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Introduction

Looking to adopt man's best friend? Wanting that low maintainence goldfish? Just can't seem to figure out what it is your pet really wants? This is the guide for you. After reading, you will certainly know your stuff when it comes to pets and objects for pets.

Finding the Perfect Pet

There are essentially two different kinds of pets in EA-Land. The first kind are object pets, and the second are Sim pets. Object pets are very easy to care for and require very little in terms of feeding, cleaning, and attention. Basically, they are just objects that you interact with like any other, much like the small fish tank. If those pets die, they can be replaced without having to get a new cage or container, and can just be restocked.


Are fish the right pet for you?

The other type of pet, however, is much more like a regular Sim, because really, it is a Sim, but just a different kind. The two species of Sim pets are cats and dogs, both with varying needs and objects to go with them. Don't fret, however, if you think that owning a cat or dog is too much work, because it isn't. If you don't want your pet to run away, simply put it back in its carrier and take it out next time you want it to romp about and have some fun.

Your New Cat or Dog

Upon purchasing your new companion from the Pets section of buy mode (Cats are found in the carrier with the name "Felicitous Feline in Sta-Put Pet Carrier". Dogs are found in the carrier named "Peppy Puppy in Sta-Put Carrier".), you will receive a popup with some brief tips on how to take care of your new pet. It is pretty much the same for both pets, and just lets you know which species you purchased, and to take good care of them.

Naming Your Pet

To name your pet, all you have to do is click on them and select "Change Name" from the pie menu that appears when you click them. Doing this will bring up a popup window in which you can rename your pet. Don't think you must stick to one name either. You can change the name of your little pal as many times as you want.

Pet Motive Care

While you can't actually control pets, they do have motives and needs of their own, and actually have hidden mechanisms which resemble skills. Pet motives are fairly easy to work with. When your pet needs something, it will let you know in a number of different ways. One method is by thought balloons, much like regular Sims. If your pet is tired, it will have a bed picture in a thought bubble. If it needs a bath, it will have the shower bubble, and so forth.

A second method is through whining. If pets are really upset, they will whine, and whine loudly. The louder and longer the howl, the more upset they are, and the more you need to pay attention to them. To hush your coax your complaining mammal, you can either give them what they need, which is most likely attention, or use the "Be Quiet" option which appears on the pet. The latter will silence them, but they will probably not be very happy, and could very well run away.


Keep your pets well fed

Next, if a pet needs fun and social, and you aren't busy, it may very well come up to you and get what it needs. Cats will rub on your legs for fun and social, and dogs will sniff or wrestle with you. In addition, cats may hiss or purr at you or others if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with them, and dogs may lie at your feet, or growl, under the same circumstances.

Hunger is a main need, so always keep a food dish handy, clean, and full. §15 is an easy price to pay to keep your pet full and alive. Don't worry about directing a pet to eat, either. They are very independent, and will know when they are hungry enough to eat.

The next main need of pets is bladder, which varies in technique, you might say, between cats and dogs. Cats are naturally tuned to use the bathroom in the correct place; all you have to do is supply it! Simply purchase a litter box from the Pet sort in buy mode and your cat will use it whenever it has to do its business. Just make sure to keep it clean after it has been used.


Bladdery Dog

Dogs have a slightly different method of using the bathroom, one whichneeds to be trained. (Training will be discussed farther down in this section.) Canines have no concept of outside being the correct place to go when you first purchase them, so make sure you have a shrub, tree, or some other object ouside which is good for relieving one's bladder on. It takes ten praises or scolds, depending on where the animal goes, to get it to pee where you want it to. Of course, you can always train the dog to go inside, but that would only be recommended for those of you who want poor room score or a man-made indoor pool.

Energy is a big part of a pet's life, since it spends most of its time curled up and fast asleep. To maximize the time you have with your pet, get it a decent bed, house, or animal tower to increase its energy most efficiently. The floor is okay if you absolutely can't afford a bed, but really, some form of pet bed is ideal for comfort and energy both.


Bathing Dog

Hygiene is only an issues for dogs, since cats simply clean themselves through licking, grooming, and kitty primping. Dogs, however, being the playfully messy pets they are, need a little extra help in the process of cleaning up. To get your dog to his or her cleanest, purchase a pet bath from the Pets section of buy mode. When you click on it, you will get a pie menu of all the dogs currently out, and you can choose to wash them. After one go through, your dog will be nice and clean again. (Your dog will let you know if it is dirty with a flashing shower head thought bubble over its head, but it is always a good idea to give it a bath once in a while anyway.)


Social

Lastly, fun and attention are definitely a biggy when it comes to caring for a pet. Pets can play with one another for social, but if you don't have two of the same species, that is certainly not an option. When you click on your pet, you will get a number of social options, the three of which that increase social most being pet, praise, and wrestle (Dogs Only). It can't be stressed enough to not be too lenient in your praising, as it will only make your pet think it can do as it pleases, a trait which is not always easy to unlearn. (See the pet training section further down for details.) Petting is always a good way to raise the fun and social motives of your pet, whether it be a feline or a canine. Also, wrestling is an excellent way to raise both of these for a dog, as well as for you, the owner! A final way to give fun to cats in particular is to buy a scratching post. It will keep the cat amused if it is feeling a little bored. A good relationship with your pet can make all the difference when training it and having others interact with it!

