10 Great Dog Books for Kids: Our Favorites Based on Age

About 65.1 million American households have at least one dog. A child growing up with a dog is a common part of childhood for many. After all, kids couldn’t ask for a more loyal and trustworthy companion. It only makes sense to help them learn more about our favorite animal companions through books. They can teach kids—and parents—some valuable life lessons.

Fortunately, you can find books geared to children of all ages. Our guide includes our favorites based on age group. With this list, you’re sure to score a great find for any dog-loving child in your life.

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Great Dog Books by Age Group

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Preschool to 2 Years Old

1. Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Can I Be Your Dog?

Can I Be Your Dog? is an adorable book that parents will enjoy as much as kids. The text teaches some valuable lessons about pet ownership, including finding the right fit for the household. It touches on topics that adults should also consider when looking for a pup. The use of letters is brilliant in the age of all things tech. The illustrations are also gorgeous, making the book even more enjoyable.

2. Good Dog, Carl: A Classic Board Book by Alexandra Day

Good Dog, Carl - A Classic Board Book

Good Dog, Carl: A Classic Board Book is probably one of our favorite books for kids. It’s an excellent story of the loving bond between children and dogs. It’s a timeless story with adorable illustrations of the pooch. You can’t help but smile when reading this book with your little one. It’ll take you back to your childhood and the adventures with a loyal canine companion.

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Ages 3 to 5

3. Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

Go, Dog Go (I Can Read It All By Myself, Beginner Books)

Go, Dog. Go! is an oldie but a goodie. Much can be said about a book that has stood the test of time. It provides an excellent introduction to reading with timeless lessons that any parent would appreciate. The illustrations are engaging to keep your child interested in the story, and the repetition and rhyming work well with the book’s theme and objective.

4. Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Hot Dog- (Winner of the 2023 Caldecott Medal)

Hot Dog is an adorable text. If you want to encourage your child to go to the beach, it’s the book for you. We love the whimsical quality of the story. The illustrations are perfect for the theme. You can almost hear the waves crashing on the shore. There’s a good reason it received the 2023 Caldecott Medal!

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Ages 6 to 8

5. National Geographic Readers: Woof! 100 Fun Facts About Dogs by Elizabeth Carney

National Geographic Readers- Woof! 100 Fun Facts About Dogs

The National Geographic Readers: Woof! 100 Fun Facts About Dogs is an excellent introduction to meatier texts in a fun subject matter. Knowledge can be enjoyable without being boring, as this book uses 100 facts about dogs in an entertaining way. It’s a great way to transition your kids from fiction to nonfiction in a fun way.

6. Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog has a great message for kids who struggle with reading. Bonnie the Library Dog is a treasure! It makes reading fun, especially when you have a cute canine companion who listens to your storytelling. The book is beautifully illustrated and fits nicely with the theme of the story. It’s an excellent way to show children the many ways canines make our lives better.

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Ages 9 to 12

7. Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend by Vanessa Estrada Marin

Dog Training for Kids- Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend

Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend offers an excellent way to involve your child in your pet’s care. It’s an ideal introduction to responsible pet ownership by illustrating what it involves, including housebreaking. The book shows kids how to train their pets, which can nurture the bond they have with their animal companions. This is perfect for those kids who won’t stop asking if they can get a puppy.

8. The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

The Incredible Journey

The Incredible Journey is a timeless classic every child should read. The life lessons are worthwhile. Kids will enjoy the excitement and adventure of the story. They probably won’t be able to put it down like we couldn’t when we first read it. It’s nice for them to read a tale that’s grounded and doesn’t involve technology or other distractions. It’s all about the animals!

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Ages 12 and Older

9. National Geographic Kids Chapters: Hero Dogs by Mary Quattlebaum

National Geographic Kids Chapters- Hero Dogs

It’s safe to say that some people will tear up reading some of the stories in the National Geographic Kids Chapters: Hero Dogs. Introducing kids to these tales makes reading even sweeter. Too often, they are unsung heroes. This text gives these courageous pups their due. Anyone reading this book is sure to be inspired by their heroism.

10. Ellie’s Story: A Puppy Tale by W. Bruce Cameron

Ellie's Story- A Puppy Tale

Ellie’s Story: A Puppy Tale is an excellent companion piece. This book puts search-and-rescue dogs in the spotlight, showing their courage and bravery while on the job. It also brings to light the role our dogs play as our canine best friends that have much to teach us about life and love. We love the message that rescue brings with this story.

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Children’s books offer an excellent way to teach kids how to read, with priceless life lessons. The format is accessible and engaging. Texts with dogs as their theme have a great in with kids. The two go together like peas and carrots. Fortunately, you’ll find many geared to specific age groups to improve their accessibility.

Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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