Pets, or mascotas, are a big part of any animal-lover’s life and thus tend to make their way into conversation quite often. Talking about your pet and buying the proper supplies when in a Spanish speaking country is an extra obstacle pet-lovers face. At the same time, it offers a fun opportunity to meet new people.
Talking about your pet in Spanish
First things first, let’s discuss the grammar. As you may or may not know, when talking about people, you have to use the “personal a.” For example “Vi a Pablo” (I saw Pablo). There is some argument when it comes to whether or not the personal a is necessary with animals. The basic rule is, if you view your pet as part of the family or a human-esque friend, use the personal a. if it’s just an animal to you, you can skip it.
Types of pets in Spanish
1. Perro – dog
2. Sato / quiltro / chanda / chingo / tajungapul – a mutt, this is a huge Speaking Latino word. You will just need to ask someone how to say it since different words exist for each country. Or you could say “raza mezclado” or “perro callejero”
3. Gato – cat
4. Pez – fish
5. Hámster – hamster
6. Gerbo /jerbo – gerbil
7. Cobayo / conejillo / conejillo de Indias – guinea pig
8. Conejo – rabbit
9. Loro – parrot
10. Pájaro / pajarito/ave – bird
Describing your pet in Spanish
In case you don’t have 100s of photos of your baby on your phone, here are some helpful words to describe your pet.
1. Chico / pequeño – small
2. Mediano – medium
3. Grande – large
4. Peludo – furry (can also be shaggy)
5. Hembra – female
6. Macho – male
7. Amable – friendly
8. Juguetón – playful
9. Tímido – shy
10. Tierno – sweet
11. Adorable – adorable
12. Morder – to bite
13. Acariciar – to pet
14. Pasear – to go on a walk
If you have a special dog, like mine, you might also need words/phrases like “raro/extraño” (weird), “tiene miedo de todo” (he’s scared of everything), and “no le gusta eso” (he doesn’t like that).
The Pet Store: Pet accessories in Spanish
When you need to stock up on pet supplies, you’ll need to be able to communicate your needs to the salesperson at the pet store.
1. Correa – leash
2. Collar – collar (remember, the ll is pronounced like a y)
3. Placa de identificación – ID tag
4. Jaula – cage (You can also use things like residencia de perro/gato or caseta de perro/gato if you are looking for a kennel style of a cage)
5. Comida para ____ – food for ____
6. Alpiste – bird seed
7. Golosinas – treats
8. Juguetes – toys
Hopefully, you won’t need to travel with your dog, like I did. It’s quite a hassle. If you do, however, be ready with your animal vocabulary! Otherwise, memorize the description words and carry photos.
Check out these other English Spanish articles.
Featured photo credit: Curioso [ GOLDEN RETRIEVER ] Julio 2011 by tehzeta via flickr