The band consists of lead singer Jemina Pearl Abegg, the daughter of Christian artist/photographer Jimmy Abegg; guitarist Jonas Stein, the son of manager Burt Stein; John Eatherley (who replaced founding member Jamin Orrall on drums); and Nathan Vasquez (bass), son of acclaimed Latin Jazz guitarist Rafael Vasquez. Vasquez replaced Jake Orrall, the founding member of Be Your Own Pet, who left the band to spend a year in Iceland. Be Your Own Pet formed in 2003 in the basement of Orrall’s house, which doubles as a home studio/rehearsal space for indie label Infinity Cat Recordings.

Their sound is basic, primal garage rock and they are often compared to popular New York group Yeah Yeah Yeahs, not just for their style, featuring heavy rock guitars with abrasive vocals and erratic, angular rhythms, but also due to critical comparisons of Abegg to Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O. Both women are known for their dynamic stage presence. Be Your Own Pet generated a massive amount of press following the release of their debut single "Damn Damn Leash" on Infinity Cat. The single was produced by Kings of Leon producer Angelo and Infinity Cat's Robert Ellis Orrall, and mixed by Modest Mouse mix engineer Jaquire King. The press included an interview in Rolling Stone, and appearances at the Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds festivals, as well as successful appearances at SXSW and slots supporting bands such as The Kills.

In September 2006, Jamin Orrall left the band to pursue college, his family owned record label, Infinity Cat, and JEFF, the band he and his brother, Jake Orrall formed in 2002.