The Sims: Unleashed

Essential Guide to Pet Care

Introduction

This essential guide is destined to aid your Sims finding the ideal pet for their lifestyle. It will tell you all you need to know about caring for a pet, housebreaking, training and even breeding.

If you want to take your pets further and turn them into little furry "stars", read on and learn how to teach them tricks to impress the judges and win those trophies you've been longing for to show off to your friends.

In the Beginning

Pet Types

The first step is choosing a pet that suits your lifestyle. Low maintenance pets suit the life of a busy Sim, while cats and dogs require a lot more maintenance and attention (not to mention money).

Fish are the cheapest option as a pet. They cost $15 each and the goldfish bowl costs $35. You can feed them, clean them and watch them. Not a very exciting pet, but it makes for a nice decorative item. Cats will also prey on your goldfish if they're hungry, so if you plan on having cats and fish, keep the cats well fed.

Next on the cheap list come the budgies ($35) and lovebirds ($59). You can buy a small cage for $65 or a large aviary for $1299. If you already have or plan to have a cat as well, you better get the large cage. Cats will make it a sport to try and get the birds out of the little cage.

Turtles cost only $99 but you also need to get an aquarium, which costs $89. There's not much to do with turtles, but at least you can hold them.

An iguana costs $199 which isn't that expensive, but the tank costs quite a pretty penny ($879). Besides feeding, you can hold them and play with them.

Parrots and cockatoos are a nice addition to any house and have their advantages. They only require food and some clean up, you can practice your Charisma by talking to them, and your dog or cat will have fun just by staring at them. A parrot costs $939 and a cockatoo costs $749.

Cats and dogs are a bit more expensive, adopting one costs $399. You will need to buy food bowls ($45-$119), a bed ($175-$349), litter box if you're getting a kitten ($139), scratch post ($59), dog bath if you're getting a puppy ($349) and some toys to keep them entertained. And then there are the cat houses and pet gyms, which can cost from $299 to $2099.

Cats and dogs are active pets which become part of the family and actually form relationships with their owners. They require more maintenance and attention, roam freely in the lot and when neglected they will run away or be taken away from you.

Preparing to Have a Pet

Goldfish, turtles, budgies and lovebirds are the cheapest options. Although you will have limited interaction with them, they won't roam around your lot, require low maintenance but can die if you neglect them. You won't need any supplies other than their food and their respective cages.

Cats and dogs require much more than food to be happy so be ready to spend some extra Simoleans on your furry friends. Litter box, toys, dog bath, food bowls, treats, collars, scratching posts and comfy beds all cost money but will help your pets stay busy and happy.

Browse through the Buy Mode catalog in the Miscellaneous category, there is a new section for pet items under the paw icon. Here you can get the basics to make your pet at home.

Adopting a Little Friend

So now that you're ready to have a pet, call your transportation and head to Old Town. If you want to know what lots have pet related facilities and services, click on the paw icon.

After you have found your adoption center, you can play with the dogs and cats in the pens or select one to adopt. Browse through the different types of breeds to see what's available, choose one, then pick the sex and name of your pet.

Voila! Your little furry friend will now follow you home.

While you're at the pet center, you might as well purchase some goodies like a collar, treats and some toys. If you need some advice, talk to the Trainer.

Pet Care

Pet Mood

Cats and dogs have specific needs just like your Sim: Fun, Social, Hygiene, Energy, Hunger and Bladder. You must pay special attention to your pet's actions and thought balloons in order to know what they need.

Fun: Cats have fun by watching the Parrot, playing with the scratching post or toys. Dogs love to play with Sims, but they might also stop to watch the Parrot.

Social: Your recently acquired pets usually come home with a very low social meter. Give them lots of attention so they feel welcome. A pet in need of a social boost will do silly things to get your attention. Interacting with other pets also helps.

Hygiene: No problem with the cats, since they clean themselves, but a dog will need frequent baths. Watch for signs of scratching on your dog.

Energy: Pets usually sleep twice a day, so provide them a nice bed for them to rest in.

Hunger: Cats and dogs will look for their food bowls when they're hungry. Keep their bowls clean and with fresh food and they won't ever have to look for your trash can.

Bladder: While a cat will instinctively learn how to use the littler box, you will need to housebreak your dog so he doesn't make a mess in your house.

Pet Personality

Pets are different in their own special way. You can't control the personality scores of a pet, but at least you can understand your pet a little by looking at its personality traits.

