The Sims 2: Pets

In an announcement that will likely send more than a few Nintendoggies to the pound, EA is letting several different breeds of The Sims 2: Pets off the leash in October.

Your addictive sims family won't be complete until you've adopted one of over 40 breeds of dogs and cats that you'll be able to customize, breed, train and dress up. Highly trained pets can even take jobs in the service, show business or security industries as seeing-eye dogs, circus acts or ferocious attack... kittens.

But before your new puppy or kitty is ready for the big time, you'll first need to train them not to dig up the lawn and poop on the bed. And just like your human sims, your pets have needs like chewing (for dogs) and scratching (for cats). However, you'll still need to take care of your humans' needs, too.

This is easier than it might seem, because just like in real life, humans and their pets make each other happy, and they interact in cute and fun ways that promise to keep you entertained.

Like Nintendogs, you'll be able to take your virtual best friends on the road and go shopping for new outfits, toys and treats at the downtown pet emporium, toy store and bakery. Places like the bakery provide treats that are the best means to train your pooch to perform his signature "play dead" trick; and the toy store is where you'll be able to get a scratching post, so that Fluffy doesn't shred a giant hole in your Italian leather sofa.

Pet adoption starts on October 17, 2006, when The Sims 2: Pets comes to retail. For a sneak peek at all the furry mayhem in store, check out the Movies tab above.