Our Very Own Dog: Taking Care of Your First Pet by Amanda McCardie

Becoming a pet owner comes with its own set of responsibilities. Dogs in particular need a lot of special attention and care. Our Very Own Dog is a children's picture book about a family who invites a rescue dog into their family. In addition to a fun story about the family's day to day life with their new pet, the book actually serves as a guide for kids on how to take care of a dog by including fun facts and pointers to cover some of the basics of being a dog owner.

There’s nothing more exciting than getting a dog! Join Sophie’s new human family as they prepare their home for her and introduce her to life as a beloved pet. Follow along as they learn about bedding and bowls, treats and training, walks and washing—and even an unexpected dog show! Factual notes run alongside the simple story, offering tips that will help turn tentative dog adopters into doting experts.

Amanda McCardie is the author of several books for young readers, most recently A Book of Feelings. She says, “Sophie is dear to my heart. She was the cheery, cheeky little dog I grew up with in real life.” Amanda McCardie lives in London.

It's been a couple of years since out sweet pup had passed away. My son was just a little baby, so he doesn't really remember him. It was a bit devastating for me, so we decided to hold off on getting another pet for a while. We figured that perhaps we'd wait until we receive the big question, "Mom, dad can we have a pet?" While it hasn't happened yet, reading Our Very Own Dog to my son has brought back memories of our late furbaby and the fun, unique personalities that many dogs have. Of course, there's a lot to know in taking care of them, and each breed comes with its own temperament.

As you read the story, there are short snippets of information printed in an alternate typeface. These snippets include factual information about dogs in general, as well as basic pointers on what you'll need for your new dog. Kids can learn how a dog should be properly fitted for a leash, ways to provide a healthy well-balanced diet, and basic training words. They'll also learn how dogs can be highly social animals and need regular exercise. The book contains plenty of illustrations of various breeds and provides an kid-friendly visual of a day in the life of a dog owner, even the less fun aspects like cleaning up messes, which is a normal part of having pets. A feature in this book that's definitely worth mentioning is the last page, which includes book recommendations for dog owners, as well as an index to help find important topics throughout the book such as grooming, chewing, whiskers, etc. Now this is something you don't typically find in a simple kid's picture book, but because this is also considered a guide, I thought it was a pretty neat element to include.

If are thinking about getting a dog as a new pet, Our Very Own Dog is a nice book to help acclimate children to what they can expect by providing them with basic knowledge and ways to care for them. In addition, to a story about a family's fun-loving new pup, kids can take in what it may be like to be a dog owner.