Children’s Books About Dogs are perfect for dog lovers young and old. Whether you have a pet in your house or your kiddos simply have a love of pups, these children’s books about dogs are simply pawesome!
Children’s Books About Dogs Are Bookshelf Staples
No matter the age of your kids, chances are you’ve got children’s books about dogs on your bookshelves. And there’s a good reason why. Simply put, there’s nothing that will get a child laughing more than a funny book about a goofy puppy. The best dog characters inspire endless giggles, and they also make tough topics a lot easier to talk about.
Teach Valuable Lessons and Social Emotional Skills with Children’s Books About Dogs
Here’s the thing. Sure, there are some children’s books about dogs that are nothing more than fun stories that will unquestionably make your children roar with laughter. But there are also great books starring our favorite furry friends that actually help children and families work through big challenges — challenges like identity, self acceptance, family dynamics, and impulse control.
When a child watches an animal character face and tackle a tough situation, it brings some distance to the topic, allowing young readers to safely discuss the subject challenge with their grownups. While I typically prefer human characters in stories, there’s no doubt that young readers are drawn into many books as a direct result of these anthropomorphic characters — and these characters help kids work through daunting situations. These innocuous animals allow children to sink their teeth into the obstacles they face in a way that feels safe and non-threatening.
Children’s Books About Dogs Also Help Kids Learn How to Take Care of Pets
And on a totally unrelated note, many children’s books about dogs are also great for families who are bringing a puppy into the house for the very first time. From teaching kids how to care for their pups — how to feed, walk and groom them — to showing little ones all the joy that animals can bring to their lives, these stories showcase the love between humans and dogs, and we couldn’t adore them more.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some of these totally “pawesome,” books, and get reading with your kiddos!
RELATED: We’ve got the best children’s books for you on Happily Ever Elephants, so be sure to check them out!
Odd Dog Out, by Rob Biddulph: This is one of my favorite books to read aloud at school because it is a hit every single time. In the busy city, there are dogs galore. But, unfortunately for one of them, she just doesn’t fit in, no matter how hard she tries. She’s different from the others, sporting rainbow attire in stark contrast to everyone else’s gray, and she heads left when the others turn right. One day this odd dog out decides to head elsewhere to find out where she belongs… and sometimes, it takes fitting in with the crowd to see the power of blazing your own trail. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Oh No, George!, by Chris Haughton: If you are looking to have an awesome discussion with your kids about impulse control, this book is a wonderful place to start. George is a dog with good intentions — really, really good intentions — until the day George’s owner leaves him alone. When George has no one watching him, that cake on the table looks awfully delicious… and there are also flowers to pick and dogs to chase. When George’s resolve begins to waver, will he be able to resist temptation? This is a family favorite! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Ruffles and the Red, Red Coat, by David Melling: We love books about second chances, especially when they star lovable, stubborn dogs! If you have a kid at home who always refuses to wear a coat, you will love this book about Ruffles, an adorable pup who loves scratching, playing, puddles and his friend Ruby but does NOT love his new red coat. He doesn’t wear the coat of course, until he realizes that when he feels sad and wet, Ruby feels happy and dry in her new coat. Will Ruffles give his red jacket a chance? Adorable! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson: When two families — a bulldog crew and a poodle clan — meet up in the park, the chance encounter reveals there has been a mix-up among the pups. No wonder Gaston, a bull dog, has little resemblance to his siblings! The dogs’ mothers decide to switch the two puppies, but all quickly realize this may not have been the right decision. Without feeling heavy handed, this book fabulously explores family diversity. Gaston conveys that family is built on love, and physical appearances do not mean everything. Though one may be able to find commonalities with others who are more outwardly “similar,” home is with the ones that nurture and love you, above all else. This one makes us swoon! For our full review of Gaston, click here! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Excellent Ed, by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach: What is excellence? And how come everyone in Ed’s family is excellent — except for Ed? Poor Ed, the Ellis family dog! He wonders why he can’t sit at the table with the rest of the family, or even on the couch with the other children. Is it because he isn’t excellent like the others? This book presents an awesome look at sibling rivalry and is a great reminder that we are all excellent in our own special ways. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathman: Officer Buckle is sent off to schools to share safety tips with students, and he usually bores his audience to tears. Enter Gloria, the police department’s new dog, who begins to accompany Officer Buckle to his presentations. Suddenly, the audience comes alive! While Officer Buckle grows increasingly proud of his public speaking abilities, the reader quickly recognizes that maybe Officer Buckle’s presentations are getting a little help from his new companion. The result? Squeals and giggles from your kids as they realize that Gloria has her own agenda. