Pet Play 101: The Beginner's Guide to the Pet Play Kink

What is Pet Play?   |   What is Pet Space?   |   The Relationship Between BDSM & Pet Play   |   Pet Play Roles: Handlers, Trainers, Submissive Pets & More   |   Types of Pet Play   |   Pup Play   |   Kitten Play   |   Bunny Play   |   Niche Pet Play Types   |   Negotiation for Pet Play


Pet Play: A Popular Form of Animal Roleplay 

Some like to read a good book to unwind, others like a long leisurely bubble bath, and a surprisingly large number like to wear a rubber dog mask and chase a ball. Welcome to the wonderful world of the pet play kink. 

The popularity of pet play in (and out of) BDSM is on the rise, and social media is awash with pet players dressed as pups, kittens, and a host of other creatures. 

Head online and you’ll find forums on pet play and all types of pet play gear to buy, from leashes and collars to masks and tails.

Pet play enthusiasts can engage in play privately or enjoy the social aspect with fellow pet play kinksters at a fetish club or event.

Popular forms of play include puppy, kitten, pony, wolf, and bunny pet play, along with a few more obscure animals.  

There are various roles in pet play including:

  • handler
  • owner
  • trainer
  • the all-important pet (which could be a submissive or alpha pet depending on the dynamic or D/s relationship involved)

We will elaborate on these different roles later in this guide!

In this article, we will trot into the pet play enclosure and tell you more about this illustrious kink and discuss the different types of play.

We will also explore the common roles and titles used and shine a light on the type of pet play BDSM gear available.

So, without further ado let’s wag those tails and sharpen those claws as we tumble down the rabbit hole and ask, what is pet play?

What is pet play?

Cartoon style of kinky dom and sub pup relationship. There is a male dom with standing. They have a hair chest and stomach. They are wearing a matching chest harness and jockstrap set as well as a police hat that says "Daddy" on the brim. The dom's face is relaxed and confident. There is a gimp kneeling before the dom on their left side. The gimp has their hands wrapped around the dom's upper thigh. The gimp is wearing a bondage hood with open eyes and a zipped mouth hole. The gimp is wearing a red latex sleeveless shirt. The gimp is looking longingly up at the dom. There is a large bear paw print in the background.

Best described as a form of animal role play, pet play kink is linked to D/s, BDSM, and power exchange relationships. It usually involves one or more people adopting the persona of an animal, such as a pup or pony.

The play can be part of a BDSM scenario and take place privately or at a fetish event, or it can be part of an intimate relationship. 

Entering Petspace

With chores to complete, a career ladder to climb, bills to pay, etc. it’s little wonder that people are looking for an escape! Pet play and other kink play can provide respite from the daily grind and its many problems. 

BDSM and role play offer an alternate reality and we often hear about “subspace,” the term is used to describe the endorphin rush often experienced during play.

Pet players are likely to experience “pet space,” which is no doubt similar to the “rope-high” riggers and rope bunnies experience when engaging in Shibari, or the thrill of “little space” encountered by age players.

Dominants/Tops also get a buzz from play, it’s not described as “subspace” for obvious reasons, but the thrill is just as exhilarating.  

Understanding the Pet Play Kink

The pet play kink can be sexual or non-sexual, depending on the individuals involved and the type of relationship/dynamic formed.

Some take pleasure in engaging in sexual acts, but others prefer the social element of pet play and derive gratification from the closeness and intimacy involved.

Let’s explore a few of the kinky elements.

Role Play 

Pet play falls under the kinky umbrella of animal play, but as the name suggests people tend to adopt the persona of a domestic animal rather than a wild one.

Pet players sometimes wear gear or masks, perhaps with a collar and leash for certain pets.

The pet acts in a way befitting of their chosen animal, e.g., Crawling on all fours, purring, etc. The owner/handler can feed, care for, play with and chastise their pet as they see fit. 


Pet play bondage can add an extra element of fun to pet play kink. What better place for a mischievous pet than a secure kennel or cage? Time-out takes on a whole new meaning when you’re confined in a small space.

