Pets vs. Domesticated Animals
Difference Between Pets And Domesticated Animals
Pet ownership may be the world’s ultimate animal science. Every year, hundreds of millions of pet owners learn volumes about animal psychology, physiology, aging, and medicine. But it’s not research into animal behavior that has made pet keeping one of the world’s favorite leisure activities; rather, it is the fact that pets, by definition, are companions. Their status as cherished friends and confidants distinguishes them from all other categories of domesticated animals, including those used for food, labor, and medical studies.
In many circumstances, pets double as working animals—whether herding or hunting alongside their owners or bearing their masters on their backs. Other pets, such as fish, serve an essentially decorative function, enlivening a room with color and movement. A responsible owner, in turn, supplies a pet’s physical and emotional needs, from healthful food and fresh water to veterinary care and opportunities for enjoyable physical activity. Making the choice of an appropriate pet hinges on a clear understanding of a particular animal’s requirements, and how that animal’s needs fit into the lifestyle of the potential owner. Unfortunately, millions of pets end up abandoned each year by owners who failed to appreciate what caring for an animal entails.
While randomly bred, or “mixed-breed,” dogs and cats have always been common, pet-keeping also has its fads. Handsome but difficult breeds such as Dalmatians and Rottweilers, for example, enjoy a certain vogue, only to be eclipsed a few years later by other breeds. Some pets, once considered “exotic,” have continued to grow in popularity in recent decades. They include ferrets, iguanas, snakes, and tarantulas.
By definition, domesticated animals have lived under human control for generations. They do not include zoo animals or wild creatures tamed after capture. Early people first domesticated animals for companionship. Later they domesticated animals for work, food, leather, and fur. Most domesticated species still have close relatives in the wild. But they differ from their wild cousins in behavior and form.
Domestic dogs descend from wolves. Early peoples may have tolerated wolves that scavenged their scraps. They may have adopted orphaned wolf pups. Eventually, domesticated wolves proved themselves useful. They warned their masters of approaching strangers. They helped capture game animals.
Sheep and Goats
Sheeps were kept them for meat. Later, people bred sheep with thick coats to provide wool. They bred goats to supply year-round milk.
Pigs do not need to graze. They can live in pens and eat scraps. So they fit well with the settled lifestyle of early farmers.
Donkeys and Horses
Their usefulness as pack animals spread throughout the Mediterranean and across Asia.