When Animals Become Domesticated

In ancient times, animals grew and survived in the wild. They established large populations in forests, mountains, prairies and even deserts so long as conditions were tolerable and optimal for their needs.

In the wild, animals had to fend for themselves against predators, at times forming groups or packs to ensure their safety and that of their litter. The leader of the pack was generally recognized as head of the social hierarchy and was entrusted with keeping the pack safe from harm while gaining the trust and obedience of its pack. Wild animals also had to learn to feed themselves. They had to be skilled in catching their prey or else they go hungry.

As human populations grew and demands for resources increased, humans saw the potential uses and benefits it can gain from animals. It was then that humans experimented with and learned to tame or domesticate animals.

Domesticated animals are utilized by humans for various purposes. Animals like cows and sheep are domesticated to produce food or commodities like milk, cheese, wool, etc. Others like horses, camels and dogs are used to assist humans with work like providing transportation and protection. Animals like mice are invaluable in scientific research while dogs, cats and several others are often enjoyed for entertainment or as companions.

Animals which are domesticated for the purpose of companionship are called pets. Despite the advancement in domestication technique over the years however, not all animals can be domesticated. Not all animals can be made pets.

Only animals which are flexible in terms of diet can be domesticated as pets. Wild animals are accustomed to killing their prey and eating them raw. Thus, their food consists mainly of raw meat. Unfortunately, this kind of diet is difficult for humans to sustain or provide on a daily basis as raw meat can be very expensive. Animals in domestication such as pets should be able to adapt to different types of food to include commercially-available pet foods that are easily accessible, affordable and convenient for humans to provide.

Commercially-available pet foods include canned food and dry food. Canned food consists of meat or fish combined with jelly or gravy while dry food contains meat-based bite-size pieces. These foods are especially formulated to meet the pet's nutritional needs and are available in a wide variety of flavors and tastes. Pet owners can opt to choose pet foods that mimic the taste of food in the wild if they so desire to treat their pets.