Room score pretty much takes care of itself when it comes to pets. If the room score for you is fine, then it's fine for your furry friend.

Training Your Pet

One aspect of pet owning that is all too often overlooked is training. Training can mean the difference between a pet which is an angel, and a pet from Hell. You can train your pet with the praise and scold interactions, as well as through some additional options which differ for cats and dogs.


Praise Your Pets

When you praise your dog or cat, you are letting the animal know that what it just did was a good thing, and that it will most likely be good if it does it again. If your cat or dog doesn't bite when you or others pet it, praise it promptly afterwards. Also, if you are housebreaking your dog, be sure to praise it when it goes outside, rather than on the rug.

Scolding, while it may seem harsh, is necessary at times in the proper training of a pet. Scold your cat or dog when it bites while being petted. Also, if you are potty training your canine, be sure to scold if it takes a tinkle in the house. Don't worry, it won't hurt your relationship with the animal too badly. Nothing a friendly pet or wrestle can't fix.

Excessive praises of scolds are not a good idea, as it can shape your pet's personality for the worse. Only praise or scold if you want to let the animal know whether what it just did was liked or disliked, not whenever you feel like it. This can lead to aggressiveness from too much scolding, or laziness from too much praising.

From here, cats and dogs can get specialized training with interactions unique to each species. This training is somewhat easier to track than praising and scolding, which is sort of an ongoing process, with no meters or guides to tell you how trained the pet is along the way.

Because most homes generally have a mess at one point or another, all properties are potential targets for pests, such as cockroaches and mice. This is where it comes in handy to train your cat to hunt out these pests, and eliminate them from the lot. After all, no one wants to be eating in a mouse-infested kitchen, or sleeping in a bedroom overrun with roaches!


Cat Hunting

Cats will actually only hunt mice, not roaches, but this is really no problem, as only mice appear with messes while a cat is present on the property. If there is no cat, only roaches will appear. You will never have a mix of both pests on the property. If you have your cat roaming around the house, and mice are present somewhere on the property, you will receive an option on the cat labeled "Hunt Mice." If you tell your cat to hunt, and it is in a relatively good mood, it will generally go right for them, unless of course they are inaccessible. While cats may not always get rid of the mice on the first pass, they are still being trained, so just queue up another hunt mice, and eventually, they will get promoted after several commands.

You will receive a popup telling you that your cat's hunting skills have advanced. Your cat can receive a total of five promotions in its mouse-hunting career, starting at Novice Rat Eradicator, moving up to Rookie Rodent Remover, Jerboa Constrictor, Professional Pest Pouncer, and winding up a Master Mouser. A popup will notify you every step of the way, and by the last level, your cat should be able to get rid of mice completely any time it is commanded to.


Cat Receives Promotion

Dogs have a vastly different form of training than cats. Instead of teaching the dog to hunt out pests, you can train your pet puppy to sit and stay with the "Sit 'n' Stay" command. This teaches dogs obedience, and is the easiest to track of all the different training methods. When you tell your dog to sit and stay, it will get a progress bar over its head, much like Sims do when they are skilling. The bar can increase one full amount, and then vanishes when the dog has been fully trained to sit and stay. Praise it when it stays for a long time, and just keep queueing up commands. Really, the best method is simple repetition.


Dog Training Progress

A final, optional bit of training that dogs can receive is being taught to attack. This doesn't serve any important purpose, other than to be an amusing addition to the game. It causes no harm to the Sims which are attacked; it only lowers relationship points between the pet and the victim. To train your dog to attack a certain Sim, it is best to have it trained to sit and stay, so that it is more obedient. From there, simply queue up an attack, and praise if the dog does it successfully. This can be a challenge at times, since the attack option does need to be accepted by the victim. But either way, it can be done, and is amusing if done successfully.

Running Away & Putting Away

Whether we like it or not, sometimes pets do run away. You are notified via in-game mail when this happens, so it will never be without knowing. This can happen for a number of reasons, ranging from lack of care to forgetting to put them back in their carrier. To avoid this sorrowful happening, always make sure your pet has enough food, a place to sleep, and plenty of social. Also, if you notice that the pet is telling you it needs something through thought bubbles, make sure you give it what it is requesting. Lastly, if you are leaving the house, logging off, or just not present, make sure your pet gets put back into its carrier. It is safe and sound in there, and can't escape if inside. If you absolutely can't do it yourself, you can have a roommate do it. To put your pet back in its carrier, simply click it and select "Get back in your carrier!" from the pie menu. The carrier will appear next to your Sim and the dog or cat will know to go right inside.


Runaway Letter

Whether you choose to buy an object pet or a Sim pet, always remember to give them lots of attention, and both of you will have long and happy lives. No one wants to look back to flushing Roger down the toilet, do they?


We'll miss you, Roger!