Much like an encounter with a wild pet team, PVP Pet Battles are turn-based. However, unlike the PVE version, the PVP combat system is timed and any ability for each round must be chosen within that time limit otherwise it will assume you have passed a turn. A time penalty is applied if you take more than 15 seconds to choose an action, resulting in progressively shorter round timers for you.
Each battle that you win will yield experience for each pet that participated. However, deceased companions will not receive any experience (so make an effort to keep them alive by swaping in a different pet). Experience gains are based on your pet's level compared to the wild pet. Defeating a higher level opponent will grant more experience than a much lower level one, but be ready for a tough fight!