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tedibear's avatar

Why don't dogs or cats become hoarse after barking or meowing for extended periods of time?

Asked by tedibear (16068 points ) October 22nd, 2010

I have heard dogs bark for literally hours at a stretch, yet they never grow hoarse. My cats can meow for the 20 minute ride to the vet and the 20 minute ride home with no noticeable effect on their “voices.” What is it about their physiology that allows this?

I’m going to bed now, but look forward to being better informed in the morning!

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12 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Sometimes they do.

JilltheTooth's avatar

It just takes longer with dogs. When I board my dog for a few days, he comes home hoarse because he’s barked so much. He sounds silly, but it’s a nice break for me! (He’s a very chatty fellow)

ETpro's avatar

Spoony THE Cat doesn’t meow loudly often, but just as with @JilltheTooth if we have to board her, she comes back with just a squeak left. Mostly she communicates with a low-pitched sound somewhere near a purr, like ememememem! That’s her greeting when someone walks in the room, or she pushes the bathroom door open to see what I’m up to in there. And there’s a slightly different version of it when she gets a serving of canned tuna fish.

Dogs, of course don’t go hoarse when they bark because horses don’t go dog when they whinny, neigh, snort, grunt, blow and nicker a lot.

Plucky's avatar

They do. I’ve had dogs that became hoarse from barking too much while I was away. I’ve also had cats that did so (well meowed instead of barked). One cat, in particular, his meow was a raspy sort of pathetic vocal noise for over a week after I’d come back from a 4 day trip. Lol.. way to make me feel guilty.

As for physiology – dog and human vocal cords are not that different. The major difference with cats is the belief that their vocal cords move faster than humans. All in all ..all three species (human, cat, dog) are very similar in regards to vocal cords.

It depends on the animal and how often they vocalize normally to begin with as well. As with humans, if someone already talks quite alot ..they are less likely to go hoarse as quickly as someone that isn’t really talkative. I am a quiet person and don’t vocally converse alot ..so, after an evening of talking with friends or family ..I am sort of raspy. In contrast, my sister is extremely talkative ..it would take a very long time for her to sound raspy.

marinelife's avatar

I agree with the above answers. They do.

gondwanalon's avatar

My neighbor’s dog barks all day long non-stop on the days that I’m home. That dog has vocal cords of steel! It doesn’t bother me like it use to but I do dream of the day when the dog’s vocal cords wear out.

tedibear's avatar

Wow! This is good to know. I was around a dog yesterday who barked for almost two hours and he never wore out.

Thanks all!

GeorgeGee's avatar

I’ve heard a hoarse dog, and the stupid beast kept barking anyway. It sounded awful. somewhere between a cough and a bark. All day long, cough-bark cough-bark

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
tearsxsolitude's avatar

I don’t know about cats but dogs deffinately do. I’ve had all three of my dogs get hoarse before.

lifeflame's avatar

They do go hoarse. But the reason they seem to take longer than we do is that as we get older, many of us become socialised to be quiet…. (“Sit down and shut up”) and so we forget how to use our voice at full capacity. Our breathing tends to get shallower and we don’t use our voice as naturally. But when you think about babies, they can cry and really belt for ages. They don’ t need to “project” their voices!

I work with a lot of actors, and a lot of voice training really is about accessing of this natural state and letting loose again.

palerider's avatar

Their vocal chords are different than ours. Barking or meowing is equivalent to them talking, but it is still possible that after a prolonged session that they might also experience a similar fate. or either die from lead poisoning….jk, geez

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