Table of Contents
1. Pets/Animals Vocabulary
Pets and animals are a big part of many people’s lives so it can be expected that you may come across IELTS writing and speaking questions related to pets and wildlife. This page contains some common IELTS pets and animals vocabulary words, phrases, and collocations, which you will need to answer questions about pets and animals. There are some exercises for you to practice IELTS vocabulary that you have learnt using real questions.
- Animal shelter – A place that takes care of rescued or orphaned animals
- Breed – A type of animal that has been bred by humans and shares similar characteristics. For example, dog breeds – Sheepdog, Labrador, Yorkshire terrier etc
- Cage – A structure of bars or wires to confine zoo animals or rodents
- Canines – Formal word for dogs
- Coat – The hair of a dog/cat
- Companionable – Friendly and sociable
- Curl up next to – Cuddle with/lay next to (informal).
- Docile – Quiet and easy to influence, persuade, teach or control
- Domesticated – Familiar with human contact/interaction
- Feathers – The long hairs on a bird
- Fur – Animal hair
- Guide dog – A dog that helps a blind person to navigate their way around
- Hooves – Animal feet, usually on farm animals like horses, sheep, and goats
- House-trained — An animal that has been trained to go outside when it needs the toilet
- Man’s best friend – An idiom used to describe dogs, as they are loyal companions (informal)
- Puppy — A baby dog
- Puppy-dog eyes – The sweet facial expression a person or dog uses when they want something from you (informal)
- Reptiles – Cold-blooded animals with scales, for example, snakes
- Rodent — a type of small animal that has long sharp front teeth, for example, a hamster
- Species – Animals or plants that share characteristics and can reproduce
- Stray — A homeless animal such as a dog or cat
- To be put down – When an animal is put to death by injection because of illness or age
- To curb loneliness – To reduce feelings of feeling alone
- To provide companionship – To give friendship and affection to a person
- To tame — To make an animal feel comfortable around people
2. Pets/Animals Vocabulary Activity
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Did you have a family pet as a child?
Yes, when I was around five I adopted a Jack Russell dog, which is my favourite breed because I really like the design on their coat. I got her when she was still a puppy at around 6 weeks old. She had been a stray before someone found her in a box outside the canine shelter. She was very tame and loved being around humans. Then, when she was around 12 years old she had to be put down because she was old sick. I really miss her because she gave me great companionship over the years, and it is true what they say that dogs are most definitely a man’s best friend!
What type of pets do people usually keep in your country?
The most popular pets in my country are the typical ones like dogs and cats, which I think are popular because they help to curb loneliness, especially if you live alone and have no children. Recently, people have started to buy more reptiles like snakes and lizards. I don’t really like them because you can’t really house-train them and they are not very companionable because they don’t curl up with you on the sofa like a dog or cat and show affection.
3. Wildlife Vocabulary and Collocations
There are many questions on the IELTS exam where you are asked to discuss animals and wildlife. The following is a list of some common IELTS pets and animals vocabulary words and collocations you can use to discuss issues concerning wildlife, and their environments. There is an activity for you to practice using the words with some real IELTS questions.
- Animal kingdom – All living animals
- Animal lover – A person who likes animals a lot
- Animal rights – The rights of animals to be protected against exploitation or abuse
- Amphibians– Animals that can live in the water and on land
- Battery farming– Industrial practice that involves putting lots of animals, usually chickens, in an extremely small space
- Breed in captivity — Impregnating a wild animal and bringing up the offspring in a controlled environment
- Brink of extinction – Close to becoming extinct
- Captivity – The condition of being imprisoned or confined, usually in a zoo
- Carnivores – Meat-eating animals
- Conservation – The protection of plants, habitats, or animals
- Destruction of natural habitats – The process that occurs when natural habitat is changed dramatically by humans
- Ecosystems – The relationship between living things in a particular environment
- Endangered – At the risk of extinction.
- Endangered species – Plants or animals that only exist in very small numbers and that may soon cease to exist
- Exotic — Something that is interesting or exciting because it comes from a faraway place
- Fangs — Large sharp teeth found on animals
- Free-range animal — A farm animal that roams freely during its life
- Guinea pig – a small rodent/ An idiom for anything that is experimented on
- Herbivores – An animal that eats plants
- Instinct – A natural reaction in animals to external stimuli
- Mammals – Animals that give birth to live young
- Marsupials – Characterised by the newborn being attached to the mother’s lower belly.
- Mating season – The period of the year when animals reproduce
- Pest — An unwanted/unwelcome insect or animal that attacks and damages things
- Poaching – Illegal hunting
- Predators – Animals that eat other animals
- Prey – An animal that is hunted and killed by another for food.
- Roam – When animals are free to walk where they please without the confines of fences etc…
- Safari – an expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat, especially in East Africa.
- Safari Park – A recreation of wild animals’ habitat where visitors are charged to see animals who roam relatively free compared to those in a zoo
- Species – A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.
- Tame – Not wild or dangerous, either naturally or because of training from humans
- The violation of animal rights – Actions that violate animal rights such as cruelty or neglect
- To keep something in captivity – To keep someone or something in a place and not allow them to leave
- To mate – To reproduce
- To treat animals humanely – To be kind to animals and to treat them well so they do not suffer
- Venomous – Poisonous
4. Wildlife Vocabulary and Collocations Activity
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Describe an interesting animal you have seen
I have always been animal lover and one of the most interesting animals I have seen was a Siberian tiger, which I was in a local safari park near where I live. I had always loved tigers and they are my favourite species of cat. The reason I like them so much is because they are extremely rare and endangered due to illegal poaching. Much of their natural habitat has been destroyed because of climate change and human practices like logging. Therefore, I think their conservation is vital. When I saw the tiger it opened its mouth and yawned and I got to see its huge white fangs, which were impressive and somewhat frightening!
An interesting animal I have seen is a moose, which I saw in Canada. I was born and raised in the desert so going to a place filled with snow was exotic for me. When I saw the moose it was much bigger than expected and didn’t look very tame or approachable so we stayed our distance. The tour guide told me it was mating season and that during that time of year the animals were extremely aggressive. Even though they are herbivores and don’t eat people, I still didn’t want to get too close!