There are a ton of cool ways to do this! 

Want to show a caring character? Show them loving their pet, show them helping a fallen bird. 

Want to show a character being evil? Kick a puppy. 

Both super obvious. Let’s check out some more. 

Want to show a character as stern but caring? Have a very loyal dog or horse that show no sign of fear. 

Want to show a character’s patience? Show them training an animal such as a puppy or a horse. This takes a lot of discipline and patience. 

Want to show their bravery and compassion? Show them capturing and releasing a wild and dangerous animal from a location they are not safe at. 

If they have pets, say for example a cat, how that cat behaves also says a lot about the owner. Are they allowed on the furniture? If they are allowed on the furniture, is it because the owner agrees with animals on furniture, or do they constantly complain about it? Telling us they aren’t good at being in charge. Does the cat always ask to be fed at the same time? That would tell us the owner is good at keeping a constant schedule. 

Do they have books about animal care? Or do they instead claim to have learnt what they know from their parents? 

Where did the cat come from? Adopted, bought? Was it sought out or did it just wonder in one day and stick around? 

Also, all my posts are mostly directed at writing young adult fantasy, and something you often see in fantasy that doesn’t necessarily coincide with real world is that animals will behave like their owners. This is an obvious way to show a character of through an animal. 

But even funner is to show an animal being nothing like their owner and forcing the owner to do things they are visibly uncomfortable with. I absolutely adore the typical serious all business character with his head on his palm while his other hand bounces some string around to help their daughter’s kitten burn of some energy. 

Or a hyperactive child coming to terms with the fact their fish just isn’t going to do much. (Be careful with these kind of stuff, make sure to research. Children aren’t usually fit for taking care of animals, if you do have children in your story taking care of animals either express that they are an exemptions, who parents being involved or make sure it’s obvious this is a bad move, I’m sure everyone already knows this but I feel like I have to add it anyway). 

Also, on that note, careful what animals you show as pets. I know it’s fantasy but if an animal isn’t a good pet irl you can have influence and cause trouble. An off-hand comment about, “oh, that animal usually isn’t friendly, it must be attracted to your magical power”, can communicate to a reader, hey, this is fantasy. Remember that. 

Also, emotional support or service animals! Another great thing to include that can speak a lot about a person. Different people require different support and will have different support animals because of this. I have to recommend doing a lot of research into this though as I have never had a service animales and do not feel qualified to truly explain them. (Also, emotional support animal and service animals are two different things, look it up if you didn’t know, it’s quite interesting!) 

Extra: 

Here’s something I’ve seen a lot in media. Showing a character as being scared of say a dog as a way of showing them as being evil. Please don’t do this. 

I get the theory behind it. Dogs are loyal caring animals and anybody who is scared of them clearly lacks empathy and understanding for the innocent animal that just wants to play! 

Except, dogs are still animals, and although rare, they can be dangerous. A lot of people are scared of dogs. Yes, I’m scared of dogs. I love dogs, if I know them. But when I was about four years old, one Easter, sitting in London park with my new Barbie doll, this dog three times my size ran over and jumped on me, took my Barbie and broke it. 

It terrified me. 

The owner just laughed and called the dog off. I wasn’t hurt or anything but it’s a memory that remains close to me. And whenever I see an unfamiliar dog I may take a couple of steps to the side in an attempt to keep my distance. 

I don’t feel attacked when I see fear of dogs used as a villain trope or anything. It just makes me roll my eyes at how people don’t understand the deepness of fears.

As usual,  check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.

Do you have a pet? What is it? What are they like?