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History of keeping animals as pets

Although there is uncertainty as to when humans started keeping animals as pets, since their original purpose was for food, work, or to hunt, it was more than likely the wealthy who adopted the idea since they had the luxury of maintaining an animal in a pet capacity; the dog fit the bill and therefore thought to be the first domesticated animal.

Romans were known to have had pets, particularly dogs and birds, but they also had cats and horses, but they were also seen as work animals. The history of fish as pets, too, can be dated back to the seventh century, when Buddhist Monks maintained ornamental fish in ponds; by the fourteen century fish made their way indoors kept in bowls.

During the middle ages pet cats were burned with their owners suspected of witchcraft, whereas at the same time dog breeding became popular for herding, guarding and hunting, however the wealthy also had the luxury of breeding based on character, size and behavior.

The American colonists brought pets over to the new world with them but they were seen more as work animals. Dogs were guards and cats killed rats. By the 1800s a middle class emerged bringing with it the modern age of pet keeping. It was the first time people had the money to keep animals for just companionship. About this time commercially prepared dog food was being made in England but it was not untill after WWI that canned dog food was available.

The twentieth century introduced keeping horses for personal enjoyment rather than for doing work around the property. This was a time when dogs dominated as the pet of choice but tropical birds and fish had also became popular as household pets. In the 1940s cat litter was developed and this made the cat surpass the other animals in popularity as the family pet.

Today pets are like a member of the family. We buy things for them and write stories about them.


Toby, our dog acts a lot like we do. Yesterday I watched him as he set looking, concentrating on something he found very entertaining much like we do the TV. Curiosity finally got the best of him, he began letting me know that he wanted to go out to get a closer look at the subject. It was a lizard that simply scurried off when he went out. He then found other venues to explore. He as it were, changed the channel and checked out some intriguing smells that lingered along the fence line. His exploration lead him under a bush where he chased out some kind of bug in which he had no interest in what so ever. He decided to lay down and relax, take in some sun. I knew it wouldn’t last long because I saw his nose just a going, he jumped up following it like the cartoon characters do, except he didn’t float. The whole time he was outside his nose was in charge, which I guess makes sense because they say their nose is 1000 to 10000 times more sensitive than our’s. So you might say, smelling stuff is a Dog’s TV.