The 8 Best Children’s Books about Pets for New Pet Owners Available Today

Written by Maxwell Martinson
Published: September 20, 2022

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A childhood pet can make a lasting impact on a person’s life. Close connections help to develop compassion, responsibility, feelings of belonging, and much more.

That connection doesn’t always fall perfectly into place, however. You often need some supplemental tools like books to help your child understand their pets and care for them properly.

We’ve compiled a list of great books that help children learn about pet care, responsibility, and more. We’ve even included a few books that are made for unique pets, specifically.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Gordon's Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs (Pets' Guides)
  2. Gordon's Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs (Pets' Guides)
    • About a guinea pig named Gordon
    • Helps your child work through all of the necessary products, supplies, skills, and attitudes needed to care for a guinea pig
    • Will familiarize your child with guinea pigs
    Check Amazon
  3. Caring for Your Pets: A Book About Veterinarians (Community Workers)
  4. Caring for Your Pets: A Book About Veterinarians (Community Workers)
    • Covers the ins and outs of what a veterinarian is
    •  Addresses why your animal might not enjoy going to the vet 
    • Will set your child up for a lifetime of responsible pet ownership
    Check Amazon
  5. How to Care for Your Dog: A Color & Learn Guide for Kids (Dover Kids Activity Books: Animals)
  6. How to Care for Your Dog: A Color & Learn Guide for Kids (Dover Kids Activity Books: Animals)
    • Educational coloring book for kids 3-8 years old
    • Contains a neat chart detailing their dog ownership responsibilities
    • Helps children understand various tasks like walking, bathing, and taking the dog to the vet
    Check Amazon
  7. A Kid's Guide to Cats: How to Train, Care for, and Play and Communicate with Your Amazing Pet!
  8. A Kid's Guide to Cats: How to Train, Care for, and Play and Communicate with Your Amazing Pet!
    • Goes through everything that a child would ever want to know about cats
    • Full of interesting details and illustrations
    • Great for early readers ages 8-12
    Check Amazon
  9. When a Pet Dies
  10. When a Pet Dies
    • An invaluable book for parents with aging pets
    • A sensitive way to teach your children about some unfortunate realities of life
    • Written by Mr. Rogers
    Check Amazon
  11. The Little Book of Pets: Children’s Book about Pets, Animals, How to Care for Pets, Kids Ages 3 10, Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade
  12. The Little Book of Pets: Children’s Book about Pets, Animals, How to Care for Pets, Kids Ages 3 10, Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade
    • Teaches kids the responsibility of caring for a pet.
    • A useful resource for parents and teachers.
    • Written for children ages 3 through 10.
    • Cartoon illustrations featured throughout.
    Check Amazon
  13. Much To Do Before A Dog
  14. Much To Do Before A Dog
    • Charming story about a girl who wants to adopt a dog
    • Details the process of working up to dog ownership and responsibility
    • Great way to illustrate to your child why they may not (yet) be ready for an animal
    Check Amazon
  15. Look & Learn: Pets
  16. Look & Learn: Pets
    • Published by National Geographic
    • Helpful for children who might be a little timid around animals
    • Great illustrations
    Check Amazon Check Amazon

8. Look & Learn: Pets

If your child hasn’t decided on their dream pet quite yet, Look & Learn: Pets is a great place to start. This National Geographic book for kids highlights some of the best and friendliest pets that families can bring home.

This is particularly helpful for children who might be a little timid around furry creatures and uncertain if they really want to bring one home.

Look & Learn: Pets will help them get a better grasp on what pets are like, why they’re so much fun, and more.

Look & Learn: Pets
  • Published by National Geographic
  • Helpful for children who might be a little timid around animals
  • Great illustrations
Check Amazon Check Amazon

7. Gordon’s Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs

Gordon’s Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs is directed by a fun and friendly guinea pig named Gordon. He helps your child work through all of the necessary products, supplies, skills, and attitudes needed to care for a guinea pig.

Your child will become familiar with the idea of engaging with guinea pigs through Gordon, getting them started with the process from the second they begin reading.

Guinea pigs are fun, intelligent, sweet creatures that are great partners in crime for kids who might not want a larger animal in the house.

Gordon's Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs (Pets' Guides)
  • About a guinea pig named Gordon
  • Helps your child work through all of the necessary products, supplies, skills, and attitudes needed to care for a guinea pig
  • Will familiarize your child with guinea pigs
Check Amazon

6. Caring for Your Pets: A Book About Veterinarians

Trips to the vet are an essential aspect of pet ownership. Caring for Your Pets covers the ins and outs of what a veterinarian is, how they help animals, and why they’re so important.

The book also covers why your animal might not enjoy going to the vet even though it’s the best thing for them. This can be difficult to accept for a child who sees their animal struggling and wants to help.

Establishing the owner-veterinarian connection early on will set your child up for a lifetime of responsible pet ownership.

Caring for Your Pets: A Book About Veterinarians (Community Workers)
  • Covers the ins and outs of what a veterinarian is
  •  Addresses why your animal might not enjoy going to the vet 
  • Will set your child up for a lifetime of responsible pet ownership
Check Amazon

5. How to Care for Your Dog: A Color & Learn Guide for Kids

How to Care for Your Dog is an educational coloring book for kids 3-8 years old. The book includes color-in images depicting children caring for their dogs in various ways (bathing, taking to the vet, and more).

