pets in American Sign Language

How to sign pets in American Sign Language (ASL)


Pets are more than just animals; they are our best friends and part of the family. In this video, you will learn some ASL signs for different pets that you need to know as a beginner.

🐶🐱➕ PETS

Form an S-handshape with your non-dominant hand, and pet it with your dominant hand (act like you are petting a dog’s head).


With your dominant hand, snap your fingers on your side (act like you are snapping to get a dog’s attention).


With both hands, use your middle finger on your cheeks and pull away while forming an 8 handshape OR pull away while forming an F-handshape with your dominant hand. These signs represent a cat’s whiskers.


With your dominant hand, place your sideway G-handshape close to your mouth. Open and close your index and thumb finger twice. This sign represents a beak.


With your non-dominant hand, hold out your arm in the front of you and form an S-handshape. With your dominant hand, form a bent V-handshape and move it on your arm (act like it is walking on your arm)


With your dominant hand, form a U-handshape with your thumb sticking out and place it on your temple. Bend it up and down twice. This represents the horse’s ear. You can also use both hands.


With your dominant hand, use your index finger and brush it sideways past your nose twice.


With your dominant hand, use H-handshape and brush it sideways past your nose twice.


With your dominant hand, use R-handshape and brush it sideways past your nose twice.

Did you know? Some signs have different versions. 

For instance, there are several ways to sign DOG in ASL. The first way is made by snapping your fingers from your dominant hand (as shown in the video above). The second way is by slapping your dominant hand against your leg and then snap your fingers (see here). The third way is the lexicalized fingerspelling* version, see here and here.  There are a few more different ways to sign DOG, and all of these signs are the right way to sign it.

*Lexicalized fingerspelling is fingerspelling that looks more like a sign rather than fingerspelling each individual letter of the word.

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