I have just had two new appeals by email and both are touching. The first is for a hunting dog who was saved after being attacked by a group of kids. The second is a pair of dogs who would love to be rehomed together. I am sure that you or someone you know can help rehome these lovely dogs. Please spread the word.
You can buy many familiar brands of petfood in Italy from the supermarket although the brand name pronunciation may be different. Whiskas is weezkass for example! You’ll also find some rather oddly named pet products like Alan the dog food (my husband loved that!) or Clumpy the cat litter (bit too graphic thanks!)
Some words are ‘false friends’ that is you think they will be the same in Italian and English, but they aren’t. Examples of this are ‘organic’, which isn’t ‘organico’ but ‘biologico’ and ‘preservatives’ which is ‘conservanti’. ‘Preservativi’ are condoms so be careful what you ask for!
Here are some of the most common food and foodstuff words with stress and pronunciation in brackets. You can ask for an item by saying Vorrei (vor-RAY), Volevo (vo-LAY-voh) or mi serve (mi SER-veh) For example: vorrei una ciotola per il mio gatto. (I would like a bowl for my cat.)
Food in general for animals is mangime (man-JEE-meh) and you won’t go far wrong using that although you do also see cibo (CHEE-boh) and alimento (al-ee-MEN-toh).
Biscuits – biscotti (bis-COTT-ee)
Bones – ossi (OH-see)
Bowl – ciotola (chee-OH-to-lah)
Chews (rawhide) – ossi in pelle di buffalo(OH-see in PEH-leh dee – BOO-fah-loh)
Chicken – pollo (POLL-oh)
Complete food – alimento completo (al-ee-MEN-toh
Daily amount- razione giornaliera (rah-zee-OH-neh jee-or-nah-lee-ER-oh)
Duck – anatra ( AN-ah-trah)
Hypo-allergenic/sensitive – sensibile (sen-SEE-bil-eh)
Kibble – croccanti (kroh-KAN-tee)
Meal – pasto ( PAH-stoh)
Meat – carne (KAR-neh)
Minerals – minerali (min-eh-RAH-lee)
Natural ingredients – ingredienti naturali (in-GRED-ee-en-tee Nah-too-RAH-lee)
No colourings – senza coloranti (SENZ-ah ko-lo-RAN-tee)
No preservatives – senza conservanti (SENZ-ah kon-ser-VAN-tee)
Organic – biologico/a (bee-oh-LODGE-ee-koh/kah)
Per day – al giorno (al – JEE-orno)
Sack- sacco (SAH-koh)
Sachet – busta (BOOS-tah)
Snack/treat – piccolo spuntino (PICK-oh-loh spun-TEE-noh) ricompensa (ree-kom-PEN-sah)
Tasty – gustoso/a (goos-TOE-zoh/zah)
Tin – lattina (lah-TEEN-ah)
Venison – cervo (CHER-voh)
Vitamins – vitamine (vit-ah-MEE-neh)
If you want to know the Italian words for cats, dogs and so on click here.
I’ve put some common dog and cat related words in Italian with phonetic pronunciation. The capital letters are the stress of the word.
If you are at the vet’s and are not sure of the ailment try the English medical name as a lot of the scientific terms are similar in Italian and English. For example
uterus – utero, cardiac – cardio diabetes – diabete and so on. If you are unsure of the pronunciation, write the word down for your vet.
Names of breeds are more or less the same, but with Italian pronunciation! Here is an example from a genuine advert with the Italian authors attempt at spelling an English word: “West Thailand wait terrier” (Say it out loud!)
Pet/Pets – animale domestico (ani-MAH-leh do-MES-tik-oh) animali domestici (ani-MAH-lee do-MES-ti-chee)
Owner – proprietario/a (pro-pree-eh-TAR-ee-oh/ah)
Dog/Dogs – cane (KAH-neh) cani (KAH-nee)
Puppy /puppies – cucciolo (KOO-chee-oh-loh) cuccioli (KOO-chee-oh-lee)
Cat /cats – gatto (GAH-to) gatti (GAH-tee)
Kitten/kittens – gattino (gah-TEEN-oh) gattini (gah-TEEN-ee)
Male – maschio (MAH-skee-oh)
Female – femmina (FEH-min-ah)
Vaccinated – vaccinato/a (vah-chi-NAH-toh/ah)
Tattooed – tatuato/a (tah-TOO-ah-toh/ah)
Wormed – sverminato/a (sver-min-AH-toh/ah)
Paw / paws – zampa (ZAM-pah) zampe (ZAM-peh)
Whiskers/moustache – baffi (BAH –fee)
Tail – coda (KOH-dah)
Leg /legs – gamba (GAM-bah) gambe (GAM-beh)
Mongrel – Meticcio/a (meh-TICH-ee-oh/ah) (you’ll also hear bastardino a an acceptable term)
Pedigree – pedigree (‘con pedigree’ – with pedigree documents) or cane di razza – cah-nay di RAZ-zah)
Cross – incrocio/a (in-KRO-chee-oh/ah) For example “incrocio Yorkshire terrier e chihuahua”
Spayed/neutered – sterilizzato/a (steh-rah –lee-ZA-toh/ah).
Microchip – microchip (MEE-croh-cheep)
Breed – razza (RATS-ah)
Large – taglia grande (TAH-lee-ah GRAN-deh) (OK, the gl sound is hard so I’ve copped out here!)
Medium – taglia media (TAH-lee-ah MEH-dee-ah)
Small – taglia piccola (TAH-lee-ah PEE-coh.lah)
Beautiful – bello/a (BEH-ll-oh/ah)
Well behaved/good – Buono/a (BWON-oh/ah)
Short haired – pelo raso (PAY-loh RAH-zoh)
Long haired – pelo lungo (PAY-loh- LOON-goh)
Toy breed – nano/a (NAH-noh/ah)
Animal lover – amante animali (ah-MAN-teh an-ee-MAH-lee) animalista (ah-ni-mah-LEE-sta)
Benvenuti! My name is Fiona Tankard , I’m a writer and I have lived in Italy, first in Umbria and now Tuscany, since 1994 with my husband and a variety of pets. Over the years we have had cats, dogs, geese, a crow, fish, two pigeons and alpacas.
I started this blog to help homeless animals in Italy and to help non Italian pet owners owners and visitors too. I know that it can sometimes be hard being an animal lover in Italy. You can be thought of as ‘un po’ eccentrica’ as my last neighbour dubbed me, and as for having animals in the house – well, say no more!
My husband Alan and I moved to Italy with our original pets, travelling in the back of our ancient Lada estate bought especially for the trip. The dogs Kelly and Emma, plus cats Harley, Widget and Birkana went in the back and we set off with trepidation on a journey that had many highs and some lows (like almost losing the cat in a mnotorway service station carpark!) We slept in two tents at Chamonix, one for Alan and the dogs and one for me and the cats.
Since we moved here we have seen many of our pets come and, sadly, go. The most recent loss was of our lovely little dog Maia, who died of canine lymphoma. Our current pet family comprises one male cat – Jimmy, three dogs – labrador ZsaZsa, Internet rescue English setter Gassie, Internet rescue dog Mana’, rescue pigeon Lulu and five alpacas – Nicola, Emilia, Champagne , Brunello and Dolcetto.
I add to this site regularly, posting blogs, resources, appeals, links and my own articles and photos. Please feel free to comment and get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions and I’ll be happy to help if I can. I am particularly keen to hear about any charities or appeals for animals in Italy that you could send me so I can post them on the site.You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org