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Are you one of those people that whenever you go to someone’s house, you say hi to their dog/cat/hamster/any other pet they have before doing anything else? Yeah? Me too. When a dog sneezes, I say bless you. To be honest, animals are literal angels and I am obsessed with them. If you’re like me, you enjoy whenever a cute animal appears in the book you’re currently reading. Animals just make books better, that’s the cold truth. And they will continuously do it every single time. In this next list, I compiled books with pets on the cover, so we can see them front and center!
Some animals have main character energy (MCE), not going to lie. I believe the ones I’m mentioning in this article have a lot of MCE or are beginning to have it. I mean, some of these covers have these cuties before even the protagonists, so you know what? They are clearly the light, the sun, the shining beacon of their own books. Most of the time, whenever I see a pet on the cover, they have a focal part in the story. They either function as matchmakers or helpers for the main human character. Which it’s so fun to see, because they are always chaotic antics happening around them whenever they start getting involved with the plot.
Note: Because we’re mainly talking about book covers, and most of these covers are illustrated, I wanted to include the illustrators and designers who made these beautiful covers. I tried my hardest to find them all, but there are a few that made it impossible for me to do it.
Romance Books With Pets On the Cover
The Honeymoon Cottage by Lori Foster
The Honeymoon Cottage is a book that stays on the line between women’s fiction and romance, definitely. I want to be honest about that, so if you’re looking for a romance romance book, I say keep reading. But if you want a story where you get to meet numerous characters and their lives, this title might be for you.
Wedding planner Yardley has felt, since a very young age, that her mother and aunt don’t appreciate everything she has done for them. When a new bride comes knocking for her services with her brother alongside, Yardley is taking this chance to go all out. With the help of her best friend Mimi, Yardley’s life in Cemetery, Indiana, is about to completely change.
Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score
Maggie is a famous house-flipping sensation and a Youtube star who just got a new house to remodel. Arriving to Idaho, she is ready to restore this Victorian home in four months or less. But the arrival of one Silas Wright and his adorable flirtation techniques is going to make it harder for her to live this tiny town.
I love seeing Kevin, the cute service school-dropout dog (yeah, he failed service school omg!), front and center, because he is such a personality. You also get to meet two kittens in the story that will instantly steal your heart.
Cover illustrated and designed by Hattie Windley.
Sweethand by N.G. Peltier
After a very public breakup with her musician boyfriend, Cherisse wants to focus on her baking business more fully now. Also her sister is getting married and she’s the maid of honor, so really, her life is keeping her busy.
Then she finds out her sister’s soon-to-be husband made her nemesis, Keiran King, his best man! They’ve always butted heads and have never agreed on anything. So, you can see why this is the worst thing to ever happen to her. Yet, spending so much time together, planning bachelorettes and so on, Cherisse and Kieran’s attraction might happen to grow.
Cover illustrated and designed by Leni Kauffman.
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I Hate You More by Lucy Gilmore
This book is the perfect book for dog lovers! Why? Because it takes you all the way to dog show business.
Ruby, a former beauty pageant queen, takes the task to enroll Wheezy, a lazy Golden Retriever, to the upcoming Canine Classic. There, she meets veterinarian Spencer who happens to be a judge in the local dog show. But Ruby and Spencer don’t start on the right foot.
Cover illustrated and designed by Leni Kauffman.
A Walk in the Park by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Weatherspoon’s newest Audible romance is all about parenting a new dog together. Yeah, you heard that right. Two strangers who suddenly get approved for the same dog at the shelter! They obviously fell for the little cutie so hard and don’t want to part ways. So, they come up with a plan: for one month, they’ll co-parent the dog.
Cover illustrated and designed by Kim Ekdahl.
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
In this story, Margot is someone who doesn’t do relationships. She rather loves casual hookups, so that’s what she will keep doing. But when she reunites with her childhood friend and her first crush, Olivia, her cold heart finally starts working again.
A series of unfortunate events leave Olivia without a place to stay, so Margot decides to offer her spare bedroom to her. Roommate and unresolved feelings? Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.
PS. There’s an adorable cat named Cat.
Hooked on You by Reon Laudat
This has been one of my favorite covers that have come out, to be quite honest. First of all, Leni Kauffman did it, and yeah, I adore everything she does. But also the colors and the cute kittens playing with a ball of yarn just makes it a perfect cover.
Zoe and Preston have always been best friends, but whenever that tiny thought comes up inside their heads about taking one step further into their relationship, they quickly smash it down. I mean, Zoe is also engaged to Dante! With troublesome cats and so much crochet, will these two besties figure it out and get to their happily ever after?
