Summoned pets have a normal inventory, except they've got no charm slot and only ONE ear, finger and wrist slot.
Pets IGNORE level, class, race and lore tags. Two different characters of yours can give each the same lore weapon to your pet which will yield one in each hand. However, pets will respect the required level for procs, so a weapon might be equipped but if the pet (the pet, not the level of the summoning spell) is not of sufficient level, the proc won't fire off. There is one exception to these rules, the Di'Zok slow stick which has been tagged by developers "No Pet" as it is considered overpowered, pets will refuse it.
Unlike quest NPCs, you cannot give a No Trade (no drop) item to a pet.
WEAPON PREFERENCES (primary and secondary slots) :
- Once pets get dual wield, they will refuse two-handers. I forgot the exact level, you can check that out with your own pets by summoning a 2 hander. Low level pets will accept two-handers and it might even increase their maximum hit. They will also refuse to equip a shield unless the shield can be equipped in another slot than Secondary (example : summoned Elemental Defender).
- Pets will ALWAYS favor the weapon with the lowest delay. Whatever other stats a weapon yields, your pet will eat it if you give it a cheap low level one whose delay is below the currently equipped one.
- Simple rule : pets will ALWAYS favor the item with the highest AC, whatever other stats the item might give. An AC 10 +100 hp armor piece will get eaten if you give your pet an AC 11 +0 hp item for the same slot.
- Pets do benefit from item stats. However, the two most important stats you should look for are AC and flat hit points for tanking purposes, and STR as well as ATK in third position for dps purposes. Same applies to buffs of course.
- Pets do NOT benefit from STA because the pet models are pre-made NPCs with a set amount of hit points only flat values can increase (adding X hit points).
- Obviously, pets do NOT benefit from mana (reminder : the revamped fire pet has no mana pool), it's meaningless. INT and WIS are meaningless too. CHA as well lol.
- It is unknown how AGI and DEX exactly affect pets because it is hard to parse, but it can't hurt.
- Spell or Melee foci do NOT work on pets (whereas procs do, see above).
- Theoretically, pet's max hit is influenced by the base damage of the weapon, but in reality, there are no weapons available which would exceed the pet's innate max hit except at very low levels.
- Despite the delay rule for equipping weapons, a weapon's delay has no influence on the attack speed of the pet.
- Resists : pets should now apply the owner's resists but still keep their innate high resistance to one particular element (air = cold, earth = disease, water = poison, fire = fire), although I have no proof or evidence to validate that, maybe a live mage knows better and can enlighten us.
If you spend money to equip pets, you should be aware your death, your pet's death or zoning while your pet is suspended (PoP and GoD era) means : poof !
Giving pet equipment has more impact on Defense (tanking and pet's survivability) than on dps. You can add a lot of AC and hit points which will make your pet tank better, but you cannot significantly improve your pet's dps. More STR and ATK will influence that only marginally. Weapon with DD procs (till PoP era and mage summoned weapons) will add some dps, but it is better to look for aggro procs (Gnoll Hide Lariats, Ykesha type weapons, Copper Hammer of Striking from revamped Droga, snare proc weapons, etc.) as it will help the pet to keep aggro when it is tanking.
Regarding weapons, nothing beats mage summoned weapons once you are in PoP era, except aggro proc weapons for when your pet is tanking, till TSS era where mages get also summoned swords with an aggro proc. Mage summoned weapons have a better proc rate than any other weapon and Fists of Ixiblat (PoP) work as early as level 10.
From PoP onwards, nothing beats the summoned belt for the waist slot, and usually every mage sticks to the summoned haste mask (Kunark onwards) for the face slot.