The Hearthfire DLC introduces some of the best player homes into Skyrim and allows you to adopt two children. There are lots of features you can gain from building your own home, but perhaps the most notable is the virtual family you can create.
If you’re going to adopt children and get married, then it’s also worth adopting a pet so your family won’t get lonely while you’re off adventuring. There are many pets you can adopt in Skyrim, including ones that are animal companions and completely random animals. Here’s a full list of every pet you can get and how to adopt them.
What Are Pets?
Unlike animal companions in Skyrim, pets don’t offer any major advantages. You’ll need to adopt children before you can recruit a pet. However, they make your children happy and will walk around your house, adding a unique ambiance to the building.
You can only have two pets in total, so choose carefully. You can recruit pets in a variety of ways, all of which are detailed below.
You’ll occasionally encounter a random dog throughout Skyrim that you can recruit as an animal companion. Once it’s following you, bring the dog to a Hearthfire home with children, and they’ll ask to adopt it, which doesn’t require any additional effort like feeding the pet. This encounter is random, and it’s possible to find stray dogs in Skyrim and on Solstheim.
Meeko is a unique dog that you can recruit for free to act as your animal companion in combat. However, you can also bring it to your Hearthfire home if you have children and adopt it for them as a gift. It will then act as a permanent pet for your family.
Recruiting Meeko is simple because all you have to do is travel to Meeko’s Shack near Solitude, which is on the map above. It’s also possible to first encounter Meeko on the road nearby the shack. Once you encounter it, you can ask it to follow you for free.
Vigilance looks exactly like Meeko, but instead of encountering it in the wild, you’ll need to purchase this dog for 500 Gold at the Markarth Stables, just outside the main gate.
After purchasing Vigilance, it’ll follow you like any other animal companion and you can bring it to one of your children at a Hearthfire home to adopt it. Vigilance requires no extra upkeep after agreeing to keep it as a pet.
Bran And Sceolang
Dawnguard Huskies are a rare breed of dog that you can recruit as animal companions if you side with the Dawnguard during the “Bloodline” quest. You’ll next need to complete the “A New Order” mission, which will then allow you to command Bran and Sceolang to follow you.
After recruiting Bran or Sceolang as a follower, travel to your Hearthfire home and interact with your children. They’ll ask to keep one of the huskies and the dog will then walk the grounds of your home permanently without any upkeep necessary.
Garmr And CuSith
Garmr and CuSith are two Death Hounds living inside Castle Volkihar in the Dawnguard DLC. Both of these dogs are adoptable as pets with the Hearthfire DLC, but you’ll need to first complete “The Bloodstone Chalice” questwhich is the first mission you’ll receive from Lord Harkon after joining the Volkihar Vampires during the “Bloodline” quest.
Although Garmr and CuSith have very aggressive appearances, your children don’t mind and will still want to adopt them as pets should you command one of them to follow you to your Hearthfire home. Upon adoption, they’ll simply walk around your house without needing to be fed.
The Mudcrab is named Pincer, and unlike Mudcrabs you can encounter in Skyrim, this pet isn’t hostile at all. Only a male child can recruit Pincer, so having one is a requirement for unlocking this pet.
Eventually, after adopting a male child and moving to a Hearthfire home, he may bring home Pincer and ask to keep it permanently. Pincer will follow the child around the house but doesn’t require you to feed or look after it.
Vix is a Snow Fox of the same variety that you’ll encounter throughout the snowy regions of Skyrim. No effort is necessary after Kit is your pet, but it will stroll around your home. You’ll need to adopt any female child in Skyrim, then wait until she brings Vix home and asks to keep it, after which it’ll become your pet permanently.
The Red Fox you can adopt is named Kit and it’s one of the smallest pets in the Hearthfire DLC. Like other pets, upon adopting Kit, it doesn’t require food or anything else, it’ll simply follow the child around your Hearthfire house. You need to adopt a female child and eventually, she may bring home Kit and ask to keep the fox as a permanent pet.
Biter is a unique Skeever that’s slightly smaller than one you’d encounter in the wild. Male children that you adopt and move to a Hearthfire home will occasionally come home with a pet and ask to keep itof which Biter is one of the possible pets.
Biter will follow your child around the grounds of your house if you agree, with no additional work necessary to feed or look after it.
Cotton is a Rabbit that any female child you adopt may bring home after playing outside at your Hearthfire home. She’ll ask you to keep Cotton, and you can choose whether to adopt the Rabbit or not. If you choose to adopt Cotton, then it’ll follow behind your child while she walks around the Hearthfire home, but it won’t require any extra work.
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