It’s that time of year again when some of the most pampered, best-groomed dogs in the world take part in
. But while the pooches got ready to go on parade,
Tess Daly
was there yesterday to raise awareness of one of the nastiest and most widespread diseases our canine friends can get –

Tess and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon were at the show to encourage dog owners to protect their pets against the disease which can be fatal if left unchecked. 

“We here to promote the Be Lungworm Aware campaign which is all about keeping your dog safe,” said Tess, who owns a Maltese shitzu. “As any dog owner or dog lover knows, their safety is your priority. It’s about making owners aware that this parasite that causes lungworm is easy to pick up and cases are on the rise.”

“Lungworm is a parasite that your dog can be infected by if they do something like eat a snail or slug by accident,” added Alesha, the owner of three dogs. “If infected, the effects are horrific. It can cause bleeding, vomiting, coughing and can be fatal.”

One in 20 dogs contracts it,” said Tess. “A lot of dogs die without owners realising what caused it. Take care of your doggies by taking them for regular check-ups.”

Also, at the show yesterday, Tess responded to comments made by her husband Vernon Kay saying that he would “seriously consider” an offer to compete on Strictly.

“We’ve never asked him to be on the show,” she said. “But I would need a baby sitter!”

Alesha then said teased: 
“You could do it for Comic Relief. You and Vernon step onto the floor. The best-looking couple.”

Tess replied: “Oh, there’s an idea. Eek! Shut up Alesha. He can move though, so he might be alright. Me, I’m terrible.”

She added that she was excited to see who would be top dog for The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief – where members of the public get to strut their stuff for charity.

“It’s been incredible. We filmed the show a couple of days ago, when the contestants danced together in the studio and it was the most emotional thing any of us who have worked on the show for ten years have ever done,” she said.

The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief continues on 11 March, with the winners announced on Red Nose Day on 13 March.

Crufts is on Channel 4 this weekend and concludes with the Best In Show tomorrow evening.