The player starts at the Adoption Center, where they may choose a Dogz or Catz to adopt of a Breedz and gender of their choice. Once the player has found a Petz, they can adopt and name their new Puppyz or Kittenz. After around three days (real time) the Petz become adults. Adult Petz can then breed and have Kittenz or Puppyz of their own in Petz 3, Petz 4, and Petz 5. Cross-breeding can create different types of petz, called 'Mixed Breeds'.
There are a number of Toyz, food and water bowls, and Treatz available. Petz can learn tricks with positive rewards such as petting and Treatz, or trained not to do something using the punishment (water) spray bottle. Petz must be looked after properly; abused or neglected Petz may run away.
Players may share their Petz with others who have the game via an email. Each version allows the importing of Petz from all earlier versions. There is also a camera feature, permitting snapshots of Petz to be taken and saved as .bmp files.
Other animals include Pigz and Bunnyz. Later versions of the games included a Petz Web Fun Pack, Petz Publisher and a Petz Player web browser plug-in, allowing players to publish their Petz online in playable webpages. The Petz Publisher does not work anymore, due to the fact that the website has been remodeled with the newer Petz games by Ubisoft.