aggression to anxiety, from faithful friends grieving for their best pal to one dog that won’t stop stealing its owner’s underwear.

It’s all about the journey - some take longer than others - and it’s fascinating to watch the self-styled ‘Dogfather’ work his magic.

What they say: ‘Reminds any prospective dog owner casually considering taking one into their home that canines can, well, behave very badly indeed.’ Independent


David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities - Yesterday

There is only one David Attenborough and the godfather of natural history television shares his favourite natural curiosities from throughout the animal kingdom.

Always fascinating and occasionally mind-blowing, Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities shines a light on nature’s unexpected anomalies.

This 27-episode treasure trove is a natural history tales of the unexpected, from the story of the giraffe’s neck and the chameleon’s extraordinary tongue to the wonder of the weaver bird’s nest and a frozen frog that comes back from the dead.

What they say: ‘Natural Curiosities has become an understatement. This programme just graduated to "Natural Wonders”.’ Independent


Celebrity Snoop Dogs - Channel 4

Channel 4’s four-legged peak behind closed doors sees a variety of dogs wandering through celebrities’ homes with a camera attached.

The dog’s eye view provides viewers with clues as to who the famous owner might be, while expert commentary on all aspects of their home is provided by Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud.

Programme-makers came up with lots of ways of coping with the various lockdown restrictions imposed during the pandemic, but not many were quite so unexpected - or generated as many headlines - as this.

What they say: ‘So absurd it might actually be genius.’ Guardian


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