As humans, we love to nurture and watch things grow. Whether it’s a baby, a garden, or a pet, we all have a natural desire to be productive and create something. Kids are especially fond of interacting with nature, which is why we take them to places like zoos and butterfly exhibits. A lot of times, families bring dogs into their homes in order to teach their children about selflessness and responsibility.
But not everyone gets to experience the joy of a dog in their home. Sadly, some children have conditions such as asthma or allergies to dogs, and are unable to keep one around. While designer dogs such as Shih Tzu’s and Goldendoodles are considered to be hypoallergenic, no breed is actually shed free. For kids in love with dogs but unable to currently care for one, there are games that will allow them to have at least part of that experience. So here are the five best dog games for kids.
This fun figurine teaches kids about how dirty owning a dog can sometimes be and it's one of the best dog games for kids in my household. It’s very simple, all kids have to do is “feed” their Doggie Do toy. Then, squeeze on the leash; the food will move through the dog’s body while passing gas along the way, eventually coming out the other end. The first person who cleans up three “messes” by the end of the game is the winner. The game also comes with a set of dice to shake things up, and switch up each turn.
Probably one of the most fun pet-related games on the web, Neopets takes you into a whole new fantasy world. You can have a total of 5 pets, which vary from species to color, to age, to gender. You can adopt higher-level and rare pets from the Neopian Pound for a price, or you can start a brand new one from scratch. The pets closest to dogs are “Gelerts,” which look a lot like a Greyhound, and a “Lupe,” which looks a lot like a husky or a wolf. My kids have tried and tested this for over a year and claim it to be one of the best dog games for kids out there.
As they grow older, your pet can fight in the Battledome, raise their intelligence through reading books, and play fun games with their keeper such as Hide and Seek. You can also let them stay at the Neopian Hotel, and tack on fun activities, foods, and other cool things to do while you’re exploring Neopia. Throughout the game, you have to earn Neopoints to feed your pet, build a house, and buy medicine when they get sick. The opportunities are endless, and you collect various accolades and awards as you play; not to mention there are free gifts for the whole month of December.
3. Hotel for Dogs
Originally starting off as a children’s movie, Hotel for Dogs eventually became a favorite among our kids' games as well. Dogs help you to look for tools, then you use them to build your new hotel. While your hotels are being constructed, you’ll also be responsible for feeding, grooming, and keeping your dogs happy. As the game progresses, you’ll get to advance all the way through level ten by completing the various challenges.
You’ll also have to keep your dogs away from the mean ol' dog catcher, who routinely searches for dogs to snatch up! Hotel for Dogs is made for Nintendo DS game systems, but if you don’t have a DS, no worries. There are plenty of other best dog games for kids that your little ones can play online.
4. Petz Nursery
If you’ve ever played the Sims or the Sims Pets, this game is quite a bit like those, but kid-friendly. Used with a Nintendo DS game system, your child can experience the opportunity to raise 20 animals at a time, and not just dogs. In addition to puppies and kittens, they’ll also get to unlock exotic options like piglets, pandas, wolf cubs, and baby penguins! Kids can journey to fun new places and rescue animals across the world. The best part is, that you don’t have to separate your Petz by species; they’re all more than happy to play together. While it’s not as realistic as owning a real dog, you still have to feed your Petz, play with them, and make sure they’re taken care of regularly. Another one of the best dog games for kids that's worth a try.
5. Pet City
The last on my list of best dog games for kids is certainly not the least. Made for younger kids, Pet City has a general theme of pet care, but they’re more like humans than animals. They get to build a house, add furniture, and dress their pet up every day. While it isn’t exactly the same as feeding, watering, and taking you do out to pee and play, it still teaches younger children about building a routine with good habits. The earlier they become adjusted to adhering to a schedule, the better off they’ll be if the day comes that they are able to have a real dog of their own.
Being Careful with Online Games
Now that we've picked the five best dog games for kids that you're likely to try, a word of warning from my personal experience – be careful. With online games like Pet City, it’s important to keep an eye on your child, and always have parental controls in place while they’re using the internet.
Some games are built-in apps for social sites such as Facebook, and certain bonuses require interaction from other players. Usually, these interactions include things like visiting other people’s cities and leaving in-game gifts. However, they rarely if ever require messages to be sent to one another, so be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
Neopets are Fun, but Parents Should Still Be Wary
Neopets is definitely one of my favorites among the listed best dog games for kids. What I want to note about it is that the game also provides forums for its members to interact and ask each other questions about certain quests and items. While this can be an incredibly useful tool, it’s still something that parents should be aware of at all times.
Aside from the forums, Neopets users also have their own mailbox. It’s mainly to alert you when your auctions have sold or you’ve found an offer at the trading post for your Neopian items. Unfortunately, there’s always a chance that someone could use it to steal your account information, take your items, your Neopoints, your Neopets, and everything else you’ve built up while playing.