When they’ve worked through the coloring book, children will find a neat chart detailing their dog ownership responsibilities. It’s a great way to introduce the idea of caring for a dog to a young child, especially one who isn’t the strongest reader quite yet.

The chart allows children to feel like they’re playing a big part in the care of the dog, developing a sense of responsibility and importance when it comes to caring for an animal.

How to Care for Your Dog: A Color & Learn Guide for Kids (Dover Kids Activity Books: Animals)
  • Educational coloring book for kids 3-8 years old
  • Contains a neat chart detailing their dog ownership responsibilities
  • Helps children understand various tasks like walking, bathing, and taking the dog to the vet
Check Amazon

4. A Kid’s Guide to Cats: How to Train, Care for, and Play and Communicate with Your Amazing Pet!

A Kid’s Guide to Cats is exactly what it seems. The book goes through everything that a child would ever want to know about cats and cat behavior.

They’ll get a good sense of where the housecat sits in relation to other feline species, appreciate what’s possible if you care for your cat well enough, and offer clear directions on how to give your cat the best life possible.

This is great for early readers ages 8-12 who have a deep interest in learning about all things cat.

A Kid's Guide to Cats: How to Train, Care for, and Play and Communicate with Your Amazing Pet!
  • Goes through everything that a child would ever want to know about cats
  • Full of interesting details and illustrations
  • Great for early readers ages 8-12
Check Amazon

3. When a Pet Dies

When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers is an invaluable book for parents with aging pets. Mr. Rogers has a brilliant way of making us feel at ease as we learn some of life’s hard truths.

The challenge is that pet death is one of the hard truths that kids have to face. If you’re not experienced with the deaths of pets, this book could be a real benefit to you and your family.

It’s simply a resource that kids can use to familiarize themselves with the process and mentally prepare for that difficult day. In many cases, this will be the first death that your child has had to go through.

It’s a challenging thing for us all, and who better than Mr. Rogers to guide you through your first brush with grief?

When a Pet Dies
  • An invaluable book for parents with aging pets
  • A sensitive way to teach your children about some unfortunate realities of life
  • Written by Mr. Rogers
Check Amazon

2. The Little Book of Pets

The Little Book of Pets helps children ages 3-10 to understand the level of love and care that all animals require.

It goes through the steps of pet care in simple ways, covering the realities of pets’ needs in relation to the care that kids will be responsible for. This book is an excellent primer, particularly if you think that your child might not fully appreciate what having a pet means.

One of the mantras in this book is “the more love you give a pet, the more love your pet will give back.”

Best for Kids
The Little Book of Pets: Children’s Book about Pets, Animals, How to Care for Pets, Kids Ages 3 10, Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade
  • Teaches kids the responsibility of caring for a pet.
  • A useful resource for parents and teachers.
  • Written for children ages 3 through 10.
  • Cartoon illustrations featured throughout.
Check Amazon

1. Much To Do Before A Dog

Much To Do Before A Dog is the timeless tale of a young girl who wants to adopt a dog.

It details the process of working up to dog ownership and relates the idea that not everyone immediately gets a dog. Instead, your child will relate to the kid in the story who, despite her wishes, has to wait to get a dog until she fully understands the responsibility.

This is a perfect allegory to the plight of almost all children who want a pet but can’t quite have one yet. Much To Do Before A Dog also touches on the wonderful yet heartbreaking realities of owning an animal.

Much To Do Before A Dog
  • Charming story about a girl who wants to adopt a dog
  • Details the process of working up to dog ownership and responsibility
  • Great way to illustrate to your child why they may not (yet) be ready for an animal
Check Amazon

What’s The Right Pet Care Book for You?

The books above are geared toward young children, and most of them center on the idea of responsibility and care. Depending on the age of your child or the specific animal you’re buying, various books in this list might stand out to you more.

That said, a good rule to go by is emphasizing the fundamentals of pet care before focusing on the specifics. For example, you might want to invest in Much To Do Before A Dog to teach your child about pet ownership before you go out and get a cat and A Kid’s Guide to Cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When’s the right age for a childhood pet?

It’s generally recommended that parents wait until a child is older than 4 years old to purchase a new pet. Younger children may not be able to control their angry or frustrated impulses toward the animal, and this could cause the animal to lash out in different ways.

So, for the safety of the child and the pet, it’s best to wait until after the age of 4 years old.

2. What is the best pet for kids?

This is a difficult question, as individual animals come equipped with their own personalities. On one hand, you could say that the smallest, least dangerous animal is the best for kids.

So, a mouse might be a great choice. On the other hand, a well-behaved Labrador Retriever could become your child’s best friend and teach them invaluable life lessons.

Try to find sensitive animals and do your best to train them. Well-trained animals who belong to compassionate owners are generally very kid-friendly.

3. Why do kids want pets so badly?

While it might seem natural to want a pet, it’s worth thinking about why kids are so interested in them. It’s believed that kids want pets because they provide reliable companionship and a sense of belonging.

Many animals, especially dogs, tend to offer selfless affection and love to their owners, which is something that children can benefit from immensely.

Need More Pet Care Information?

About the Author

Hi! I'm Max and I'm a writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I've been freelancing for more than five years and love the freedom and variety that this profession offers. Animals are also a big part of my life, and a lot of my time is dedicated to playing with my cat, Herbie.