22 dubious pieces of advice for pet owners in the Middle Ages

While most of the tips are dubious at best, there are at least a few that you might want to co-opt for yourself

By Ellen Gutoskey
Published May 3, 2021 1:00AM (UTC)
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Medieval family and their pet dog and monkey (Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Mental Floss.

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Like other dos and don'ts from the Middle Ages, medieval pet advice hasn't exactly withstood the test of time. A diet of dirty, soggy bread, for example, isn't a good way to keep your dog puppy-sized forever. And applying a mixture of salt, honey, and onion to a monkey bite sounds more like an invitation for a second monkey bite than a cure for the first one.

On this episode of "The List Show," Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is delving into dozens of strange recommendations from purported pet experts of the era. While most of the tips are dubious at best, there are at least a few that you might want to co-opt for yourself—like calling your dog brother or friend, nicknames that some hunters used for their hunting dogs. Or staying out of your cat's way if it's stalking prey; according to one medieval Irish advisory document about cats, anyone who got injured by a cat on the prowl really "had no business being there" and couldn't fault the feline.

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