WARNING: do NOT eat dog food


Paul Raglow-DeFranco

TikToker and JCU senior Henry Clarisey goes viral for eating dog food.

Paul Raglow-DeFranco, Staff Reporter

WARNING: Do NOT eat dog food (unless your name happens to be Marmaduke, Fido or Scooby-doo).

This was the message that Henry Clarisey ‘23, aka henry.fit on TikTok, had to preach to his followers following a viral video in which he ate dog food. But, how did it all come to this? How did Clarisey go from making influential gym content to eating dog food? It all started back in March of 2020 when Clarisey was sitting at home during the midst of quarantine.

“TikTok became a big thing because everyone was bored at home,” says Clarisey. “I started watching TikTok and saw fitness creators making content and I thought I could do that, from viewing to creating content.”

What started as simple enjoyment for Clarisey, from filming to editing videos, soon became an obsession as he began to grow in viewership.

“I started getting into the algorithm and I started studying the algorithm,” Clarisey continued. “Like what makes a video go viral, what is viral, what sort of hashtags and sounds can I use to get as big of an audience as I can and I really started to fall in love with the social media side. I started to monetize my content and create my own brand.”

As an active gym goer, many of Clarisey’s early videos were informational content regarding how to work out at home or how to maintain a healthy diet. While he was gaining some followers, it wasn’t until he demonstrated how to do a stomach vacuum where he landed his first viral video.

“That video got 60,000 views and that was my first big fitness video. I gained some followers from that and I was like, wow, this is really cool; 60,000 people saw my face and that is where it became addicting. I was like, if this is going to work, I am going to continue to make fitness content.”

As he transitioned from stomach vacuums to trap flexes, Clarisey’s channel began to gain more and more attention, so much so that an online fitness website known as Benchmob reached out to him and asked if they could use a video of him flexing his traps in one of their Snapchat stories.

“With TikTok, the attention span will be short. So, you really want to grab someone’s attention, for me that was flexing my traps,” says Clarisey. “Since then I’ve done other ad campaigns, but seeing myself in an online magazine cover was crazy cause I am just filming in my room.”

Soon after, Clarisey saw his TikTok followers flourish to well over 50,000 followers. Yet, it wasn’t until he decided to eat dog food did he find national attention.

Henry Clarisey posts fitness content to educate his TikTok watchers (Henry Clarisey).

“I saw a video of someone saying, ‘Don’t look up how much protein is in dog food because you will be tempted, so I looked it up, obviously, and it said it had 666 grams of protein,” says Clarisey. “I thought it was funny, so I made a video on it and said ‘if I get 15,000 views I will try the dog food, strictly for entertainment purposes,’ and it ended up blowing up and it got over 21 million views and 2.3 million likes which was absolutely insane.”

And so, as Clarisey had promised to all 21 million viewers, he ate the dog food and it tasted about as well as one would expect dog food to taste.

“I tasted the dry dog food kibble and [it] tasted like little pieces of rocks,” says Clarisey. “[It was] not comfortable at all to eat and it was super hard to bite down on.”

After already being a recognized TikTok influencer, this unique stunt put Clarisey in the national spotlight. News articles including Buzzfeed, New York Post and Yahoo all posted articles regarding Clarisey’s bizarre and humorous act of eating dog food because of the amount of protein it possessed. In fact, his video gained so much attention that eating dog food became a trend, prompting Clarisey to make a follow up video regarding the dangers of eating dog food.

“I made a video saying for anyone who didn’t see the joke, do not eat it, if you want to look like me or follow my advice, don’t take eating dog food as my advice as I don’t recommend eating it.”

Since then, Clarisey’s followers have skyrocketed to over 171.1K on TikTok alone, making him one of the most popular fitness creators on the app.

But do not let Clarisey’s oddball comedy style mislead you into thinking he is just seeking attention. He is actually laser focused on helping youth develop confidence through fitness.

“I get a lot of messages from people saying, ‘hey you got me into the gym and I did your chest workouts and I fell in love with the gym because of your videos. You give me confidence in my own skin because you help me feel comfortable going to the gym.’ It is so crazy that I can have an impact on a 16 year old across the country by simply filming a video on my phone in my room.”

As Clarisey plans for life after John Carroll, his goal is to continue to make both comedic and informational fitness content for his followers. But rest assured, he won’t be going near dog food anytime soon, as for cat food…no promises.