I Talk To My Pet Like It’s A Person, And That's Not Weird (Thank You Very Much)

by Shaye Wyllie
Originally Published: 
A woman smiling and talking to her dog with a laptop in front of her

If you’re an animal lover, then you get me. (And I appreciate you more than you know!) But if you’re not, you’re probably thinking “what the f*ck”? And that’s okay!

I don’t expect others to understand, but yes … I talk to my pet like it’s a person, and I don’t think it’s weird at all.

However, if we’re keeping it all the way real, I talk to all animals like they’re people, not just my pet. Sometimes, I say hi to the squirrels who run across my path in the morning, or politely ask the NYC pigeons to move out of my way as I walk. I mean … don’t we all?

It’s not weird!

Contrary to how you feel, or what you believe, animals can understand us. Of course some of them choose to blatantly ignore us, like my uncle’s shady cat. (See below.)

However, for the most part, especially if they’re your pet, they hear us and understand us. Scientific studies have proven that dogs, for example, “first analyze the emotional component of language and then they process words’ meanings” — just like humans, says National Geographic. “[D]ogs process tone and language in two different parts of their brains, just like humans. In other words, what you say to your dog—and how you say it—matter.”

So it’s not weird to talk to your pet. It’s actually weird not to talk to your pet.

I recently saw a debate on Facebook that asked if people were telling their pets goodbye before leaving for the day or weekend, and was seriously shocked at how many people said no.

Why wouldn’t you talk to your pet? Why wouldn’t you tell them not to expect you home later tonight, because you’re going on a date? You do know that they know your schedule, and worry when you don’t show up right?

Pets are like kids — to an extent.

Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

Shutterstock / Andriy Blokhin

So, in my controversial opinion, you need to treat them, and talk to them, like they’re tiny humans. They need to understand what’s happening. Would you leave your kid with someone else for the weekend and not at least make an attempt to tell them why, or where you’re going? I hope not!

And if you think I’m kidding about how much our pets pay attention to our schedules, the day before I took that TikTok video above, my aunt left for the weekend and didn’t tell her cat. When she got back, Goldie refused to lay in her bed, as she usually does.

I laughed when she told me the story because I instantly knew what happened. That cat was pissed.

But this is why I talk to animals! They too have feelings, and worry. Scientific proof notwithstanding, have you NOT seen “The Secret Life of Pets?”

So yeah, I talk to my pets — and all animals — because I want them to feel safe around me, just like I would for a kid in my presence. Because, like kids, they can understand us … even if they talk back a whole lot less.

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