What do lilies, pigs ears and Tylenol all have in common?
They are all major no-nos for pets according to Texas-based veterinarian Hunter Finn.
Through a series of TikTok videos, the animal lover serves up some tips and tricks around how owners can keep their four-legged friends happy and healthy.
Finn, who runs the Pet Method Animal Hospital, says some of his pet hates include dog bones that can splinter and cause stomach problems, lilies as they can poison cats and dog parks because they are breeding grounds for disease.
Here FEMAIL rounds up some of the vet’s best pieces of advice.
Through a series of TikTok videos, Texas-based veterinarian Hunter Finn serves up some tips and tricks around how owners can keep their four-legged friends happy and healthy
1. Monitor your pet’s weight
Finn, who has more than two million followers on TikTok, simply tells pet owners in one clip: ‘Stop making them fat.’
He continues: ‘We all can agree that food equals love but did you know that being overweight actually can shorten their lifespan.
‘So I’m all for giving your dogs treats and food and engaging with them but you also need to exercise them. And yes, that means you might have to go outside of your house and take them on a 10 minute walk twice a day.’
Finn acknowledges that some pets might have genetic disorders or hormonal imbalances that can affect their weight. But he highlights that this can be corrected and ‘it just comes down to calories in versus calories out eating and exercising.’
2. Don’t feed dogs pigs ears or bones
In his videos, Finn makes his dislike of dog bones and rawhides clear. He says rawhides are ‘really good at sitting in your dog’s stomach for a long time causing gastrointestinal upset and sometimes obstructing them leading to an expensive surgery.’
Meanwhile, bones can cause broken teeth and painful splinters and pigs ears are another source of upset.
Finn says on the subject of pigs ears: ‘Those things are just nasty and there has been a lot of issues with bacterial contamination over the years with both of those products. There’s just better [and] safer treats for you to give.’
The vets suggests cutting up a sweet potato, cooking it in the oven for two to three hours and dehydrating it as a treat. Alternatively, he says you can get a hollow Kong toy and fill it with things such as ‘carrots, applesauce and popcorn.’
He concludes: ‘They will lick on this and go for it for quite a while. These are much healthier, lower in calories and safer for your pet.’
In his videos, Finn makes his dislike of dog bones and rawhides clear
The vets suggests getting a hollow Kong toy and fill it with things such as ‘carrots, applesauce and popcorn’
3. Avoid lilies
If you’re a cat owner, Finn warns against buying lilies and displaying them around the house.
He says they can cause various ailments if your four-legged friend takes a nibble of the flowers or leaves.
He explains: ‘Worse cases it destroys their kidneys and best cases they just get some gastrointestinal upset and maybe some ulcers. Just don’t keep them in the house.’
4. Get growths checked out straight away
If you spot any growths on an animal, Finn advises getting it checked out immediately by a professional.
He says it can take as little as 15 minutes to get a diagnosis and if left unchecked, it could worse.
He explains: ‘In worst cases it’s something bad and we go ahead and get rid of it. [But we] have better chances of curing your pet.
‘Best case is it’s benign and you get to sleep better at night and not worry about it.’
If you spot any growth on an animal, Finn advises getting it checked out immediately by a professional
5. Have the right amount of litter trays
For cat owners, Finn highlights the importance of having the correct amount of litter trays. He says ‘a good rule of thumb’ is to have one litter box per cat, plus one extra.
And if you only have one cat, it’s a good idea to have two litter boxes in two different areas.
6. Don’t stop pet antibiotics early
On the subject of antibiotics, the vet says you must always administer the full course to your pet, even though it can be hard at times to get cats and dogs to take their medication.
Finn warns viewers: I gave you that amount for a reason… Sometimes if you stop them too early it can lead to tougher more resistant infections.’
7. Never give your pet Tylenol
Shockingly, Finn says he come across many clients who give their pets Tylenol or other kinds of pain relivers intended for human consumption. He says human pain relivers or fever reducers should never be administered to pets.
The social media star continues: ‘You’d be surprised when people don’t know that this is really bad for them. It’s very toxic to their liver and their kidneys. they don’t metabolize things the same way that we do.’
While some commenters said that they had never heard of people doing such a thing Mercedes Weiss, who works as a tech vet, backed up Finn’s claims.
She said sadly ‘a lot more people than you would think’ give their pets Tylenol.
8. Avoid dog parks
The TikTok vet says he’s ‘honestly not a big fan of dog parks’ and ‘although they’re not bad in theory’, he ‘sees the bad side of them.’
He says they act as breeding grounds for infectious diseases and parasites and there’s greater risk of dogs biting each other.
For that reason, he says: ‘They’re good in theory [but] as I want your dog to have good enrichment… there are better places.’
The TikTok vet says he’s ‘honestly not a big fan of dog parks’ and ‘although they’re not bad in theory’, he ‘sees the bad side of them’ (stock image)
9. Use supplements in moderation
Finn says he’s ‘all for pet supplements’ that target joint pain, skin ailments and overall health. But he says he has seen many owners giving their pets tablets and medicines that they ‘really don’t need.’
He recommends using supplements and probiotics in moderation but warns ‘more is not always better.’
10. Keep dog food simple
‘Some of y’all just be adding too much stuff to your dog’s food,’ Finn says. He says he often sees people adding ‘a lot of toppers’ to their pets’ food to encourage them to eat it.
However, the vet notes that many pet foods – like human foods – are processed and don’t always offer the best in terms of nutritional value.
If you have the time, Finn says ‘you can make a complete and balanced diet cooking for them from home.’
One of the simple snacks he suggests rustling up for dogs, is frozen whole carrots soaked in chicken broth.
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