I know that pets are supposed to help you take care of your livestock... guides I've read say that they can "herd" your animals. But what does that mean?
In my understanding: Cats: herd chickens Small dogs: herd sheep and alpacas Large dogs: herd cows
On your own, pushing the cows and sheep in particular is pretty annoying, trying to get them to go outside in the pasture and then back in again at night (made even worse when you come back home too late and they're asleep, and annoyed with you for waking them up). A pet that does this for you would be a blessing, but... well, how does that work? Do you, like, 'tell' the pet to herd the animals outside?
I know I could just buy one and see what it does, but this early in the game they are kind of expensive...
As far as I can tell so far, it works sorta like it does in Grand Bazaar. Basically when you very first get the pet, it doesn't do anything.
Make sure you feed it each day, pick it up (and maybe play with it with a toy if you've bought one) each day, and once it starts to like you, it'll start automatically herding one or so animals of its type outside in the morning, and back inside in late afternoon (maybe early evening).
I'm assuming that like in GB, it'll herd more animals the better your relationship grows with it. But I haven't played far enough really to be sure. --- Please insert witty quote here.
Also note: you can throw the toy at them multiple times a day for constant heart increases until they fall asleep...although if you're fast enough you can bypass that as well...got dog to like 5 hearts in 6 days...but I hate pushing cows and want to win the upcoming dog festival ._. --- "Silent alarm ACTIVATED!" "Some people are like slinkies--generally useless, but you still get a smile when they tumble down stairs."
I noticed that if you leave your pet toy laying around the house it will disappear. I learned that the hard way, I figured I could leave my cat toy in the house on the floor ,and save a storage spot, but when I came back in it was gone, and I have not been able to buy a new one so far. Poor kitty! : (