89.7 million dogs live as pets in American households.
We all love our furry, loyal friends, so much so that dogs regularly star in movies.
Often these dog movies leave us reaching for the tissues. But there are plenty of dog movies out there bound to give you a good laugh!
We’ve compiled a list of the best movies about dogs you’ll want to add to your shelf. Keep reading for more!
1. Marley & Me
This 2008 classic film will definitely require a box of tissues. But don’t worry–it’s not a sobfest. Marley & Me is a beautiful reflection of the role a dog can play within a family and beyond.
In the film, John and Jenny are newly married. They move to Florida, pick up new jobs, and decided to adopt a yellow Labrador puppy. At first a puppy terror, Marley eventually becomes a fixture of the family over the next fourteen years of life.
Marley & Me is full of some familiar faces–Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson play Jenny and John. The film made use (allegedly) of 22 yellow Labradors to portray Marley’s lifespan!
This classic dog movie has fairly decent reviews, too, scoring 62% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.1/10 on IMDb.
Find Marley & Me on Google Play, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
There are actually two versions of this cult classic: the first, released in 1974, and the most recent, released in 2018. Either will suit your shelf, we assure you!
If you do stick with the 1970s Benji, set aside a few movie nights. There are quite a few “sequels” to the first, including For the Love of Benji, Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story, Benji at Work, and Benji the Hunted.
In fact, the 1974 Benji film started a veritable Benji phenomenon. It’s easy to understand why!
Benji is a stray eager to be part of a human family, but unfortunately, the father of this family is resistant to taking in strays. But when Benji rescues the children from danger, he earns a permanent place in the home.
If you’ve taken in a stray or rescue pup, don’t miss out on this classic film–or any of its sequels.
The 1974 Benji film currently touts an 86% Rotten Tomatoes ranking.
3. Isle of Dogs
If you appreciate Wes Anderson films, look no further than Isle of Dogs. This animated film probes the depths of the human-dog relationship with humor, wit, and nostalgia.
In Isle of Dogs, all dogs in Megasaki City are exiled to Trash Island in an attempt to ward off a nasty dog flu. Young Atari travels to this island to rescue his bodyguard dog, Spots and attempt to restore dogs to their rightful positions as beloved pets.
Get ready for a star-studded cast when you watch Isle of Dogs. Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, and Jeff Goldblum provide voices for a prominent Trash Island dog crew, among many other cherished actors.
Critics are raving about this 2018 film, too. It currently holds a 90% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Find Isle of Dogs on a variety of platforms, including HBO, Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.
4. My Dog Tulip
You’re not likely to forget this 2009 animated independent film anytime soon. While animated, it’s definitely an adult film about the intimate relationship between a man and his dog.
My Dog Tulip is actually based on a 1950s memoir by J. R. Ackerley. The film tells the story of Ackerley’s fifteen-year relationship with Queenie (called Tulip in the film), a German Shepherd.
You’ll laugh and cry with this one and especially appreciate the artful, avant-garde animation. Find My Dog Tulip on Amazon Prime.
5. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the 80s, add the Adventures of Milo and Otis to your dog movie lineup. This film follows the travails of a tabby cat and pug dog, stranded from their farm by an unlucky chain of events.
Most people don’t realize that this is actually a Japanese film, directed by Masanori Hata. Its soundtrack is also notable, given its emphasis on classical composers.
Milo and Otis has a solid 80% Rotten Tomatoes rating. We’re certain you’ll love it too!
6. My Dog Skip
This 2000 film will require some tissues and inner pause (or paws), but it’s well worth a watch. When his friend goes off to war, Willie Morris is left at home with an unsympathetic father.
Luckily, his mother buys Willie a dog to occupy his time, and this launches a beautiful relationship that forms the basis of this coming-of-age classic.
Find this boy-and-his-dog tribute on most platforms, including Google Play, Vudu, and iTunes.
7. Because of Winn-Dixie
If you ever read Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie as a child, make sure you put the book’s film adaptation on your list. The book itself has been awarded several prestigious titles, including a John Newbery Medal and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.
Because of Winn-Dixie tells the tale of Opal, a young girl who moves to Florida with her father after her mother abandons her. Opal befriends a stray pup she names Winn-Dixie, and their relationship spawns many adventures and heartwarming lessons.
Find Winn-Dixie on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and beyond!
8. Iron Will
All right adventure-lovers, this one is for you! If you’re not in the mood for bittersweet or nostalgic, turn on Iron Will, a 1994 film about dogsledding.
In the film, Will decides to enter a dogsled marathon, lured by the $10,000 prize that could save his family from financial demise.
Yes, the prominently featured dog is a Huskie, fondly named Gus. The film actually takes place in 1917.
With a 62% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Iron Will is likely to please. Find it on Netflix!
9. Best in Show
Best in Show is a 2000 mockumentary, one that will leave all dog lovers in stitches. Christopher Guest’s film pokes fun at the dog show phenomenon in a truly memorable way.
The film follows a handful of contestants in the annual Mayflower Best in Show dog competition. We won’t give away who wins–you’ll have to watch it yourself to find out!
Find Best in Show on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, and beyond.
10. Homeward Bound
Rounding off our list is Homeward Bound, a memorable childhood classic for most of us. In this 1993 film, three beloved pets–Chance, Shadow, and Sassy–are left by their owners at a friend’s ranch.
The animals must make their way back home through California wilderness before it’s too late.
With an 87% Rotten Tomatoes Rating, this movie will not disappoint. Watch it now on HBO, Amazon Prime, or Google Play.
The Best Movies About Dogs
There you have it: the top ten best movies about dogs! Don’t miss out on these classics the next time you’re craving a flick.
Looking for dog stories that aren’t all fictional? Check out our Dog Deep Stories archives here!