In the edited video, a dog can be seen struggling to get out of a pool while an off-camera voice laughs and says “you just got to throw him in”.
After the clip went public, animal rights organisation Peta called for a boycott of the pooch-themed comedy-drama. An independent investigation into the incident conducted at the time found that no animals suffered harm while filming the scenes.
Speaking recently on his pet-centric podcast The Pet Show, Quaid said that no dog was really in danger at the time of filming.
“What happened was the dog jumps into the water… there were divers, scuba divers, three of them, underneath the water,” the actor said. “One of the trainers reached down to give the dog a rest, and he pulled him up, and it looks like he’s pulling him up and choking him by the collar.
“What it doesn’t show, is that there’s a table right below the dog, so the dog can rest his feet on the table. He’s not just being held up.”
The Far From Heaven star also addressed the part of the video in which the dog – a German Shepherd called Hercules – claws at the side of the swimming pool.
“There were two divers waiting for him right there,” he said. “It wasn’t even a second and a half.
“The dog didn’t even wait to get a collar on – he ran right to the other side of the pool to do it again. He loved it.”
A Dog’s Purpose was based on the 2010 novel of the same name by W Bruce Cameron. Its human stars included Quaid, Josh Gad and Britt Robertson.