The pet can also wear a collar and leash and might don mitts to prevent the use of fingers. Restraints can also be fitted to limit the pet’s movement and enforce obedience. 

Humiliation & Degradation

Making a pet eat and drink from bowls on the floor, remain on all fours, beg, endure cage time and only communicate via growls, purrs, woofs, or even using agreed upon poses can heighten the pet play experience. 

To take things up a notch the pet owner could even insist that their pet pees outside in the garden (just make sure the neighbors can’t see)! 

Praise & Punishment 

Most pets love to receive treats, such as the opportunity to interact with BDSM toys made specifically with pet play in mind. They also enjoy praise, and love being petted, stroked, and told they are a good girl or boy. 

Handlers/owners can provide care and TLC to form a good bond with their pets, but they also need to instill obedience.

Pets can be disciplined in numerous ways, such as verbal reprimands, physical penalties e.g., spanking, time-out, and being made to wear restraints (such as binders to ensure they remain on all fours).

Pets can also be forced to carry out degrading acts, as described in the humiliation and degradation section previously. 

Non-Sexual & Sexual D/s

Pet play is closely linked to D/s (domination and submission) and as we’ve touched on already, play can be sexual or non-sexual. The type of play depends on the dynamic of those involved.

Not all scenarios involve a dominant and submissive, pet play can also take place between two dominants, two switches, or a combination of dominant/switch, submissive/switch, or the more traditional dominant/submissive. 

Contractual D/s 

It’s not uncommon for dominants to draw up a contract for their submissive (with a period of negotiation before agreement).

Pet play could be an integral part of that contract, with the submissive agreeing to take on their pet persona at set times.

The contract should clarify the role of the pet and how the owner will take responsibility for their animal. 

Cartoon style of dom spanking a kneeling sub. A dom dressed as a police officer is standing with their legs spread apart in a confident, powerful stance. The dom is black and is wearing an all-black outfit. The dom is holding a black crop in both hands, waiting to use it on a sub in a kneeling and vulnerable position in between their legs below them. The sub is wearing a black thong. Only the butt of the sub is exposed and their butt has marks from being spanked with the crop. You can see the sub's feet and toes. The dom is looking down at the sub, waiting to strike again.


Total Power Exchange (TPE)

Total power exchange is a more severe form of D/s, and as the name suggests, one partner (the dominant) takes total control of the other (the submissive).

This lends itself well to pet play, as the master can issue instructions and strive to ensure their pet is obedient at all times.

It is possible to embark on a 24/7 TPE pet play relationship, but this is easier to enforce behind closed doors (unless you’re with like-minded kinksters)! 


Unfortunately, attention-seeking pets can’t wander around in public doing their weekly shop-dressed head-toe in black latex, with a dog mask hood and a butt plug tail.

Similarly, handlers can’t drag their human pets around the local park and instruct them to cock their leg by the flower bed.

Fortunately, the kink scene caters well to pet players with fetish events and opportunities for private play. Pets and owners can come together, have lots of fun, and even put on a show for their peers in a safe, non-judgmental space.

Roles in Pet Play 

Many different roles exist within the parameters of Pet play BDSM. D/s roles can be enhanced and reinforced through ownership, pet training, etc.

The traditional D/s roles (dominant/submissive) lend themselves well to pet play, but as we pointed out earlier, play can work well between all sorts of people including dominants and switches – who says you need a label to have fun? 

Pet play roles are varied, players might identify as an owner or handler (the person who looks after and instructs the pet), or they may prefer to be described as a trainer - teaching the pet skills and how to be obedient.

On the other side of the coin, we have pets. The player might identify as a submissive pet, an alpha pet, an older pet, or a younger pet.

Dynamics and roles differ from relationship to relationship, and sometimes it’s fun to try more than one role out for size.

Let’s explore the pet play roles in more detail - maybe you’ll find one that sounds perfect for you.

Submissive Pet Role

The most popular type of pet play, submissive pet play involves a person taking a subservient role, where they can lose themselves in pet space.

BDSM offers plenty of opportunity for the pet to succumb to their owner or handler by following commands and heeding instructions. 