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Clifford, the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwell: Clifford is big… a big red dog, that is. And he also happens to be a great big friend. Meet Clifford in this original, classic story about this sweet dog and his owner, Emily Elizabeth. Clifford has charmed families and kids for years, and there’s no doubt he will continue to do so for many more! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Walk Your Dog, by Elizabeth Stevens Omlor and illustrated by Neesha Hudson: This is such an adorable book for young readers about all the things one does with a dog during the day. From greeting the dog to dressing the dog to feeding the dog and walking the dog, this is a great read to prep little ones for the arrival of a new puppy. The text is spare, the illustrations are delightful, and its a perfect story to help kids learn about pet care! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Bark, George, by Jules Feiffer: George is a puppy. His mom asks him to bark, but what does he do? He meows like a cat. Then quacks like a duck. Then moos like a cow. Will George ever get his bark back? Or will he be destined to speak the wrong language? A visit to the vet ensues- and the end result will leave you in stitches. My boys aren’t the only one that adore this one – it cracks me up as well! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
The Poky Little Punny, by Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren: This beloved story is one of the original Little Golden Books, first published in 1942 and one of the best selling children’s books of all time. This is the charming tale of a curious little pup with a penchant for digging holes under fences who must go to bed without any strawberry shortcake. It has delighted families for generations and is sure to remain a favorite on children’s bookshelves for years to come. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Lone Wolf, by Sarah Kurpiel: Poor Maple loves being the Parker family’s beloved dog, but why oh why does everyone else think Maple is a wolf? Just like wolves, Maple can howl at the moon, dig and even hunt. But she’s a dog, right? Or maybe she actually is a wolf after all? This story of a dog’s identity crisis is as sweet as it is funny, and it’s a wonderful story of self-acceptance and belonging! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham: For more than fifty years, this book about a strong-willed dog who refuses to get a bath has stood the test of time! Readers have been forever charmed by the story of Harry, a white dog with Black spots, who hates nothing more than bathtime. In an effort to evade his bath, Harry goes on a day of adventure and becomes so filthy that he transforms from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. But what happens when Harry finally returns to his home and his family doesn’t recognize him? Your kids will love this delightful story – and you will, too! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Go, Dog, Go!, by P.D. Eastman: This is a beloved story in our house, not just because we love dogs, but because this is a fabulous book for beginning readers! With only 75 words, this story features big dogs, little dogs, dogs on skates, dogs riding bikes, and so much more. Readers will be totally entertained by the goofy scenarios and pictures, and children who are just beginning to read will delight in sounding out the simple words. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship, by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes and illustrated by Scott Magoon: We love this sweet picture book, based on the true story of a service dog. Rescue always believed he was going to be a seeing eye dog, but then he gets the call that he’s better suited to be a service dog. Rescue soon meets Jessica, a girl recovering from the loss of her legs after a life altering event. Rescue and Jessica have an instant connection, and with Rescue’s help, Jessica learns to accomplish every day tasks, one step at a time. This story will melt hearts and show kids the amazing abilities of service dogs to help people through trauma, injury or disability. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Poor Louie, by Tony Fucile: Louie the pup lives a pretty perfect life. But suddenly, he notices that mom’s belly is getting bigger — and rounder. And then? Lots of new stuff starts coming to the house — stuff like two cribs, two hiking pouches, and even a double stroller! Louie thinks his life is over. But then he meets his baby brother, and he realizes that his parents have plenty of love for everyone. An adorable, comical read that children just love! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Pig the Pug, by Aaron Blabey: We love books about sharing, and Pig the Pug is a fabulously entertaining story about one selfish pup! Pig is a greedy dog having all the toys he’s ever wanted — and he absolutely refuses to share them with his friend Trevor! Pig quickly comes to learn that being greedy has its setbacks, and he eventually learns to share with Trevor — the hard way. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
It’s Only Stanley, by Jon Agee: The Wimbledon family keeps waking up due to noises from a mysterious source. But every time Mr. Wimbledon goes to discover the cause of the noises, he returns to discover that it’s only Stanley, the family dog! First he’s fixing the oil tank, then he’s clearing the drain – it seems there’s no limit to Stanley’s talents! But what Stanley is really doing, unbeknownst to his sleeping family, is turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom his family to space for an alien encounter. Zany, silly, and such fun to read aloud, your family will love Stanley and his hilarious antics! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!