Playful or lazy, loyal or independent, aggressive or friendly, smart or dim-witted, adopting a new pet is always a surprise. But no matter how aggressive, dumb or lazy, even the worst pet can be trained into a champion with the proper dedication.

Housebreaking

It takes time, but your pet needs to learn what it can and can't do.

In the case of dogs, the first step is to teach them not to relieve itself in the house. Wait until your dog has to go (toilet thought bubble), step outside the house and call him. Your dog should come to you and relieve himself outdoors. When this happens, praise your dog and give him a treat, so he knows he did well. If your dog 'goes' in the house, scold him.

Proper use of "Praise" and "Scold" over time will teach your pet where to relieve his bladder, as well as keeping him out of certain rooms.

Cats and dogs will also remember who is nice to them and who isn't, so they will have different reactions to Sims according to the way they act towards them.

Pet Skills and Training

Pets have certain skills that need to be developed, and they all play an important role in a pet competition, since a judge will take these skill levels in consideration while examining your pet.

Tricks

Be it a dog or cat, your pets can learn how to do little tricks so you can show off to your friends how cute and smart they really are. You can teach tricks to your pet yourself by clicking on him, choosing "Trick" and then "Train (trick name)". A blue skill bar will appear over your pet to show the progress of his learning. An alternative to doing this yourself is going to an Old Town lot where there is a pet shop, and pay the Pet Trainer to do it for you. Make sure you leave with your mood bars green (yours and your pet's).

The higher your pet's skill, the more it will cost to train it.

Obedience

Your pet is more likely to obey you if its obedience skill is higher. To raise your pet's obedience, use the "Sit and Stay" command. The familiar blue progress bar will appear, and your pet will gain a point once the bar is full.

Hunting

This is a cat skill only. Cats will hunt mice and other pests, and when they're good at it they become really useful in keeping the house clean of these pesky intruders and gain a free snack while they're at it. They will either hunt naturally or you can command them to do so.

House Breaking

This is a dog skill only. Cats instinctively use their litter boxes, but you have to teach a dog not to relieve himself in the house. When you see that your dog has left you a little present on the carpet, click on him and choose the action "Scold". After doing this a few times, your dog will realize that going in the house is a bad thing, and will learn to go outside. Once he does, click on your dog and choose "Praise" so he knows he did well.

Breeding

If you want more little bundles of fur running around your house, you might want to consider breeding your pets. But remember, each pet will take up a family slot, and you can only have a total of eight pets and people in one house.

Obviously, the basic thing you need is two pets of the same species and different sexes. But you can't just make them breed on command, and just like people they will need to get to know each other. If they misbehave with one another, use "Scold" so they learn to get along. Having only one pet bed in the house is a strategy used to force them to snuggle in the same one, something that will give their relationship a big boost.

After a while of getting along, you will eventually get a message asking if you want to go through with the breeding process. Just like having a Sim baby, a new item appears, and you will have a little maternity where your dog or cat mommy-to-be will be staying for the next few days.

You don't have to take care of the puppy or kitten, but you do have to take care of the mother, since her mood will reflect on her baby. It will take three Sim days for the kitten or puppy to mature, and once it does you will be given the option to keep it or sell it.

Selling a pet is actually a good source of income, but taking in consideration that breeding doesn't happen that often, it's not really worth it making a career out of selling pets.

Pet Shows

Participating

To participate in a pet show, you take your pets to an Old Town lot and enter the competition. If there's a Judging Station in a lot, a Pet Judge will come up to you and ask if you want to enter the competition. Pets are judged according to their skills and their mood at the time, so make sure your pet's needs are taken care of before leaving the house.

Trophies

There are four different prizes to be won from the pet competition:

  • Blue Ribbon is the gold trophy, given to outstanding pets who qualify for a first place.
  • Red Ribbon is the silver trophy, given to a pet qualifying in second place.
  • White Ribbon is the bronze trophy, given to pets that get third place.
  • A booby prize is a little figurine given to any pet that doesn't meet the standards for a trophy.

These prizes can be taken home and placed on the Pet Award Cabinet, another way to impress your pet-owning friends. You can buy it for $649 from the Buy Mode catalog, under miscellaneous/ pets.

As a final note, always remember to tend to your pet's needs. Neglected pets can die or be taken away from you by Animal Control.