The submissive pet could take the form of a puppy, bunny, catgirl, etc. and they understand disobedience will lead to reprimands and punishment.

Submissive pets are eager to please and they crave praise and attention in the form of strokes, cuddles, treats, and playtime. They also love to curl up on their owner’s lap for a nap! 

Owner/Handler Role

The owner or handler takes on a dominant role, and the pet/owner dynamic could be likened to the master/slave relationship.

Owners/handlers care for their pets, keeping them safe and well. They also take responsibility for their pets, providing training (see trainer role below for more on this), teaching new skills, and enforcing rules to ensure good behavior.

Owners/handlers/trainers can also groom, tickle, tease, engage in pet play bondage, and toy with their pets.

They have the power and are expected to exert control - rewards and punishments can be administered in line with this. 

Trainer Role

Petplay training can be fun for both the pet and trainer and can help to add structure.

Pet play BDSM toys come in handy for training, such as dog bone gags for barky doggies and arm and leg binder restraints to ensure your pup stays on all fours – no jumping up.

We’ll explore pet play BDSM gear in more detail later. 

Alpha Pet/Animal

Alpha pets are often labeled as assertive or dominant. They have usually honed their skills and are capable of showing newcomer pets and more submissive pets how it’s done.

Alphas are not bullies, it’s not about bossing other pets around, instead, they heed commands from their owner/handler and are mindful of the instructions given.

They can then keep a watchful eye on the pack, remain composed, and lead by example.

Older Pet 

Older pets tend to be calmer and less excitable than their younger counterparts.

A puppy might chew the odd shoe, race around aimlessly, and might even have a little accident on the carpet! Older pets can still be mischievous and need to be nurtured, but they tend to be better behaved. 

Younger Pet

The younger pet may enter into a slightly different pet space, BDSM still comes into play and there may be more for the owner/handler to deal with!

As with real-life pets, human puppies, kittens, and bunnies are playful, loveable, and a little bit naughty.

They enjoy lots of attention, so owners/handlers will need to be able to provide the right amount of TLC, supervision, and control. 

Types of Pet Play

Also known as animal play, pet role play and animal role play, pet play is a popular and varied kink.

We’ve already discussed how people adopt different roles e.g., handler, submissive pet, etc. depending on the dynamic / scene. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular forms of pet play and find out more about the great gear available.

Pup Play

Let’s start with the most popular of all - puppy play.

There’s a large community of puppies and dogs out there wagging their tails! It’s not unusual for a human-canine to happily sit at the feet of his or her owner or pup master.

On command, they will roll, sit, beg, lie down, fetch and attempt to learn new tricks. 

Owners/handlers and their puppies and dogs can regularly frequent parties and events, enter dog shows, take part in agility, etc. – a great way to socialize with other pup play enthusiasts.

There are also online communities and forums, which offer a safe and fun place to chat and mix.

As you might expect, there’s plenty of pup play gear available on the market, here’s a trio of great items designed to enhance play:

Neoprene Pup Hood


A favored element of pup play, I've never met a pup that doesn't love wearing a hood. Many pups enter their petspace once they slip on their hood. Pup hoods can encompass intense self-expression for the wearer. Pups love to play with other pups in their hoods (rubbing noses together, pawing each other, etc.). There is a large variety of pup hoods available for pups to choose from, but the Neoprene K9 hood by Mr. S Leather is a favorite of many.

Available in a range of colors e.g., black/cobalt, black/yellow, black/pink, etc. the Neoprene K9 Hood would be the perfect accessory for a mischievous pup.

A revised version of the original Mr. S Leather design, the hood now features more realistic ears too. 

Adorn Fox Tails Butt Plugs

A pup simply can't be seen without a tail. Many pups love to wear tails in the privacy of their homes, play parties, and even just out and about. If you're not a fan of tails with plugs, there are tails you can wear without needing a plug! Combine a tail holder and plugless tail in the color of your choice to complete your look.

These fluffy tails are available in white, silver, reddish, and natural. The tail is made from real fox and held in place by a stainless-steel metal anal plug. The plug is 2.8cm in width and 7.5cm in length and the tail measure 11-13cm in length and 40-43cm in width. 

