A good pet comes when it's called! This FAQ explains how to call any of your active pets to your side.
You start the game with a maximum of just one pet on your active pet bar.
You gain the ability to take more pets with you as you increase in level, just like any other hunter skill. While you can still only have one pet out at a time*, you can have up to 5 in your pet bar, ready to be called out.
|# Active Pets||Hunter Level|
*If you take the Beast Mastery talent Animal Companion you can also have a second pet out, but in a reduced capacity.
The Call Pet ability lets you call a pet that has been dismissed back to your side.
Your pet will 'disappear' for different reasons. You can use the ability Dismiss Pet to send your pet away for a little while. Or your pet may also be automatically dismissed. For example, if you get too far away from your pet it goes poof.
But don't worry! Your pet isn't gone - it's just not physically by your side any more.
A pet that isn't physically by your side isn't much good though. It can't fight for you or protect you. So use Call Pet to call back a pet that's been dismissed.
Quick answer: You use the Call Pet ability, of course! But things are actually a little more complex than that.
As noted above, Call Pet is an expanding skill and you can have up to 5 pets on your pet bar, ready to be called.
Call Pet expands to let you use any of the pets on your bar. Check out this pictures of Call Pet above.
The image on top is in the unexpanded state. When you click on it, it expands into the state you see in the image on the bottom.
(The arrow always points to whichever side has space for it to expand, by the way. I took this screenshot with Call Pet on my right-hand hotbar.)
You can click on Call Pet again to close it, or you can click on one of the pet icons to call that pet.
Call Pet will only show the pets that you can call right now. If you only know Call Pet 1 then you will only see one pet icon when you expand Call Pet.
Likewise, if you know Call Pets 1 through 5 but you only have one pet in your active pet spots pet right now, then you will only see one pet icon.
An active pet is one that you can call with Call Pet. You can see them in the pet spots down the left-hand side of the stable UI, but these pets aren't in the stable - they are 'with' you wherever you are and you don't need to visit a Stable Master to access them.
Your current pet is the pet that is physically by your side.
Inactive pets are pets that are stored in the stable. In order to interact with these pets you have to visit a Stable Master.
Check out Using the Stable for more info on inactive pets.
The number of active pets you can have is limited by how many levels of Call Pet # you know.
You start the game with Call Pet 1 so you can have one active pet. But the rest of your active pet spots are locked.
When you learn Call Pet 2, you unlock the second active pet spot and you can have two active pets.
The same is true for Call Pet 3 through Call Pet 5. By the time you learn Call Pet 5 you will have 5 active pet spots, which is the maximum.
In the picture above you can see that the final active pet spot is locked - it is silver instead of gold and it has a little lock icon. That's because I haven't learned Call Pet 5 yet!
Each Call Pet # ability corresponds to a particular active pet spot. When you use Call Pet 1, for instance, you call the pet in the first active spot.
But you don't have to memorize the order of your pets. The icons for each of the Call Pet # abilities change to the family of that pet.
In this picture you can see that I have a wasp, a raptor, a rhino, and a cat in my active pet spots.
But what if you have two or more pets in the same family? Well the tooltip for each icon changes to show the name of the pet!
My raptor is named Roger, so the tooltip for Call Pet 3 actually says Call Roger.
(I haven't named the Cat in active spot #1, which is why that tooltip says Call Cat.)
Yup. However - and this is a big however! - you must always dismiss your current pet before you can call another one. And that's true even if your current pet is dead!