1 in 4 Americans Say They 'Always' Know What Their Pets Are Telling Them

Almost four in five Americans believe that if animals were able to talk like people, dogs would be the first to speak up. A poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 78 percent believe that, hypothetically, dogs are more likely to start talking like a person, while 60 percent believe the same about cats.

More than half the poll (53%) imagine their favorite pet would have a certain tone, accent, or pattern of speaking.

One respondent believes her pet would have “a sassy, southern accent and the tone changes depending on what she wants or needs.” Others say “British” or “Boston” accents, while another pet owner believes, “my previous dog would have had a low, monotone voice.”

Would our pets rat us out?

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Healthy Paws, the survey also asked respondents about the perks and potential downsides of being able to have a conversation with our pets. Some of the benefits of pets being able to speak are that they could explain their food preferences (61%) and tell their pet parents if something is wrong (58%). For all the good chatting with our pets might bring, however, more than half (53%) are worried their pet would reveal their secrets.

On top of that, 49 percent worry they wouldn’t stop talking and 46 percent are concerned they’d insult someone. In general, respondents believe dogs are more likely to say something mean than cats (33% vs 24%), but another third believe they are equally likely to say something callous.

If pets did start speaking, 22 percent would record it and 17 percent would scream or panic. Just 15 percent would simply talk right back.

“It’s fun to speculate on what our pets might say and how they would sound,” says Danette Johnston, a consulting dog trainer at Healthy Paws and owner of Dogs Day Out training center in Seattle, in a statement. “But the important thing is to understand our pets are communicating with us all the time with their body language and vocalizations and it is up to us to learn their language.”

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