A person is looking at the camera against a blank, dark background. The person is wearing a pup hood and is presumably a pup. The hood has a red muzzle with a black nose and fully covers the chin. The hood features red eyebrows and pointed, red/black ears. The hood is made with neoprene and fully cover the head. There are openings for the eyes for the person to see. The person is wearing a matching collar and chest harness set.

Neoprene K9 Hood

A favored element of pup play, I've never met a pup that doesn't love wearing a hood. Many pups enter their petspace once they slip on their hood. Pup hoods can encompass intense self-expression for the wearer. Pups love to play with other pups in their hoods (rubbing noses together, pawing each other, etc.). There is a large variety of pup hoods available for pups to choose from, but the Neoprene K9 hood by Mr. S Leather is a favorite of many.

Available in a range of colors e.g., black/cobalt, black/yellow, black/pink, etc. the Neoprene K9 Hood would be the perfect accessory for a mischievous pup.

A revised version of the original Mr. S Leather design, the hood now features more realistic ears too. 

A collar that says "SLUT" in all caps against a white background. The word is made with metal. This collar is thick in width and is adjustable in the back with a metal clasp.Black Leather Slut Collar

Collars can be fashionable, made for play, or both. Many pets love to wear collars that make kinky statements about who they are and how they identify. 

This collar was made to make a statement, just perfect for pups who love attention. This collar is made with real, durable leather, making it a long-lasting investment. This collar makes for a fantastic accessory to any outfit. 


A red and black collar and leash set against a white background. The collars and leash are made with a shiny material and have metal D-ring where the leash is attached. The inside of the collar is black and the leash and ring are silver.

Rogue Collar and Leash Set

Collar and leashes are another pup staple. You don't find many pups on the loose without their leashes! Collars and leashes are a great way to enforce D/s dynamics between handler/owner/trainer and pet. Using collars and leashes may require the handler to train their pet to walk well on a leash. How you choose to use collars and leashes is completely up to you!

Keep your pup under control with the Rogue Collar and Leash set. This vegan collar features sexy black and red detailing. There’s also a matching leash so you can make sure your pup stays close.

Two leashes against a white background. One leash has a red handle and the other has a black handle. The leashes have thick, silver chains and a sizeable silver clip.

Wolf Chain Leather Leash

This thick chain leash was made for those who need a leash for more than just show. This leash features a leather handle, a thick chain, and a sizable clip. Every element of this leash was made to handle rough play time. 

Three bone gags against a white background. The gags are made with silicone and leather straps. One bone is black, another bone is pink, and the other is black. The mouth gags have a metal buckle on the back to adjust the size.

Pet Lover Silicone Ball Gag

Pups sure do love their bones! If you need to give your pup a little something to chew, this gag will satisfy. Your pup won't be able to help but drool over everything you do to them. 

Kitten Play

Soft, fluffy, cute, and playful, who doesn’t love a kitten? Kitten pet play can involve kitties sipping milk from saucers and contentedly purring as you stroke and caress them.

Kittens love to chase ribbons and string, and will rub themselves up the legs of their owner/handler to attract even more attention (they may be cute but they can also be demanding)! 

Just like pup play, kitten play has a large following online and in real life, so there should be plenty of pet play events for you and your feline friend.

Pampered pussies need lots of goodies to keep them purring, luckily there are plenty of treats for your kitty:

A black collar and leash set accented with diamond studs around the circumference of the collar and the length of the leash handle. The metal of the ring on the collar and the chain are made with silver metal.

Ouch Diamond Studded Collar with Leash

Collar and leashes are a kitty staple. You don't find many pets on the loose without their leashes! Collars and leashes are a great way to enforce D/s dynamics between handler/owner/trainer and pet. Using collars and leashes may require the handler to train their pet to walk well on a leash. How you choose to use collars and leashes is completely up to you!

Made from PU leather and peppered with diamond studs, the Ouch Diamond Studded Collar with Leash is glamorous but durable. The collar has a length of 46 cm and is adjustable for the perfect fit. 

