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As a long-time Sims player, I never purchased the Pets expansion packs, and now I seriously regret it. The Sims is so much better with the precious computer-generated pets.
And this is especially true in The Sims 4, where players have so many more gaming options than ever before. Introduced in November 2017, The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs now includes horses and offers a lot of new features for Sims to better interact with and raise their pets. One of them is quickly aging up pets.
First, I have no idea why anyone would want to do that. Don’t you want your computer-generated to be a cute little puppy forever? When my Sim’s dog aged up, he was jumping all over the counters, drinking from the toilet, and barking at my Sim every night, so she never slept.
But if you seriously want to know how to age up your dog in Sims 4, I played the game myself and put together this handy guide for you!
How to Get a Pet
First things first, how do you even get a pet in The Sims 4?
Adopting my dog is what I did and is the easiest way to get a pet. Click the cell phone, click the household icon and go to “services.” From here, find the “Adopt a Pet” option.
It costs 200 Simoleons to adopt a pet. You have the option to adopt a cat or dog. From here, an animal care worker will enter your home with the pet carrier. For some reason, the guy is inside the house, but the dog is outside, so you have to call the dog over or else it will just sit outside.
In The Sims 4, you can breed pets. First, adopt a male and female dog. Your Sim will have to become friends with both dogs, and the dogs also have to like each other. Once the pets are friendly with each other, you can click them and find the “Encourage to Mate” option. From here, choose the other pet for mating.
There are a few key considerations when breeding pets in The Sims. First, the dogs should be around the same size. If you breed a small and large dog, they will only take on the mother’s genetics and be her size. Your dogs also can’t be seniors. I assume they have to be adults, but I’m not finding anything online that confirms this. You also need to live in a very roomy house, or else they won’t mate.
Important Information to Know When Breeding
Breeding may not be the best way to get a pet. That’s why I chose to adopt mine. However, you may want to adopt pets and breed them. Here’s what you should know first.
Only Females Can Be in Heat
As in real life, only female dogs enter a period of heat. In case you didn’t know, “heat” refers to a stage of reproduction when female animals are sexually active and they’re ready to mate. You’ll know when your female dog is in heat because pink hearts float around their body. A heart icon will also appear in their thought bubble.
When your dog is in heat is when the “Encourage to Mate” command will appear. Keep in mind, mating may not always be successful the first time. Fortunately, your female dog will enter heat again. They usually enter heat once every couple of Sim days.
Pregnancy and Birth
If you are successful, your female dog will get pregnant. Pet pregnancy is shorter than a human pregnancy. Your dog will likely be pregnant one Sim day and will be ready to give birth. You’ll know your dog is going into labor because a notification will pop up. Your dog will likely pace around and start panting, showing signs they’re visibly uncomfortable.
There’s no need to take your dog to the vet in order for them to give birth. Your dog will lie down and will give birth on its own. When the dog gives birth, a screen will appear announcing the birth of the puppy. From here, you have the opportunity to name it.
Life Stages of a Dog in The Sims 4
Like human Sims, pet Sims go through typical stages in life. While a pet’s life span is much shorter, they live out their life very much as human Sims do.
All dogs start as a puppy, although you can adopt adult dogs in the game to skip this stage. I noticed with my Sim’s puppy, it’s very curious and would always wander around. But if I wasn’t careful, the puppy would venture outside and stay out for a while. As a puppy, you will have to potty train your dog by encouraging them to go potty outside. Outside of loving them and generally getting to know how puppies work in-game, there isn’t a lot to do at this stage.
It only took me a couple of Sim days to age up my puppy into an adult. I noticed my adult dog was just as curious as when he was a puppy, but since he was bigger, it was becoming more difficult to control them. You’ll also get unique actions for adult dogs, such as walking them, giving them a bath, and brushing them. That’s why training them is necessary. The adult stage lasts 26 days for small dogs and 22 days for big dogs. You can find mods to enrich this life stage and pet training as well.
Eventually, your beloved pooch will reach their elder years. This stage often varies, but your dog will stay a senior for six to 11 days before they die.
In The Sims, dogs can only die of old age. Like any death, the grim reaper will come to your home and will take your dog. The grim reaper swipes their scythe at your dog, taking their soul. You’re left with an urn of their ashes. It’s important to keep their ashes or visit their tombstone in order to keep their spirit alive.
Your pet’s ghost will visit, but you can also resurrect them using the Ambrosia Treat. You can find the Ambrosia Treat at the vending machine located in the vet clinic, though it’s expensive (2,500 Simoleons).
