Picture Books about Pets

Pets are a very popular subject in children’s literature, so I’ve curated a list of my 15 favorite picture books about pets. Owning a pet can be a good opportunity for a child to learn about responsibility. Caring for them and treating them right can help develop them as individuals. Perhaps taking the time to sit down and read sites like Stop That Dog with them can widen their understanding of their pet’s needs. This list includes a variety of different pets: from dogs, cats, and goldfish to much more unconventional animal companions. Each of these books exemplifies the joy of having a pet.

Silly Doggy!Silly Doggy!

Lily looks out her window and is delighted to see a lost dog in the garden. He’s very big and a bit grumpy, but Lily loves him anyway. What she doesn’t realize is that her new “doggy” is actually a bear that has escaped from the local zoo!

I'm My Own DogI’m My Own Dog

An independent pooch adopts a human companion in this delightfully witty role-reversal. Kids and parents will be laughing out loud.

Scrawny CatScrawny Cat

A lonely stray cat longs to find somewhere to belong. When he falls asleep on an old dinghy and floats out to sea, the scrawny cat finds an unexpected new home.

What Pet Should I GetWhat Pet Should I Get?

A brother and sister go shopping for a pet, and have a very hard time choosing what to get! This never-before-seen Dr. Seuss book was created from a 50-year-old manuscript that was recently discovered in the late author’s home.


One little boy just wants a dog like everyone else. His mother says he needs to be happy with the pet he has – a goldfish. But can a goldfish be as much fun as a dog? This story is hilarious and includes a positive message.

A Pet for PetuniaA Pet for Petunia

Petunia loves skunks and is dying to have one for a pet. When her parents tell her that skunks stink, Petunia doesn’t believe them. How could something so cute be stinky? The illustrations – rendered in charcoal with accents of purple watercolor – perfectly compliment this charming story.

Say Hello to Zorro!Say Hello to Zorro!

Mr. Bud has a nice, predictable life until a new dog joins the family and shakes things up! The illustrations flawlessly capture the big personalities of these adorable dogs.

I Wanna IguanaI Wanna Iguana

Alex wants a pet iguana more than anything, but first he has to convince his mother to let him have one. The entire story is told through a series of notes between Alex and his mother, complemented by hysterical illustrations that depict the potential hijinks that accompany life with an iguana.

Before You Were MineBefore You Were Mine

A boy adopts a dog from a shelter and wonders about what his life used to be like. This is a moving story that celebrates the joy that comes from adopting a pet.


What’s a girl to do when her mother says she must choose a pet that doesn’t need to be walked, bathed or fed? Why, get a pet sloth, of course! Stunningly beautiful pencil and watercolor illustrations enhance this quirky story.

The Lost and Found PonyThe Lost and Found Pony

A pony is taken from his home when his rider outgrows him. Though he tries to make the best of his new life at the circus, he never forgets his first owner and hopes that someday they’ll meet again. This heartwarming story is sad at times but the ending is incredibly uplifting.

Bad Dog FlashBad Dog Flash

Flash is an energetic puppy who is always getting into trouble. The sparse, rhythmic text is perfect for beginning readers, and the watercolor illustrations are absolutely enchanting.

Not NormanNot Norman: A Goldfish Story

A boy takes his disappointing goldfish to school hoping to trade him for a “good” pet. But after a series of mishaps, the boy realizes that his pet might not be so bad after all.

Granny Gomez and JigsawGranny Gomez & Jigsaw

Granny Gomez’s pet pig Jigsaw is the perfect companion. But soon he grows too big for her house, so Granny builds Jigsaw his very own barn! The story and illustrations are delightful, and Granny Gomez is a compassionate, capable lady who readers will admire.

Wanted the Perfect PetWanted: the Perfect Pet

Henry wants a dog more than anything, so he puts an ad in the newspaper. When a lonely duck sees the ad, he disguises himself as a dog hoping to finally getting a friend. Though Henry quickly learns that his new dog is actually a duck, he realizes that a duck might just be the perfect pet!


  1. authoraileenstewart says:

    Hello, Fly Guy is also a great book about pets even if a fly is a bit unconventional :0)

  2. This is a great list. I love the cover of Sparky!

    Hopping over from the kid lit blog hop.

  3. What a fun collection and variety! I loooove “Sparky.”

  4. My kids LOVE Silly Doggy! They also like Before You Were Mine and Bad Dog, Flash. I’ll have to check out the others on your list. 🙂

  5. Several of these I recognize and a few others look like a lot of fun. I’ll have to point them out to my daughter. Thanks!

  6. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews says:

    So glad to see you back at it Katie! Thanks for sharing your recommendations in the Kid Lit Blog Hop and welcome back! 🙂

  7. I can’t believe I’m not familiar with a single one of these books! What a great list! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!

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