Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers of 2020

Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers

December 17, 2019

Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers

Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers
Photo by @thedorsetmum
Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers

Pets often make a beloved addition to the family, and they can teach children about empathy, compassion and responsibility. If you’re introducing your baby or toddler to their very first pet, or if they’ve already got a furry best friend, we recommend adding a book or two about pets to your library to show just how special four-legged or winged family members can be.

Personalized pet books, stories about unusual pets and books that can help little ones through the loss of a pet—here are our favorite books about furry friends.

Fluffy, scruffy, droopy, perky—dogs come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re looking to grow your family by way of a furry friend, this touch-and-feel, slide-and-see book can help familiarize your little one with the idea of a canine companion. And for cat lovers, there’s a fun, interactive book on felines too.

In typical, well-loved Dr. Seuss style, two kids explore all the options for a new family pet. But with so many different animals to choose from (even some you’ve never heard of before), it can be hard to decide which pet is best for the family.

Has your toddler ever requested to take home an animal from the zoo? You’re not alone. This classic board book may help you point them in a different—and hopefully less wild—direction for a new pet. Page after page features flaps that reveal hidden animals as the reader is lead through a guessing game of “Which pet is right for me?”

Many dogs are friendly, but some are not. If you’re adding a tail-wagging member to your family, or if you’re just trying to get your little one used to dogs, it’s a good idea to teach children how to greet and interact with dogs in a safe and respectful way.

Sometimes kids can get a little…overzealous with their pets, and they need to be gently reminded how to love and care for their animals, because fur is for petting, backs are for scratching, and tails are not for pulling (why is it always the tails?).

Harry the dog hates baths, so one day when he goes out to play in the muddiest, dustiest, yuckiest places, he gets so dirty that his owners don’t recognize him! And if he wants to look like his white-furred self again, he’ll have to overcome his dislike for cleanliness.

If your little one is adamant that the family cat should have a bath just like everyone else, just read them this handy instruction manual. Spoiler alert: bathing a cat actually only takes one easy step—they bathe themselves (phew!).

Clifford is a household name! This big red dog is everyone’s favorite, and this book marked his series debut. Young readers can look to Emily Elizabeth and Clifford to learn what it means to have a pet who’s larger than life. Clifford’s stories will have the whole family saying “Good dog!”

From the same company that can write your child into a story of their very own comes a custom pet book that puts your dog or cat in the story! Choose from 12 breeds of dogs in five colors or four breeds of cats in up to 14 colors and watch your beloved animal playfully romp through the pages. And if your pet has sadly passed away, you can have the book written in the past tense to memorialize them.

Some pets are smaller and lower-maintenance, and if you’re considering a fish for a pet, we definitely understand. But if you’ve got a preschooler who is less than enthusiastic about a fish, then they should hear about Norman. At first, the boy in this story wants to trade his boring goldfish, Norman, for a more exciting pet. But after spending some time with Norman, the boy realizes the happy, silly fish isn’t so boring after all.

Theodore is an adorably chubby little guinea pig whose personality comes to life in these short, vivid poems. This collection combines simple language and gentle rhythm that’s perfect for babies, toddlers and preschoolers alike, and provides lessons about caring for animals to prepare little ones for the new responsibility of pet ownership.

Pets aren’t just dogs and cats and fish and guinea pigs. Some families have really interesting and unusual pets, like skunks or bats or hedgehogs or snakes, and those animals can still be a kid’s best friend. And friends don’t exclude others just because they’re unusual.

Eventually, all pets must cross the rainbow bridge. While it’s an emotional time for any pet owner to go through, it can be especially difficult explaining the death of a pet to little ones. Todd Parr’s gentle book about grief can help young children process the range of emotions that come with the loss of a beloved friend.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.