It all started in March, when Arlington veterinarian Dr. Hunter Finn was introduced to the viral world of TikTok. The 27-year-old says that though he is a bit older than the average TikTok user, he has found that the platform provides a way to educate and dance along with other members, while spreading random helpful facts about our furry loved ones. (Your pets, not your great-aunt with the beard.)
In only eight months, Finn has gained an impressive following on the site, surpassing one million followers.
Finn credits his success to audience curiosity and his willingness to present himself authentically while partaking in trending videos and topics on the app. His videos cover a variety of animal topics including the importance of a healthy pet diet, the dangers of believing online diagnoses and the reason dogs’ feet smell like Fritos — all while dancing along with the latest TikTok trend or showing off his biceps during a workout routine.
The Louisiana native has resided in North Texas for a little over a year now and appreciates the city life in Arlington, the Cowboys’ home. Finn lives in Arlington with his three pets, including Asher, a frequent guest star on Finn’s Instagram page with a huge fanbase of his own.
Finn’s journey to Arlington and the animal world began at Louisiana State University, where he graduated from one of the country’s top veterinarian programs. Soon after graduation, several setbacks marked the doctor’s career after his then-girlfriend found a mole-like mark on his back that turned out to be cancerous. After surgery and recovery, Finn is now cancer-free.
Finn ignores online trolls and pet “experts” who are critical of his social media presence and his expert advice. Though he says that can be hard to do sometimes, online trolls don’t discourage Finn’s approach to educating and entertaining his followers.
A personable approach to educating the world about the life of pets is one of many distinct ways medical professionals are using TikTok to connect with the community.
Finn says he’s still amazed but grateful for his growing following. He hopes that no matter his followers’ background or age, they are inspired to take ambitious chances, just the way he did when he found out about a trendy app eight months ago.
“It still amazes me that I have this influence … and it can happen to anyone,” Finn says. “If you stay committed, you can literally do whatever you want.”
Keep the Dallas Observer Free… Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.