Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers of 2023
Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers
January 6, 2023

Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers

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Best Pet Books for Babies and Toddlers.
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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.

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.

What Pet Should I Get?


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.



Pets are a big responsiblity! But Lola wants a cat so badly, she’s willing to learn all there is to know about taking care of a new cat. If your little one is longing for a new pet, help them learn the responsibility of pet ownership right alongside Lola.

Lola Gets a Cat


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?”

Dear Zoo Board Book


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.

May I Pet Your Dog?: The How-to Guide for Kids Meeting Dogs (and Dogs Meeting Kids)


Part of learning to care for a pet is listening to instructions, which this story’s little boy doesn’t do at first. The pet shop owner tells him to only feed his fish a little bit, but when he feeds his fish a lot instead, he ends up with a much bigger problem than he could’ve imagined.

A Fish Out of Water


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?).

Tails Are Not for Pulling


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!”

Clifford the Big Red Dog


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.

Not Norman: A Goldfish Story


Sometimes pets enter your life unexpectedly, and they create a welcome (though surprising) new adventure for the whole family. When this little piglet finds herself on an unsuspecting couple’s front porch, she’s taken in and embraced for the wonder she is.

A Piglet Named Mercy


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.

Harry the Dirty Dog


An octopus does not make a suitable pet. Neither does an elephant, a warthog, a giraffe or a mole. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun to imagine what owning those pets might be like! If your little one is hoping for a pet of the unusual variety, this book teaches the lesson that some animals are best left out in the wild.

Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets


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.

If My Dog Could Talk


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.

The Goodbye Book

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