The use of who

Is it possible to use the relative pronoun who in connection with an animal?
eg. the dog who ate my dinner …
Thanks for your help, Irene

Hi Irene

People often use ‘who’ when referring to animals. I’d say this usage is most common for animals that are typically kept as pets, and for animals in stories (especially in children’s books) since those animals are often ‘personified’.

In very formal English, however, I’d recommend you avoid using ‘who’ when referring to an animal.

Many thanks for your reply, Amy.