Pet speak

Our pets do speak in multiple languages!

Dear Readers,

After a very difficult and stressful November on many fronts I thought it might be fun to share something whimsical! I’ve been in veterinary medicine for nearly four decades and have met many, many different pets from all over the world. One thing that stands out is the pet’s ability to respond to their owner’s specific language. Interestingly, many guard dogs are trained in German or with German techniques. They respond to German commands, such as “platz,” which essentially means “place.” This is used when the trainer wants the dog to lay down.

My partner, Dr. Gerry, is a polyglot. So, she is able to communicate with pets from at least six countries. Amazing.

The following are some examples of animal foreign languages:

Dogs — The sound of a bark in their native languages:

Woof = English

Gav = Russian

Waouh = French

Guau — Spanish

Blaf = Dutch

Wan = Japanese

Voff = Icelandic

Ham = Romanian

Bau = Italian

Wong = Cantonese

Guk = Indonesian

Hev = Turkish

Haap = Persian

Meong = Korean

Cats — The sound of a cat’s meow is very similar in most languages:

Mjau = Sweedish

Myau = Russian

Miau = Spanish

Miao = Italian

Meo = Vietnamese

Miaou = French

Yaong = Korean

Nyan = Japanese

Nau = Estonian


Oink = English

Buu = Japanese

Grunz = German


Quack = English

Rap = Danish

Vak = Turkish


Cock-a-doodle-doo = English

Kikiriki = Spanish

Kok-e-kok-ko = Japanese

Dr. Doug Mader is an ABVP board-certified veterinary specialist practicing in the Keys. Send your questions to

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