A Guide To: Animal Communication

Animal communication is a telepathic modality that anyone can learn – and in this growing industry, professionals now offer behavioural counselling, energy healing and workshops so you can learn the art yourself, as lifestyle writer Christina Ko discovers.
17 Feb 2021
Words by: Christina Ko

If 10 years ago, you had suggested that I could take a one-day workshop and learn how to communicate with dogs, I would have laughed you out of the room. And yet here I am in 2021, having a perfectly casual conversation with animal healer Yu Yu about animal communication, contacting pets who’ve passed into the great beyond, and finding your animal spirit guide.

If you have a pet, you’ll likely have come across the concept of animal communication, in which those with the “gift” of interpretation can telepathically communicate with your animal, simply by looking at a picture of him or her.

“It’s nothing mysterious,” Yu Yu insists. “Everybody can do it. It’s like body language. Or ‘I have a gut feeling.’ We are able to do it because we are animals. And we invented spoken language, that’s how we got rid of our own ability, because we didn’t need it anymore. [But] we feel other people too, it happens sometimes with people you’re very connected to. That’s intuition. That’s telepathy.

“You go to the wild, Africa, [and you can see how animals] communicate with each other. They also make sounds, do things with behaviour, body language. You’ve heard stories about elephants talking with each other from how ever many kilometres away – it’s how you feel things, how you see things. Sometimes you think you’re imagining things, but it’s not your imagination, it’s an inborn ability. For most people, if we don’t activate our ability, we think we’re not able to do that. Because we don’t use it everyday.”

Asian woman in blue t shirt kneeling beside a female lion lying on grassy field with trees
YuYu with a lion, photograph courtesy of YuYu Healing & Animals

Yu Yu began working as an animal communicator almost 10 years ago, after studying under the late Rosina Maria Arquati, one of the first trainers in Hong Kong and a type of godmother figure within the community. She now does communication and energy healing for animals and humans, and also teaches three levels of workshops for those who wish to learn the art of communication for themselves.

Clients come to Yu Yu for a variety of reasons: behaviour issues, sicknesses, lost pets or even to reach out to animals that have passed on.

Communication & Behaviour

Behavioural issues run from timidity and fear, to bonding issues, aggression, excessive barking or toilet training. Animals who have been adopted are often candidates for sessions. “[Owners] will seek help to know better what [the animal] is thinking, what does he want,” Yu Yu says.

However, take note: just because a communicator can assist in identifying the problem does not mean he or she is guaranteed to be able to fix it, and particularly not in one neat little session. “A lot of times, it’s education for people. The animal part is simple; the human part is more complicated. A lot of people think, why don’t you just tell him to stop barking? But the thing is, it’s more complicated, why is he barking, what did you do as an owner? It’s almost like, why don’t you just tell your two-year-old to stop crying? It’s not a button.”

In certain cases, Yu Yu will generally work with owners over a few sessions, advising the owners on patterns they may need to change and behaviour they may unwittingly be reinforcing, checking in on progress every few weeks.

It’s important to note, too, that not all animal communicators are behavioural specialists or energy healers – and translation is not always an exact science. When seeking a communicator, be mindful that the individual is trained not only to interpret, but also to understand and alleviate underlying issues.

A woman in black shirt and pants sitting on bed petting one tabby cat, with another black cat on the edge of the bed
YuYu with her cats, image courtesy of YuYu

Illness & Healing

A communicator may be useful in many stages when a pet is ill. Diagnosis, pain management as well as healing are all within the realm of possibilities.

“Animal communication can help see what exactly is wrong with them, where they are feeling discomfort, if it’s painful – that is very useful information for the vet,” Yu Yu says. Beyond that, some communicators can facilitate in the healing process if they are well-versed in other energetic modalities, as Yu Yu is. Testimonials on her website showcase the range of her abilities: from afar she has telepathically diagnosed allergies and internal organ disease, and through healing, cured eating disorders and extended the life span of a dog suffering from late-stage cancer.

“For pets, when I do a package of healing for a month or two, I know different modalities, and I decide based on the situation. Every week could be different. Some healing modalities the energy is much stronger, others are more gentle – it’s almost like Chinese medicine, the doctor puts in whatever he feels is good for the client, the client doesn’t necessarily know what’s in that formula, you just take the medicine and go home.”

The Great Beyond

For clients that are open to the belief system, Yu Yu can contact animals that have passed on, whether their spirits have been reincarnated already or not. “Even if the animal leaves their physical body, the spirit is still there, and very often, people come to me to talk with their passed-away animals to know if they are doing well, if they have anything they want to say, if they are OK for their owner to get a new pet. Sometimes the spirit might have been reincarnated already; there are many different scenarios. The spirit is still there and capable of communicating – it’s the same for humans. They might have moved on, but if you talk with a medium, they are still able to communicate with them,” she says.

A Woman in a Sweater Taking a Selfie with Her Pet Dog
Photography by Ron Lach

Understanding & Learning the Art

Most of Yu Yu’s students are those who have used communicators in the past, and wish to learn the technique for themselves – that, too, is how she came to learn the art almost a decade ago. Her courses can take place in person or over Zoom – during the pandemic, she learned that the techniques and visualizations are as effective no matter the distance.

Level 1 students learn the basics in a one-day course that, she says, has a 100% success rate, with every student able to pick up the technique. “I start by explaining what communication is, I tell them the importance of self confidence, and I teach them what are the ways you can receive messages: you might get images, you might hear something, you might feel something physical. All these can be messages and you just have to pay attention and trust yourself. Then I lead them through a few meditations, to clear the blockages and open up. Most of my students are open to spirituality so it’s not a difficult thing to meditate.

“And then we start to practice with each other. We’ll pair up and they will look at the photos of their partner’s animals and see what messages they get. We start with very simple questions, questions you can verify immediately with the owner, that will boost your confidence when you get verification. Everyone is happy. Then we do some fun exercises.” These might include games such as guessing which toy belongs to which pet by following its energetic signature.

In the second level, students learn aspects of how to deal with behavioural issues and how to locate an animal that it lost. They also contact animals that have passed away, and learn how to unlock their animal spirit guides, the totem unique to each individual that can help you in the spirit realm to communicate and channel different energies. “Sometimes if you find you have difficulty communicating to a certain animal, you can use your animal guide to help you. It’s actually very powerful, when you know who are your spirit guides, and you’re getting so much help, you have a team around you to help, it’s very nice,” Yu Yu says.

In the third, final level, the focus is purely on healing, understanding the emotional blockages that give way to physical manifestations, and how to ease and erase these.

Woman with 2 meerkats on her shoulder and head
YuYu with Meerkats, image courtesy of YuYu

Choosing the Right Communicator

In her early days as a communicator, it wasn’t uncommon for people to complete the first course, “and the next day, they print a name card, and they’re charging people as an animal communicator. You can imagine [clients] are then not happy and they will say bad things about this whole industry – they’re a cheat, they’re bad,” Yu Yu says with a sigh.

There are no official qualifications for animal communicators, so for those seeking to work with one for the first time, it’s important to take a look at track record, online reviews and ideally, word of mouth. “And see what your feeling is about that person – it’s an intuition thing,” she reminds. But it’s most important to remember your own role in your pet’s life. “An animal communicator is an interpreter. People think animal communicators can do magic. Just tell him not to do this, not to do that. That’s a misconception, because then you’re not doing your part as a parent to your children.”