‘I’m a vet I’d never throw my dog a stick or feed it raw food’

Every dog owner has different opinions about how to care for their pet, with lots of common topics sparking debates.

One vet has split opinions after sharing five things she will never do for her own dog – including throwing them a stick and feeding them raw food.

Cat Henstridge, 42, posted a video on TikTok last week that quickly went viral, in which she shared her personal ‘do nots’ as a pup parent.

The veterinary surgeon from Sheffield explains her first tip: “I will never throw a stick for her. The injuries that are caused by throwing sticks are horrendous.

“Down their mouths, into their necks, they can be super, super serious.”

Her second tip is: “Although she loves playing with tennis balls, I will never use a ball thrower to throw one for her.

“They do incredible damage to dogs ‘ joints, and the balls will always be dog-friendly ones.”

Sharing her third, she said: “I will never feed Mandy a raw dog food diet.

“You can feed your dog whatever you wish, but for me, the risk of nutritional imbalances and the risk of bacterial infections to both her and my family are far too great.”

Cat goes on to say she will also never let her dog get fat, as well as always keeping her dog up-to-date with her vaccines and medical care.

But it was the first three which divided viewers the most – with many people disagreeing with the animal expert’s recommendations.

“Raw food is better than any kibble for them. My dogs kiss me all the time and I never get sick,” one person said.

“Raw is what is natural for them… kibble is not what they would naturally eat,” another agreed.

A third added: “I’m confused how ball launchers can cause issues? I just have a bad throw and need help.”

Though many pet parents agreed with her opinions, saying they had made the same decisions for their own animals.

A TikToker said: “My dog choked on a stick once, she was bleeding from her throat. Thank goodness she was OK but it was a lesson learnt.”

A second commented: “Our last dog needed an expensive operation after running after a ball thrown with a ball thrower.”

Whilst another added: “NO STICKS!! My old dog cut the inside of his throat open catching one.”

Speaking on the viral video, which has more than 330,000 views on Tiktok, Cat said: “Not everyone agreed with what I said.

“With throwing sticks, not every time you throw a stick something will go wrong. But there can be horrific injuries.

“A lot of people disagreed on the raw food, but the dogs are more likely to shed salmonella and antibiotic-resistant e-coli if they eat raw.

“So it’s a public health issue as well as a personal one.

“With the ball flingers, the dogs really love it – but that kind of exercise puts a lot of strain through the dog’s joints.

“Because the activity causes them to release adrenaline, playing ball can tip into obsession for the dogs.

“They want to get that high all the time, and won’t play any other games. It’s not good for their mental health.”

Cat – who owns a cat, a dog and 11 guinea pigs – added: “Most of the comments were positive and people seemed to be quite reasonable.

“Every so often there are people – particularly in the raw feeding community – who don’t agree.

“People don’t like to be told what they are doing for their pets might be wrong.

“Just because it’s new information to you, doesn’t mean it’s wrong – I know what I’m talking about!”