Pets in Black Desert will loot mobs you have killed every so often depending on level and rank, and high ranking pets can also apply minor buffs to things such as energy regeneration and combat experience. There are 5 species of pets in Black Desert: Cats, Dogs, Hawks, Parrots, and Penquins.
Two pets of the same species may be bred together to obtain a single higher ranked pet of that species. This kills the parents though. Higher ranked pets may obtain up to 3 special abilities, and may end up looking like a completely unique pet, aesthetically. Higher ranked pets may also obtain a different special ability such as Monster Taunt, as well as a faster rate of item pick up.
Pets can be purchased with Pearls from the cash shop but only at ranks 0. You may also breed your pets to obtain rank 2, 3, or 4 pets.
You can summon your pets through the Paw icon button in your equipment screen or underneath your XP bars. A maximum of 3 pets can be activated at a single time. While summoned, your pet's hunger meter will decrease at a constant rate. You can refill this by feeding them with pet food, which also grants them experience to level up.
Cats have the smallest maximum hunger bar,their default special ability is to locate resources.
Dogs have much larger hunger bars than cats, as well as the default special ability to make a special growl when hostile players approach.
Hawks are the newest pets, with the largest hunger bar, least interactive abilities, and the special ability to locate elite mobs around you.