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  • Cheryl Cole

This Vancouver vet is giving free advice to thousands of dog owners online

A Vancouver vet has become a worldwide internet sensation with over 26 million views on his YouTube videos filled with expert advice.


It's not always easy to get quick access to veterinary advice, but one Vancouver vet is making it simpler than ever for pet owners across the world.


With over 26 million views on his YouTube channel, Vancouver vet Dr Uri Burstyn - also known as the Helpful Vancouver Vet - became an internet sensation thanks to his videos filled with useful advice for pet owners.


With helpful content including how to brush a dog's teeth, give a dog a pill and more recently, what you need know about COVID-19 and your pets, it's no surprise that the channel, launched in 2017, has been a huge success with dog owners. But, it was one video in particular that earned Burstyn a legion of fans worldwide and catapulted him into the spotlight. Currently sitting on over 14 million views, the viral How to pick up a cat like a pro video (better known as 'Squish that Cat') had acquired millions of views just one week - a pleasant surprise for Burstyn whose inspiration behind the channel was to reach more people online than he could in person.


"I was thrilled for the first 6 months when my videos would get a few hundred views, feeling like I was really reaching people. Then "Squish that Cat' went viral, and I had millions of views in a week! It was a rush," admits Burstyn, Medical Director at Arbutus West Animal Clinic, Vancouver East Veterinary Walk-in Clinic, and Acadia Veterinary Clinic.



"I wanted to make some videos that would encompass broadly useful advice that I wish all pet wonders were privy to. I often give these talks several times a day in my clinic, and at some point I thought it would be more efficient to give them once, and have clients watch the video," adds Burstyn.


"I also thought that I can reach more people online than I ever could in person, and that turned out to be true. In three years online, I have been able to help a thousand times more people than I will meet face to face in my entire career as a veterinarian."

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Although The Helpful Vancouver Vet YouTube Channel is perhaps best known for it's Squish That Cat video, and regularly features Burstyn's two cats Mr Pirate and Clawdia, the channel is also full of extremely helpful videos for dog owners.


"The main thing I want to achieve with my channel is happier and longer lives for pets, and happier and easier lives for the humans who love them," explains Burstyn, who graduated from University of British Columbia, and later graduated with first class honours from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, Australia.


"I am an animal person. I certainly do have a special connection to felines, but I love dogs, rabbits, rats, ferrets, lizards, turtles... Really, anything in classes mamalia, amphibia and reptilia."



In recent months, and especially during lockdown when physically seeing a vet became increasingly difficult, Burstyn's channel was a solace for many pet owners, and fans of his channel will be glad to hear that he will be back to his regular uploading schedule in the very near future.


"I try to produce one or two videos per month, but for a number of reasons that are probably pretty obvious, this year has seen some disruption," admits Burstyn.


"I've been playing around with different video formats and styles, but straight-up vet advice that every person who loves their pet should have is and probably always will be the core of my YouTube channel."


You can check out The Helpful Vancouver Vet YouTube Channel here.


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