Pets – our animal family members

When the first wolf was domesticated about 30,000 years ago and the first cat 9,000 years ago, probably no one believed that this would lay the foundation for a loving pet-human relationship. The dog should only help in hunting the prey and thus be eliminated as a food rival. The cat in faraway Egypt was good enough to get the mice from the granaries.

From farm animal to pet

But from these initial utilitarian relationships, a deep bond between humans and animals has developed over generations. Today, as pet owners, we largely don’t care if our dog is good at hunting or if our cat keeps the mice out of the attic. The farm animals of yesteryear have become beloved roommates – and not without reason.

Horses are among the most popular pets in the world
Horses are among the most popular pets in the world

Studies prove: Pets make you happy. There are currently around 30 million pets in Germany alone. Cats, dogs, rodents, birds, fish and co. live with and around people . They are there for us as a comforter and therapist, as a best friend, child or partner substitute, and it has been proven that they can even teach us a sense of responsibility. We, as their two-legged owners, in turn, are happy to share time, money and lives with our four- to eight-legged, feathered or scaled companions. But what are the actual types of pets? How should they be treated and kept to meet their needs as best as possible? And what are the specifics of the different species and breeds?

This page presents pet species with their characteristics, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. Behind the various links hide detailed information about the respective pet species and breeds.

Here you can read in detail what breeds of pets there are:

Pet breeds

Cat breeds

Dog breeds

Horse breeds

Hamster species

Pet reptiles


Animal welfare should be pursued not only for ethical reasons, but also for legal ones. How an animal must be kept is firmly specified in the Animal Welfare Act. And even if this still wobbles a bit too much here and there or contains imprecise definitions, some things stand rock solid.

For example, the keeping of large animals in stalls has been prohibited in Germany for many years. Those who keep horses in stands during this process can be fined and given warnings up to imprisonment. Equally illegal is the puppy trade from abroad with unregistered dogs. Here, too, illegal breeding stations are severely punished. For example, the delivery of puppies under 8 weeks is prohibited.

Whereas, fortunately, many aspects of animal husbandry are strictly controlled and punished, other things are still far too opaquely broken down. For example, there can be no penalty for keeping a giant German dog in 30 square meters of living space, or for keeping 50 fish swimming in too small a space.

Unfortunately, many pet owners do not even know about a species-appropriate husbandry and want to inform themselves at this point about animal husbandry before they acquire an animal. These considerations and approaches are absolutely commendable. It is not uncommon for people to decide against a purchase while researching this topic. Simply because you realize that you can’t meet and offer the required aspects at all.

If you are not yet sure whether and which animal suits you, I recommend our buying guides:

Buying cats – what to consider?

Buying dog, what to consider?

Buying a horse – what to consider?

Buy rabbits

Buying guinea pigs – the big guide

Animal husbandry is very different. Some animals need large terrariums with varying temperatures, others need the ability to crawl or bury themselves. Some animals should not be caged at all, others need contact with humans. Whatever the husbandry of the various animals, it is important that it is adapted to the animal in a manner appropriate to its species.

Here you will find all our guides and overview pages on animal husbandry:

The correct attitude and care for rabbits

Proper husbandry guinea pig

Horse husbandry – but properly

Living together with cats

Living together with dogs

Aquarium set up

Sources and further information:


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