First of all, put the camera on auto mode and be alert to work quickly when photographing pets since a cute expression or great action can disappear in an instant.
Secondly, for static shots at close range, a wide aperture such as f/5.6 will help blur the background to draw attention on the subject. For static pet portraits, you only need to ensure the shutter speed is fast enough and handheld without any camera shake. Get down to the animal’s level and exclude distracting background details while composing the picture.
Thirdly, for action shots, a faster speed will be required to freeze movement of the pet. You should try 1/250sec as a starting point for action shots of pets.
Fourthly, if the light level is not that bright, you should increase your ISO to 400 or above to enable the camera to handle low light levels.
For some creative shots, take the chance to use a slower speed and pan the camera with your pet’s movement for write instant click. This can create a more dynamic result at times.