The history of domesticated animals

This is a guest post written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of Hungry Pets.

The history of domesticated animals

For a great many years now – far more than we can comprehend, in fact – human beings have kept some animals as pets, as domestication has taken place and the implementation into homes has proven successful. It’s not really something we’d think about now, but there was a time at which dogs and cats weren’t part of our households, nor were other forms of animals for that matter. The domestication process takes time, and of course some animals are more suited to it than others. Even now, there are many animals which have not been domesticated and probably never will be. One is the fox – to look at it you would think that it would suit domestication rather well, but it has never seemed to happen. So, exactly what was it that made the human species begin to keep animals such as dogs and cats as pets?

In this blog post, we aim to take a closer look at the two most popular domestic animals, which probably don’t need any introduction. We will touch upon the approximate point in history at which they became domesticated, and also the reasons for this. We will also discuss whether or not the reasons we initially began to keep these animals as pets are still prevalent.


There’s no better place to start than the most popular domestic animal throughout the world: the canine. It seems like a cliched expression, but the dog is referred to as “man’s best friend” for good reason – we really do seem to take to dogs like no other animal. With a great many different species to choose from, we can all find the perfect dog for us.

Dogs are said to have been initially domesticated tens of thousand of years or so ago. This is supported by evidence of a dog’s jawbone which was found in an Iraqi cave, which dated back 12,000 years, but it is believed that domestication began much further back than that. This is perhaps quite surprising when you try to comprehend exactly how long ago that is, but if you think about it, it’s not that surprising at all. Man and dog go together so well that it’s hard to imagine a time at which we weren’t extremely close.

It is believed that the first domesticated canine was the timber wolf, which is of course well-known for its predatory instincts. It is what’s referred to as an ‘apex’ predator, which means that they have very few (or often no) animals preying on them.

Throughout history, domesticated dogs have served as guard animals because of their physical prowess and impressive loyalty. They also of course served as beasts of burden for this very same reason – their power and perseverance qualities mean that they can engage in a lot of physical activity.

Of course, further back in history, dogs unfortunately were used as a source of food when there was no other option, but thankfully this is no longer the case, as the bond is so strong now that eating canines of any sort is not the done thing in many societies. Of course, as well as being used for food, early dogs were also used for fur, but again, this is something which has gladly died out now.

Art from throughout history also indicates that domestic dogs have long been commonplace. Both Egyptian painting and Roman mosaics portray dogs of numerous breeds and sizes.



Of course, cats have also been a highly popular domestic animal for a great many years now, all over the world. As with anything which spans back so far, researchers and scientists have found it rather hard to pinpoint the exact point in history at which humans began to keep cats as pets.

As with dogs, the domestication of cats is said to have happened tens of thousands of years ago. Continuing the theme of jawbones, a cat’s was found by an archeologist in Cyprus in the early 1980s, and they ascertained that this dated back around 8,000 years ago. Of course, many researchers believe that it happened much earlier than this.

Unlike dogs, cats are actually very little use to human beings other than company, as they don’t make good guardians or beasts of burden. Some people will tell you that people own dogs, but no-one can really ever own a cat. Instead, cats seem to attach themselves to humans, or accept the domestication and use it to their advantage.

One use of the cat during the early stage of domestication was their penchant for hunting mice. Cats proved extremely useful for those who made their living in agriculture, as they would in essence act as nature’s pest control service. Naturally, this caused people to take to cats incredibly well – of course, many people in these civilisations grew their own food to feed themselves.

Which is more popular?

Though many people would argue that dogs are more popular and were more useful to human beings when they were first domesticated, it is very arguable that neither one is more popular in terms of modern domestic animals. Some people are dog lovers, whilst others are cat lovers. Some are both.

As we don’t tend to keep a dog or a cat for their traditional purposes anymore, it could be said that the reason we keep domestic animals has changed somewhat considerably. Now we keep both dogs and cats for companionship more than we do for anything else – they’re also, of course, very good for teaching children about life and the world, and how to interact.