A pink collar and leash set against a white background. The leash and collars have snakeskin print and collar has a round ring in the front with a leash attached to it. The metal is a rose gold color. The back of the collar has a metal buckle to adjust the size.

Pink Snakeskin Print Collar and Leash Set

Cute kittens deserve cute collar and leash sets. Reward your kitty with a collar and leash they'll never want to take off. Featuring rose gold metal accents and an adjustable buckle in the back. The collar is lined with microfiber for comfortable wearing!

A black and silver collar with a black strap. The front of the collar has two silver chains. The lower silver chain has a heart ring in the front. The back of the collar has a buckle for adjusting.Vegan Leather Fashion Heart Collar

Collars can be fashionable, made for play, or both. Many pets love to wear collars that make kinky statements about who they are and how they identify. 

Tell your kitty you love them with an accessory that will remind them of it every day. Made with flexible vegan leather that will comfortably compliment your outfits. The back of the collar has a metal buckle to adjust to your neck size.


A metal headband with pointed fur ears. The fur is a gray color and the headband is gray.

Mink Fur Kitty Ears

Many kittens simply don't feel like themselves without their ears. They truly are an essential piece. Kitten ears come in a variety of colors, textures, and more. Some ears are standalone and can be paired with anything and others are attached to face masks. 

Unleash your inner feline with these Mink Fur Ears. These ears are made with real mink fur - I can't get enough of that silky feeling!

The headband-style ears are easy to wear with any hairstyle and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. 

A fluffy black tail with a butt plug on the end against a white background. The tail is black in color.

Vegan Kitty Tails Butt Plug

Another essential, many kittens can't go without their tails! Not many would recognize a kitten without their tail! Tails with butt plugs can be worn around the house, at play parties, fetish events, and even just out and about! Tails can come in a variety of colors and textures. 

How about a silky tail for your kitty? The Vegan Kitty Tails product is a cruelty-free vegan butt plug complete with a tail. Choose from white, pink, black, baby blue, or kitty stripes.

Bunny Play

Bunny pet play might not be as mainstream as pup or kitten play, but it certainly has a following.

They might not wear a collar or leash, but endearing bunnies can look as pretty as a picture with ears and a fluffy butt plug tail! 

Bunnies are charming and can be shy - but they can also be spoiled and overindulged (a little like pampered kittens).

Like other pets, bunnies enjoy being entertained, but aren’t always sociable – they like a mix of quiet time and attention. There are lots of bunny bits and bobs available to enhance play:

A person looking at the camera with their head tilted to the right and their hands in the air next to their face. The person is wearing a black, half-face mask with openings for the eyes. The bunny ears are black on the outside and pink on the inside. The person is wearing black, fingerless elbow-length gloves that have a pink paw on the inside. They are wearing a black, sleeveless top with straps and a sweetheart neckline.

Black and Pink Bunny Mask

Many bunnies feel best wearing bunny ears! Bunny ears can stand up and appear alert while others droop down and give the bunny a softer appearance. Some bunnies have multiple masks to switch out depending on their mood. 

A comfortable half-face mask that you can wear for hours at a time! The mask is a flexible material for comfort and the ears stand up on their own so you can be the perky little bunny you are! Finish off your look with elbow-length gloves that feature little paw prints. I just love an adorable little bunny!


Leather Bunny Hood

A top-quality bondage hood, the Leather Bunny Hood is handcrafted from premium leather and is great for fans of sensory deprivation.

The hood can be locked in place and boasts small eyelets (1.25” diameter), an equally small mouth-hole (0.5” diameter), and an impressive set of bunny ears. Buyers can choose from a black or white hood.  


Bunny Ears PVC

Not all bunnies wear a hood! Some prefer ears as they are very versatile. Some will own both ears and masks to use for different scenarios.

No bunny is complete without a set of cute Bunny Ears PVC, and these stand out. There’s an impressive range of colors, choose from rainbow, silver, red, black, white, and glitter. 


A butt plug with a round, pink tail. The tail is against a white background. The tail is attached to a silver, metal butt plug.

