Our annual Summer Reading List for Dog Lovers is back! Have you exhausted all of your current reading materials during quarantine? Need a new book to capture the kids’ attention away from the TV? Or are you looking for the perfect read for a summer afternoon to relax with in the backyard? Check out our list below, created just for dog lovers like you!

Biloxi book cover

Biloxi by Mary Miller

Biloxi, Mississippi is the home of Louis McDonald Jr., a divorced retiree who fills his days with reality TV and leftovers. On a whim, he takes home a chubby mutt named Layla, who quickly becomes his constant companion. Louis and Layla’s bond is the heart of this biting, bittersweet second novel by acclaimed writer Mary Miller. Reviewer Beth Anderson of the Library Journal says Biloxi “casts light on crushing loneliness in the form of a lost sixtysomething man at the heart of a sweet dog-saves-man story filled with plenty of surprises to keep one turning the pages.” We can’t wait to dig in!

Denali book cover

Denali: A Man, a Dog, and the Friendship of a Lifetime by Ben Moon

Man adopts dog. Man and dog go on an epic road trip together. Sounds like quite the adventure, right? Well, that’s just the start of the journey of Ben Moon and his rescue pup Denali, as chronicled in this new memoir.  When Ben is diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 29 years old, Denali is his most dedicated supporter. Ben recovers from his hard-fought battle, but soon discovers that Denali faces a similar diagnosis. Returning the favor, Ben nurses Denali and their bond grows even stronger. Denali is a powerful depiction of the unshakable bond between humans and dogs, and the amazing things we can face with a friend by our side.

Devoted book cover

Devoted by Dean Koontz

Do you like dogs AND mystery novels? Good news! Best-selling author Dean Koontz’s latest book, Devoted, is a canine-centered thriller perfect for the summer. The story centers on Woody, an 11 year-old boy with a troubled past who does not speak, and Kipp, a Golden Retriever who can communicate with Woody in ways others cannot. Can Woody solve the mystery of his father’s death and protect his mother from the evil he feels is brewing all around him? You’ll turn page after page to find out!

Call of the Wild book cover

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This one’s a classic, and back in the spotlight thanks to the 2020 film adaptation starring Harrison Ford. Jack London’s beloved novel was first published in 1903, and hasn’t been out of print since. The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck, a Saint Bernard mix who is stolen from his home in California. He’s then transported to Yukon to work as a sled dog during the 1890s Gold Rush. What better time to dive into this thrilling, moving, historical Arctic adventure than on a hot summer afternoon?

Cold Nose, Warm Heart book cover

Cold Nose, Warm Heart by Mara Wells

Calling all romance fans: this pick is just for you! Caleb is a down-on-his luck businessman with a plan to strike it rich by building luxury condos in a Miami neighborhood. But he runs into trouble when he meets Riley, a young woman determined to save her favorite dog park, which Caleb wants to turn into a parking lot. Riley and her poodle LouLou won’t give up, and Caleb is pulled between his big dream and his growing feelings for Riley. Publishers Weekly says Mara Wells’ book is “full of humor and heart…Animal lovers will delight in the large cast of canine supporting characters in this well-paced romance.” Wells also says this is the first in a series of dog-themed Romance books – so you’ll be all set for next summer, too!

Wish book cover

Wish by Barbara O’Connor

The story of a young girl who dreams of a dog of her own, Wish is a great pick for 9-12 year-olds looking for a canine-centric story to read during summer break. This best-selling novel by Barbara O’Connor tells the story of Charlie Reese, an 11 year-old girl who lives with her aunt and uncle in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. One day her dream comes true when she meets Wishbone, a stray dog who needs her help. The School Library Journal writes that O’Connor’s book is a “touching tale of resilience sure to resonate with children who have ever felt like they didn’t belong. . . . Poignant and genuine, this is a tale that will resonate with readers long after they finish it and have them cheering for the underdogs―both of the two-legged and four-legged varieties.”

No Ordinary Dog book cover

No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid by Will Chesney

No Ordinary Dog tells the story of Cairo, a Belgian Malinois who served as a military working dog with the U.S. Navy from 2008-2013. Included among his many missions was the 2011 raid that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Cairo’s handler, former U.S. Navy SEAL Will Chesney, and journalist Joe Layden wrote this memoir as a tribute to this remarkable canine soldier. From the early days of their training, to the night of the now-famous raid, to Cairo’s nearly fatal injury in the line of duty, to their separation and eventual reunion, Cairo and Will’s story is gripping, heartfelt and unforgettable.

Dog Songs book cover

Dog Songs: Poems by Mary Oliver

Pulitzer prize-winning poet Mary Oliver’s collection Dog Songs is a worthy ode to our canine companions. Paying tribute to her own pets and drawing upon her lifetime of experiences with these furry creatures, Oliver’s poems are poignant, funny, moving and exquisitely rendered. This collection is the perfect accompaniment to a cup on tea on a summer morning on the porch with your own beloved dog.

Who's the Boss book cover

Who’s the Boss by Ron Pace (a DogWatch® Dealer!)

We’re proud to feature a book written by one of own – DogWatch Dealer and renowned dog trainer Ron Pace! Who’s The Boss is a step-by-step dog training guide that draws upon Ron’s 40+ years of experience as a professional dog trainer. Separated into 10 short lessons, this book can help you learn to communicate with you dog in a way he or she understands to build a more valuable lifetime connection with your best friend. Jumpstart your Summer with Ron’s helpful advice, and by Fall, you’ll be able to impress your neighbors with your dog’s newfound skills!

Silly Fluffy Barking Jumping Wet-Nosed Dog Book cover

Silly Fluffy Barking Jumping Wet-Nosed Dog Book by Agnes Green

No need to leave out the little ones! Your toddlers will love this picture book all about their favorite animal – DOGS! They’ll learn about the many different breeds of dogs, complete with adorable illustrations that will make everyone smile. And the rhyming prose is lots of fun to read out loud before bedtime. “Some are big, and some are small. I don’t care – I love them all!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Silly Fluffy Barking Jumping Wet-Nosed Dog Book excerpt


Do you have your own favorite dog-themed book to recommend? Share your feedback with us in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter. Have a wonderful summer and happy reading!