Do you have a preference one way or the other, or do you have both dogs and cats in your home? If you’d like to, why not leave a comment in the section below to start off some discussion.

This blog post was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of Hungry Pets, the one-stop shop for all of your pet foods and supplies.

For more cat blogging visit the catblogosphere.

Wed. Hero-Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton

This post was suggested by SJ and Michael

Admiral Jeremiah Denton

89 years old from Virginia Beach, Virginia

USS Independence (CVA-62)

July 15, 1924 – March 28, 2014

U.S.<br />

Jeremiah Andrew Denton, Jr. was a Rear Admiral and Naval Aviator in
the United States Navy and, following his retirement from naval
service, was a United States Senator from the state of Alabama. In
1965 he was captured in North Vietnam when his plane was shot down and
he and his navigator Bill Tschudy spent eight years a POW’s in the
infamous “Hanoi Hilton”. In 1966 he was forced to take part in a
press conference by his captors in which they asked him about his
support for the war. He responded: “I don’t know what is happening,
but whatever the position of my government is, I support it fully.
Whatever the position of my government, I believe in it, yes sir. I am
a member of that government, and it is my job to support it, and I
will as long as I live”. During that interview he was able to send a
message by blinking the word “Torture” in Morse code to let the world
know what the POW’s were going though.

You can read more about Rear Admiral Denton here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so
others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them

Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more
information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on
your site, you can go here.

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COTC’s Sunday Edition On Thursday!

With my most profound apologies for a late carnival, pleading illness that has kept me from posting.
On to the Carnival Edition 532 which was due on
Sunday, May 25!

Welcome to The Carnival Of The Cats!
cotcs Where “All your cats r belong to us.”

Having a bit of a spat over who should go where, Tigger reacts as SirWoody slaps at him… By slapping right back!
SonnyBob watches upside and backwards as his siblings get it on!
cat spat

Jumping over to,
The Girls Get Their Nails Done and a Weight Check at the
Vet, looks like fun was had for all!

Next stop at CatSynth.
The 2nd Annual Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival took place a little over a week ago. Large numbers of cat lovers and cat-video enthusiasts descended on a block of West Grand Avenue along The Great Wall in celebration of cats, and of course your author was there, complete with crazy-cat-lady dress and bag.
crazy catsynths lady

Moving onward -Brian’s Home Womancat Wednesday with Sisters Kit and Zoe.
First up Sister Kit.
sister kit
Next Up Womancat Whisker Humps with Sister Kit!
sister zoe

Around the curve with Animal Shelter Volunteer Life,
with (nearly) Wordless Wednesday.

Sparky Shadow Freddie
Shadow says, “No!”

Also Animal Shelter Volunteer Life,
Hooray! It’s FURever Home Friday! And we have some HUGE adoption news to report!

At curves end-Rascal & Rocco
7 Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Him #HillsPet.
cat photophoto courtesy of Hills

Life from a Cat’s Perspective Special Post For Mr. Tigger
< by Samantha
on Monday.
Also from
Life from a Cat’s Perspective

Wordless Wednesday with Samantha.

Finally- From StrangeRanger

“This memorial day, we’re remembering family members who went to war, and those who kept the home fires burning. We hope all who serve come home safe.

We also remember Ivy. A gallant soul, a kind heart and a civilized manner.”ivy
Thank you all for participating! The next Carnival is 06/01/14 #533 – The Opinionated Pussycat

Submissions can be sent to: carnivalofthecats(at)
The Carnival Home Page, with an archive of past Carnivals, the Line-up for 2013, FAQ’S, and more, is HERE.
The Carnival of the Cats needs hosts for this year!
Contact Mog, to host YOUR Carnival edition(s) at mog(at)carnival(dot)

As always IF I have made an error or missed someone, contact me via the contact form. Have a Blessed week.