I Want to Be a Bunny Butt Plug

You’ve got the ears, but now you need a tail. The I Want to Be a Bunny tail is cute and fluffy, a pom pom style butt plug that comes in pink or black. 

A black collar and leash set against a white background. The collar is black and thick in width. There is a metal round ring in the front and the leash is attached. The leash chain is made with gold. The handle is black.

Bijoux Maze Vegan Leather Choker with Leash

Bunnies wear collars too! Keep your bunny right by your side with a simple and sexy collar and leash set. This thick, black collar is comfortable for hours of wear. Featuring gold metal accents to finish off the look.

Other Types of Play

Petplay kink doesn’t end with dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits, and bunnies.

On the contrary, there’s a big world of animal roleplay out there. One that you might hear mentioned often in BDSM circles is pony play.

Prancing ponies are often saddled by owners/ handlers and taken for a ride around the room. 

They can also be fitted with bridles and bits, have a horse-hair butt plug tail inserted, and feel the sting of a riding crop if they do not obey. 

Other pet play includes cow play, and pig play (snout, trotters, and a muddy pigsty – plus a curly tail butt plug for good measure – sound like there’s lots of fun to be had on the farm).

It’s not just the down on the farm though, people adopt the persona of all sorts of creatures, from foxes to wolves, and even dragons!

A dragon is trained by its owner to rise like a phoenix and is encouraged to become strong and striking.

Ready to explore pet play? Read this first.

Kink can be exhilarating and add excitement to a relationship, but it only works well if there’s communication and respect.

Whatever type of play you embark on, be it impact, bondage, medical, electro, or pet play, BDSM requires negotiation. 

Even if you’ve played with the person before it’s worth discussing your dynamic regularly and talking about a scene ahead of play. 

If you’re playing with a new partner, it’s even more important to acquaint yourself with your partner’s expectations, limitations, and boundaries (and set that all-important safe word).

Follow our plan of action to make sure you’ve covered all bases:

Step 1: Initial Negotiation

If play is on the cards get chatting about it early on. Initial negotiations should be detailed and thorough, include expectations, boundaries, limits, and set a safe word. 

Step 2: Pre-Scene Negotiation

Schedule a short negotiation before the play session, this is a good opportunity to check out the BDSM toys/kit that will be used.

You can also re-cap boundaries for the specific session you’re about to enter into and make sure you both know the safe word!

This is also a great time to make sure you’re both feeling comfortable with the situation. 

Step 3: Time to Play 

If negotiation has been successful and the scene is set to both of your expectations you should have a memorable and fun time.

Make sure your play space meets your needs – be that private and comfortable at home or on a brightly lit platform at a BDSM event!

Step 4: Aftercare

Pet space can be very intense. The highs can be incredible, but the lows can hit you hard. Keep an eye out for sub-drop (mental and physical).

Mental sub-drop relates to an emotional response after a scene, and it can leave the submissive feeling vulnerable, drained, and weepy.

Physical sub-drop relates to the toll taken on the submissive’s body (impact and bondage can be hard to take). 

Of course, the dominant can experience highs and lows too, but the submissive’s “crash” can be more obvious. The “crash” can be avoided or lessened if both partners engage in effective aftercare.

Aftercare can be as simple as cuddling up in a cozy blanket.

A drink of water and a snack can help too, and it’s also a great time to have a reflective conversation about the session – was it good for both of you? Are you both feeling ok now?

It’s ok to be vulnerable, aftercare allows time to manage one another’s emotional wellbeing. 

Fulfill Your Fantasies 

Right back at the start, we asked “What is pet play?”

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of pet play kink. There’s a huge world of naughtiness out there and it’s the perfect time to remove those blinkers and try something a little more interesting.

Pet play can be sexual or non-sexual, you can dress as your chosen creature, simply adopt their mannerisms, or you can do both.

Handlers and owners can enjoy the power of giving commands and taking control, whilst pets can revel in receiving oodles of attention and care (not to mention a good spanking or confinement in a cage if they misbehave).

What are you waiting for? Roll over and I’ll give you a good tummy tickle!

19 May 2023
What an informative, sexy and helpful article!
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