Ever wondered how far back pet ownership actually goes? 

The unique bond between humans and pets has spanned millennia. With archeologists finding people kept pets as early as 14,000 years ago.

So let’s explore pet ownership through the centuries…

Ancient China

Dogs were the first animals domesticated in China around 12,000 BCE. 

Back then canines were great hunters and kept as companions by the ruling classes. Even taking part in religious rituals.

The Pekingese was a popular lap dog for the royal families and court ladies. 

What’s more, people would wear dog-shaped amulets for protection and good luck. 

Ancient Egypt

The land where cats were first domesticated. All thanks to their pest control and snake-killing skills. 

But ancient Egyptians even worshipped cats as gods!

You see, the goddess Bastes was often shown with a feline head. Symbolising home, fertility, and family well-being. 

But Egyptians did not love only cats.

Dogs like the greyhound Tesem were valuable Pharaoh companions. Some of them even mummified and buried with their owners. 

What’s more, the god Anubis, guardian of tombs, was often linked to dogs. He even had a dog-like face.

Ancient Greece

In Greece dogs were an important part of the family and community. Not only protecting homes and herds, but also working as co-therapists in temples. 

With people thinking canines had unique healing skills. An early version of our modern therapy dogs. 

Now what about cats? 

Felines arrived in Greece on board Egyptian ships. And were only used to control rats.

But they were often characters in popular theatre plays. Where actors could blame the cat for mischief.

Coining the now popular phrase ‘the cat did it’.


The Roman Empire elevated pet ownership to a status symbol. 

With the aristocracy especially loving small dogs, like the Maltese and the Pomeranian. 

The Romans even created some of the first dog collars. A few of them even made of gold!

Archeologists have now found cat and dog bones in Roman gardens. Even painted on vases and coins. 

Proof of pets roaming Italy at the end of the fifth century BC.

A Long History 

Of course, pet ownership didn’t stop with the Romans. 

A few hundred years ago, European royalty would wear clothes with special pockets… 

To keep their favourite pets close at all times.

It just goes to show how our connection with pets is woven in our history. Creating an enduring and universal bond.