Remember: Your Dog Will Age Naturally
As with all living beings in The Sims, your dog will age naturally. So if you feel the need to age up your dog quickly, know it’s often not necessary unless you want to breed them. There is also important information to know about dogs aging in The Sims. Your dogs will age in the morning (11 AM Sims time) and not 6 PM Sims time (which is when adults age). It usually takes a couple of Sim days for your dogs to age up to an adult.
While I didn’t use treats to age my dog, they are available, and many people prefer using the cheats.
First, start by opening up the cheat box. You do this by clicking ctrl + shift + c. Enter “testingcheats true” in the dialog box and hit enter. Next, enter full edit mode. You do this by typing “cas.fulleditmode.” Hold down shift and click your pet. Choose “modify in CAS”. The “Create a Sim” window will open. Select your pet and click the age range you want them. Click the checkmark to confirm.
Aging up a Dog With Treats
I aged my dog up with treats because it was easier than making my Sim go through veterinarian training to create their own. However, if you do like doing things the hard way, you can make treats that can age your dog up and down.
This is how I aged up and down my dog. I first went to the veterinary clinic, Brindleton Pawspital, at Brindleton Bay. Brindleton Bay is the animal-centric world that you unlock when you purchase the Cats and Dogs Expansion Pack.
When you enter the clinic, you’ll see vending machines around the building. Go to one and buy the age-up treat. This is also where you’ll purchase age-down treats, which I will discuss more later. Each cost 150 Simoleons.
I adopted a second puppy (I will discuss how I aged down my first dog in another section). The minute I adopted the dog, I fed her the age-up treat. You do this by clicking the puppy and selecting “Vet Treat” and selecting “Age-Up Treat.” Your Sim will then feed her the age-up treat. She immediately aged up to an adult.
Creating Your Own
First, your Sim needs to have the veterinarian skill and they need to be at level 6. Purchase or use Dr. Magi-Heal’s Medicine Craft-o-Matic. Click on the object and choose “craft > treats.” Choose the age up treat. After your Sim is done making the treat, it will show up in their inventory. Click on your pet and choose to give them the treat. Once you do, they will age up in seconds.
Aging Down a Dog
Aging down a dog involves a similar process as aging them up. You have the same two options: feeding your dog treats or creating your own.
Feeding Them Treats
The same process exists to age down a dog with treats. You go to Brindleton Pawspital and buy the age-down treats from the vending machine.
For my situation, I adopted a dog and then aged him up naturally to be an adult. Once he entered the adult phase, I gave him one of the age-down treats.
The process is the same as the age-up treats. Click the dog, go to “Vet Treats,” but instead of selecting the age-up treat, you select the age-down treat. Your dog will then go back one life stage in seconds.
Creating Your Own
If you are a level 6 veterinarian, you can also create your own treats. It’s the same process. Use the Dr. Magi-Heal’s Medicine Craft-o-Matic. But instead of choosing the age-up treat, choose the age-down treat. After making the treat, it will show up in your inventory, where you can give it to your dog.
Answer: You can only have up to seven dogs and cats in one household. Technically, there’s an eight Sim/pet limit. But assuming you have one human Sim in a house, that means you can only have seven pets. If you do get an extra pet, you’ll either have to sell it or put it up for adoption. However, some mods allow you to increase your household size.
Answer: There isn’t one set lifespan for a dog or cat. The kitten and puppy phase usually lasts around three Sim days. From here, they enter the adult phase, which lasts 22-26 days. There’s no set length for the senior phase, but it lasts six-11 Sim days on average. So in total, the lifespan of a pet lasts 31-39 Sim days on average.
Answer: You can either put your existing pets up for adoption or sell them to a new owner. If you want to keep your dogs but don’t want them having babies, you can spay/neuter them. Simply take them to the Brindleton Pawspital, click the sign-in, and select Spay/Neuter. I can’t find any information on how much that will cost you.
My Pet Isn’t Aging! Help!
Did you create your pet in the Create-A-Sim section? If so, you have to manually age up your pet using the treats. However, understand the game has glitches. If you experience this, there are different commands you can do to fix the problem. You can also reset the game by exiting (make sure to save first).
Sims Cats and Dogs is the best thing to happen to the game (way better than Toddlers). But there’s some confusion behind Cats and Dogs, specifically how to get a pet and age them. Most pet owners either adopt their dogs or breed them. For my dogs, I adopted them and aged one with a treat and aged the other down with a different treat. Or, you can let nature take its course and let the dogs age naturally.