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Pet Care Books and Movies

Tiffany Smith
Dec. 6, 2016

Our favorite books and movies with pet care themes.

The Care.com Editorial Team has compiled a list of our favorite books and movies with a Pet Care theme. You'll find a wide range of both fiction and nonfiction books and movies on the topic. Refer to the list when you're stuck with nothing to do on a rainy day, or just looking for a fun movie or book for your spare time.  Hopefully, you'll find a few books and movies that will become family favorites!

Pets -- Family Reading


Title: The Cat Who...


Author: Lillian Jackson Braun

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Reading type: Young adult to grownups

Reader age group: 10+ years

Publisher: Jove

Date of publication: 1966 to 2007

Review: For over 40 years, Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series has delighted generations of readers--cat lovers or not. These 29 lighthearted mysteries center around the small town Pickax, Moose County life of newspaper reporter Jim Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and Yum Yum. Each family-friendly novel in the series is engaging and easy to read, refreshingly free of the adult content, language, and violence present in most modern fiction, while managing to still be utterly entertaining and impossible to put down. The Siamese cats are quite anthropomorphic and able detectives, as well as fully developed characters, and are a huge draw that has kept readers coming back for more for 4 decades.

Title: Dogsbody


Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fiction

Reading type: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Reader age group: Ages 9-14

Publisher: HarperTrophy

Date of publication: 1974, 2001

Review: A mix of sci-fi fantasy and the heartwarming story of an adopted dog, Dogsbody follows Sirius, Lord of the Dog Star, after he's banished from the celestial world and must live on Earth in the body of a stray dog until his name is cleared of murder charges. A classic on many bestseller lists after its initial publication in 1974, this book was recently reissued in 2001 with a new cover. A great read for all ages from young adult to grownups.

Title: Dogwalker


Author: Arthur Bradford

Genre: Short stories, Fiction

Reading type: Middle Grade, Grownups

Reader age group: Ages 14 and up

Publisher: Vintage Contemporaries

Date of publication: 2001

Review: A dark comedy of a short story collection, Dogwalker explores the strange and the sensory with a refreshingly straightforward and observant sense of humor. Bradford's narrator recounts the tales of curious creatures both human and canine -- even a onetime roommate named Catface. A writer for McSweeney's and a friend of both Dave Eggers and David Sedaris, Bradford has a contemporary nature to his narratives that is comfortable, smart, pithy, and yet un-ironic. His tales dive deep into our relationships with, and tangled emotions on, care giving for others in both the traditional sense and more in unusual ways, and are entertaining as well as perspective shifting. Each offbeat short story reads quickly and we dare you to put this collection down. Like a curious cat, you'll want to see what bizarre playthings lie on each new page until there are no more left to explore.


Title: Bad Dogs Have More Fun


Author: John Grogan

Genre: Essays & Collections

Reading type: Middle Grade to Grownups

Reader age group: 9 and up

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Date of publication: 2007

Review: New from John Grogan, the New York Times #1 bestselling author of "Marley & Me: Life and Love With The World's Worst Dog," this collection of his columns from The Philadelphia Inquirer focuses on family, life, and the role that animals of all kinds play in both. The essays are appropriately categorized into three sections for easy reading: Family, Animals, and Life. A percentage of the profits from the sale of this book go to The Good Dog Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote animal-assisted therapy for human beings "...because dogs are good medicine." We'll second that.

Title: Dogtionary


Author: Sharon Montrose

Genre: Photography

Reading type: Coffee Table / Photography

Reader age group: All ages

Publisher: Studio

Date of publication: 2001

Review: A must-give gift for any dog lover, Sharon Montrose's beautiful black-and-white photography books (and their quirky text) capture the true bonds we share with man's best friend, from breed to breed. Playful and active moments caught on film and accompanying 3-part summations of each pet's "dognality" are sure to elicit a smile-- even tears of happiness. Our favorite? A woman's hands clasping a dachshund puppy (pudgy puppy belly just out of focus) in mid-air, with the caption: "CRUMB: 1. a 5AM alarm clock, 2. a 6AM alarm clock, 3. a REASON to get up in the morning." Check out "Lightweights", a similar tome on small dogs, "Cationary", the feline counterpart, and "Mutts", celebrating mixed breeds, also by Sharon Montrose: a photographer who has dedicated her career to accurately capturing the joys and humor of family life--whether your definition of family includes kids, pets, or both.

Title: The Dog Lover's Companion Guide Series


Author: Various regional editors, Illustrated by Phil Frank

Genre: Travel Guides

Reading type: Young adult and up

Reader age group: All ages

Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing

Date of publication: 2001 to 2007

Review: A must-own for any "dog parent", this fun and fact-filled series is chock-full of parks, hikes, hotels, restaurants, vacation spots and all sorts of other dog-friendly destinations. It's great to have on hand for exploring your city or region with your best compadre, and will inspire you to get off the couch and go past your regular walk route for more interesting adventures with your four-legged friend. Just a quick flip will make you realize just how many more trips your leashed pal can join you on than you might have previously thought--and it's an entertaining read, too. Avalon now publishes editions in seven cities (San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) and four regions (California, New England, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest).

Title: I Just Got a Puppy, What Do I Do?


Author(s): Mordecai Siegal and Matthew "Uncle Matty" Margolis

Publisher: Fireside

Date of publication: 1992

Review: This frank and honest dog-training manual is a favorite of our editors. Written by Mordecai Seigal, President Emeritus of the Dog Writers Association of America, and "Uncle Matty" Margolis, host of PBS's long-running series Woof! It's a Dog's Life!, famous TV and radio personality, and veteran professional dog trainer, it's a tells-it-like-it-is approach to raising and training your dog the right way: in a positive and constructive environment. A must-have for new "dog parents" and a great gift for the new dog owner in your life, "I Just Got a Puppy..." showcases the inside tips and expert advice of these prominent pet lovers, who together have published over 50 pet-related books and have appeared on every major news and talk show.

Title: ASPCA Complete Cat Care Manual


ASPCA Complete Dog Care Manual


Author(s): Dr. Andrew Edney and Dr.  Bruce Fogle, respectively

Publisher: DK Adult

Date of publication: 1993 to 2006

Review: If you're looking for an in-depth behavior and training manual for your new kitten or puppy, this is not the book for you. It is, however, a wonderful reference book for the novice or experienced pet owner to have on hand to answer basic first aid questions and curiosities concerning their pet's behavior or condition that come up naturally over the years. The best features of these guides are their photography and illustrations, and their emergency and first aid chapters. No single chapter goes very in-depth on any particular subject, however, so if you have specific breed questions or areas of interest, you'll want to pick up a supplementary guide for that topic. This series makes a great gift for friends, family members, or your pet care provider--one that every pet lover should have on their shelf.

Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite

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