Learn English – Can you say “raise an animal”


It was said as a way to comfort someone who had just broken up with her boyfriend, and someone said something like "go raise a dog".

I know it's okay to say raise an animal; I just feel so weird about it. Don't we normally say raise a child? I mean, in my opinion, isn't raise only used for human beings?

For animals, like pets, which verb is more appropriate to use? Do we just use raise all the time, no matter if referring to people or animals?

Best Answer

While raise is used for animals, it is usually in an agricultural setting. You are right to think it sounds unusual to speak of raising a household pet such as a dog or cat. It is much more common for someone to say that they have or that they own a dog. If one raises an animal, or animals, it is almost always for a specific purpose (other than companionship) such as meat production or breeding.

What this says about our use of raise for children, I'm not quite sure.