Stuck at home? Whether you’re looking for a way to pass the time while staying safe inside or to unwind after a shift as an essential worker (and thank you so much to all of you!), our staff’s top picks for dog-themed movies and books are just what you need! These pet-centric stories are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and warm the heart of anyone who has ever had a special four-legged friend.
Top 5 Dog Movies
1. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
If you’ve seen it, then you already know it’s an instant classic. This early 1990s film follows the story of pet siblings Chance, an American Bulldog, Shadow, a Golden Retriever, and Sassy, a Siamese Cat as a misunderstanding prompts them to take an adventurous trek through the California wilderness to return home and reunite with their family.
2. Marley & Me
Get the tissues ready! In this heart-warming tale, the Grogan family adopts a Labrador Retriever pup named Marley who quickly finds a place in each of the growing family member’s hearts, despite his silly and mischievous nature. This movie shows how much a dog can add to each of the different phases of our lives, and the pawprints they leave on our hearts forever.
3. A Dog’s Purpose
This delightful story follows one special dog through his five different lives with five different humans, and how by helping these different people through their own lives he discovers his purpose. This movie reveals the important role that dogs play in our lives and their ability to bring out the best qualities in everyone they meet.
4. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
We couldn’t really make a list of our favorite dog movies without including this Disney classic. A 1960s masterpiece, this cartoon follows the intertwined love story of the Dalmatian Pongo, his owner Roger, Pongo’s love interest Perdita, and her owner Anita. Through Pongo’s encouragement, Roger and Anita meet, fall in love, and eventually marry, bringing Pongo and Perdita into the same home where their own puppy love flourishes, resulting in a litter of 15 Dalmatian pups. Things are going perfectly for the two couples until Anita’s old friend Cruella De Vil gets word of the litter of puppies and schemes to have them stolen.
5. Lady and the Tramp
Another classic, this original puppy love story depicts Tramp, a streetwise and dashing mutt, and Lady, a domesticated and proper Cocker Spaniel. Lady’s life is turned upside down after the arrival of a baby in her family and after a life of comfort and pampering, she finds herself on the streets. Lady turns to Tramp to guide her through this strange new lifestyle and the two embark on a journey of adventure, love, and figuring out how to stay together despite their two separate worlds constantly trying to keep them apart.
Top 5 Dog Books
1. Old Yeller
This classic novel is set in Texas in the late 1880s and follows the story of a young boy named Travis and his beloved companion Old Yeller. Despite the pair’s rocky beginning as Yeller wanders up to the family ranch unannounced one day, he quickly proves his worth and value to Travis and the rest of his family and the pair become inseparable. It is a tale of the strong bond and love that forms between a pet and their owner.
2. Where the Red Fern Grows
Another literary classic, this is a story of a young boy named Billy who is growing up in the Ozark Mountains during the Great Depression. Through his difficult childhood, Billy holds onto his greatest dream of saving up his money to purchase and train his own Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs. It is a story of strength and perseverance that undoubtedly proves dogs are one of life’s greatest rewards.
3. Good Dog, Carl
While this book is very much a children’s novel, its themes of loyalty and love between a dog and a child are relatable and able to warm the hearts of all age groups. The book follows the story of a Rottweiler named Carl and the young girl he cares for, Madeline.
4. The Call of the Wild
While this adventure novel could never be classified as heart-warming, it is a classic dog story that deserves a spot on this list. Set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, this story follows a dog named Buck on his transformational journey from a domesticated pet to a wild sled-dog.
5. Travels with Charley: In Search of America
This light-hearted travelogue depicts a real-life cross-country road trip with author John Steinbeck and his beloved poodle, Charlie, as they travel across the United States together.