This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bowd, S. and Cockram, S. (2017), The animal in Renaissance Italy. Ren. Stud., 31: 183–200. which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1111/rest.12299. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.