Recently I’ve been getting a lot of reports about really big hunter pets — pets that are much larger than a tamed pet of their level should be. A lot of people have written in to ask me how they can get a such huge, huge pet.
The short answer is: You can’t.
The long answer is: Sometimes other people will see your pet as huge, but unfortunately it’s not real and it’s not permanent.
So far as I can tell, this is an extension of the glitch that sometimes let’s us see a tamed pet with it’s elite tag (and gold dragon) or rare tag (and silver dragon) still in place. My theory is that the client and server are temporarily out of sync, possibly due to internet lag or slow server performance. The client has received info about the base properties of the pet, which probably includes its model, wild name and the fact that it is elite. But for whatever reason the client didn’t receive the tamed info — like the pet’s new name, or the fact that as a pet it is no longer elite.
Like the new extra-big pets, a pet with a rare or elite tag isn’t really rare or elite: logging out and back in will generally fix the problem and cause the pet to display normally. And this glitch doesn’t ever seem to happen to a hunter regarding his or her own pet, only other people’s pets — probably because the synchronization is much tighter with our own pets.
Of course, this thing with huge pets just started in Patch 2.4. But we know that Blizzard had to do some scaling work in 2.4 for Papa Hummel’s Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuit — a weird little item that causes non-combat pets to grow bigger. We saw the scaling problems that this introduced on the Public Test Realm when many creatures of many different types were suddenly larger or smaller than expected.
It’s likely that Blizzard moved the code that applies size scaling to happen much later in the object-loading process, probably so that it could be more easily exposed to the system that applies the effect from Papa Hummel’s Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuit. In doing so, they opened a window where a pet’s size, like its name and rare/elite status, now has an opportunity to get fouled up on its way to the client.
It also seems likely to me that we’re seeing a lot of this right now because performance is somewhat stressed after Patch 2.4.
Unfortunately, that means that there’s no super-secret way to get a really cool huge pet.