The Best Books for Dog Lovers to Get Your Paws On 🐾

We know it’s hard to put our love for dogs into words. It’s one of the many reasons why we cherish books about dogs so deeply. They’re beautiful portraits of the one-of-a-kind bonds between humans and pups, capturing the small and big moments that make the relationship unlike any other. 

With National Book Lovers Day on the calendar (August 9), it’s a beautiful time to highlight the many incredible and relatable books with dogs. Some are fictional with dog narrators, others are non-fiction with autobiographical storytelling. But all of them are sure to touch your hearts with their tender and lovable dog stories. Just be sure to have tissues handy for both sad and happy tears! 

Please note, all the links will direct you to Bookshop, a site dedicated to supporting local, independent bookstores.

Bookworms: Dog Books with Stories That’ll Make You Love Your Best Friend Even More 

1. Dog Songs

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver captures the little moments of pet parenthood - from daily walks to welcome home greetings. Each page is full of laughter, love, and heartache. But more than anything, this book is a celebration of the undeniable bond between dogs and humans. 

Buy the book

2. Lily & The Octopus

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Any animal lover will find meaning and beauty in Steven Rowley’s novel, Lily and the Octopus. The story is based on a struggling writer’s relationship with his elderly Daschund named Lily. It’s sweet and full of laughs just as much as it’s full of vulnerability and tenderness. Also, if you like audiobooks, this is one of the best. 

Buy the book.

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain 

The Art of Racing in the Rain  by Garth Stein

Love, heartache, and camaraderie are just some of the many beautiful themes in The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. What makes it so different is this story is told from the witty and wise perspective of Enzo the dog. After you finish the book, watch the movie starring Amanda Seyfriend and Milo Ventimiglia. 

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4. How Dogs Love Us

How Dogs Love Us by Gregory Berns

If you’ve always wondered “what is my dog thinking” - How Dogs Love Us is for you. Gregory Berns, the author, writes this book from the perspective of his career as a neuroscientist to ultimately show that dogs are worthy of respect as fellow sentient beings. It’s a powerful story that shows dogs are deeply layered with both social and emotional intelligence.

Buy the book. 

5. The Dog Lived (And So Will I)

The Dog Lived (And So Will I) by Teresa Rhyne

The Dog Lived is a memoir about the author’s experience of learning her recently adopted dog has a malignant tumor before finding out about her own cancer diagnosis. While this story may sound grim, it’s beautifully heartwarming and an inspiring reminder of the strength and love we can get from dogs. 

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6. Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

A classic, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a story that stays in your heart long after you get to the last page. If you read it as a kid, we highly recommend re-reading it as an adult. 

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7. Marley & Me

Marley & Me by John Grogan

Last but not least, we couldn’t complete this list without the beloved autobiographical novel by John Grogan, Marley & Me. The story is about a 90-pound golden retriever who is hard to train but oh-so-easy to love. This is truly one of those books that highlight the loyalty, devotion, and unconditional love dogs offer to their human best friends. 

Buy the book

Hope this list inspires your TBR (to be read) List. If you’re looking for new podcast recommendations, check out this guide to plant-powered podcasts!

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