animal kept for companionship and a person's enjoyment

A pet is a domesticated animal that lives with people, but is not forced to work and is not eaten, in most instances. In most cases, a pet is kept to entertain people or for companionship. Some pets such as dogs and cats are placed in an animal shelter if there is no one willing to take care of them. If no one adopts it or the pet is too old/sick, the pet may be euthanized or in some cases even abandoned.

Dogs, cats, fish, rodents, lagomorphs, ferrets, birds, certain reptiles and amphibians, and a wide variety of arthropods such as tarantulas and hermit crabs are the most common pets in North America. Horses, elephants, oxen, and donkeys are usually made to work, so they are not usually called pets. Some dogs also do work for people, and it was once common for some birds (like falcons and carrier pigeons) to work for humans.

Rodents are very popular pets. The most common are guinea pigs, hamsters (especially Syrian and dwarf hamsters), mice and rats. Rabbits are also very popular pets.

Bloomberg Intelligence estimated that the pet care market across the world was worth $320 billion in 2024 and growing rapidly.[1]

Common Pets

Image Name
  Dog (member of Canines)
  Cat (member of Felines)
  Goldfish (member of Fishes)
  Mouse (member of Rodents)
  Rabbit (member of Lagomorphs)
  Hamster (member of Rodents)
  Guinea pig (member of Rodents)
  Parrot (member of Birds)


  1. "What my hedgehog tells us about Hong Kong's pet obsession". Retrieved 2024-03-12.