To dream of a pet represents some aspect of yourself that has to be maintained or cared for. A person or situation that you feel responsible for or that you feel good caring for. A pet may also reflect good cause that you are managing.
Negatively, a pet may represent a bad habit that you are using for the purpose of manipulating a person or situation. Purposely caring about a person or bad habit for no other reason other than to feel good about yourself.
Alternatively, a pet may reflect a habit or defense mechanism that you are using to feel good with.
To dream of a neglected or starving pet may represent a part of yourself or area of your life that you feel is nonfunctional, wounded, or neglected.
Consider the animal for additional meaning.
Example: A woman dreamed of having a pet lion. In waking life she was having an extramarital relationship with a very dominating man who sometimes had to be financially looked after.