Cover illustrated and designed by Leni Kauffman.
The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi (Jan 31, 2023)
Freelancer writer Sora has a strong dislike for Valentine’s Day. It’s a commercial holiday! Why not just stay home and drink some wine, right? Well, she inspires readers to stay single this February and creates the hashtag #gosolo. But when a cute, hot baker appears in the picture, she totally has to shut down that hashtag, because she cannot get the guy AND still #gosolo!
Cover designed by Jonathan Bush. Illustrated by Leonardo Santamaria.
Cat’s Got Your Heart by Jem Zero
I tell you, the pets in these books have main character energy. Dumpling the cat? Yeah, 100%. In Cat’s Got Your Heart, we’ll get to meet Harinder and Jericho, two people who instantly dislike each other. When Jericho walks through the door of his local pet shop, he’s ready to adopt a cute furry friend. He thought it would be easy; go in, choose and go out with a new purr-fect pal. But no, that’s not how the story goes.
Harinder, the grumpy shopkeep, is not about to let him walk away with a cat unless he goes through this ridiculous adopting process that takes so long Harinder is sure he isn’t going to make it till the end.
Cozy Mysteries With Pets On the Cover
Flight Risk by Cherie Priest (Nov 1)
In the Grave Reservations sequel, psychic Leda and detective Grady are back! This time, they’re going to try to solve a case of a missing couple.
Leda gets approached by a man who is in need of help on finding his missing sister. At the same time, Grady has just misplaced his dog. While he is passing along “Lost” flyers, his dog appears… holding a human leg in its mouth. After a DNA test, Grady realizes that this has something to do with Leda’s new case, so they agree to team up to resolve this mystery.
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
Not only do you get one cute pet on the cover, you get TWO! And expect more when you start reading Mimi Lee Gets A Clue.
The A Sassy Cat Mystery series starts with Mimi Lee who just opened her new pet grooming shop. She has too much on her plate, so becoming the prime suspect in a murder investigation is not ideal, for sure. With the help of her talking cat and her dreamy lawyer neighbor, she’s going to get to the bottom of this!
Cover by Carrie May.
Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns (Aug 30)
Maddy Montgomery is going through a lot, like being left at the altar. Good thing her late, great Aunt Octavia left her an inheritance and it’s the perfect opportunity to regroup and rebrand for her. But before she gets it, she needs to spend a year in her late, great Aunt’s house, running her bakery, and caring for a 200-pound English Mastiff. She has no clue how to do it, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Things are looking up until the mayor is suddenly found stabbed and Maddy’s fingerprints are all over the knife!
Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala (Oct 4)
It’s Christmastime in Shady Palms! Obviously, there is no rest for Lila Macapagal. Her estranged cousin is back after 15 years of ghosting the family, claiming he’s back on his feet by purchasing a winery. But Lila knows that wherever Ronnie goes, trouble follows. And it actually become true when Ronnie is accused of murder!
Cover by Vi-An Nguyen.
Young Adult Books With Pets On the Cover
Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park
There’s a chicken on the cover and I’m in love.
A social media influencer is shipped off to digital detox camp after going viral for accidentally filming a PG-13 cooking video. Now, she is surrounded by chickens, cows, and no internet?! But between unexpected friendships and maybe a cute romance with a farm boy, Sunny might realize that being technology-dependent is not so good after all.
Cover designed by Nicole Hower. Illustrated by Carolina Melis.
How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (Nov 1)
Don’t even get me started with the corgi wearing some snow booties. How to Excavate a Heart is a Jewish holiday romcom featuring an enemies-to-lovers romance and a meet-disaster for the ages.
This is the perfect book if you’re one of the people who is currently figure things out in your life, you know? If it’s college, jobs, relationships, breakups, friendships, or anything that is going on your life, this book is going to feel like a warm hug on a cold, winter day.
Cover designed by Chris Kwon. Illustrated by Natalie Shaw.
With these pets, you’ll, for sure, have the best of time. You’re either going to be solving murders with your trusted, purr-fect friend or fall in love with your rival while this cute pet helps you with some matchmaking of their own. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Covers are so very important to a book. It’s basically the first “line of action” when it comes to buying a book. What do customers see first? The cover, of course. It has to be interesting; it has to match the vibe inside. They can feature cute pets, but they can also feature sexy fruits or actual books (yeah, a book on the cover of a BOOK?! Wild). It’s clear that artists and cover designers have the most fun.