Our Top 10 Movies Where the Dog Doesn’t Die

By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated:

dog in director's chair
Ирина Мещерякова/iStock

Our Top 10 Movies Where the Dog Doesn’t Die

Let’s be honest: As a pooch parent, there is nothing worse than settling in for a cozy movie night with your furry BFF only to be totally surprised when the cutie-pie pup in the flick crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Suddenly, you’re sobbing into your dog’s fur, wondering why no one has yet to normalize a disclaimer at the beginning of a film warning us that this is one of those movies where the dog dies.  

Not cool, movie producers. Not. Cool. To save us the heartache of accidentally picking the wrong flick for doggy-and-me date night, we turned to the website DoesTheDogDie, which tells you (you guessed it!) whether the dog dies in a movie. From there, we pulled our favorite 10 flicks where the dogs gets to live their best life. 

“Air Bud” (1997)

This Disney classic is about a Golden Retriever named Buddy who has the uncanny ability to play basketball. And he’s good at it, too.  

Sure, we’d love to know why some dogs never learn to “stay” while Buddy is a natural basketball star, but we’re not asking questions.  

It’s also one of our favorite dog movies for kids, so don’t be surprised if, after watching “Air Bud,” your kiddo suddenly takes an interest in teaching the family dog to slam dunk. 

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Beethoven” (1992)

This is one of those good dog movies featuring a not-so-good boy, his constant antics and the family who learns to love him anyway. (Think “Marley & Me” except the dog doesn’t die.) And if you love the first film, there are seven after that! 

Available to stream on: Starz

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

What's DoesTheDogDie?

DoesTheDogDie app
DoesTheDogDie is a compilation of 31,000—yes, 31 thousand—movies where the dog doesn’t die. (Not all heroes wear capes.)  

“We started DoesTheDogDie as a way to share information on movies that deliberately manipulate your feelings by hurting dogs,” John Whipple, founder of DoesTheDogDie in Texas, tells BeChewy.  

Whipple says the site has grown to track over 100 triggers, like animal abuse, snakes and spiders, clowns, ghosts, a parent or child dying and more—so note to self if you’re trying to avoid other tear-inducing situations and phobias.  

“The Secret Life of Pets” (2016)

This movie is a hilarious look at what our furry friends (probably) do when we leave them home alone. Like, do we even know our pets at all?!  

If you’re looking for options for family movies with dogs, this is a great one. 

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Dog” (2022)

Channing Tatum stars in this movie inspired by the real-life road trip he took with his dying dog, Lulu, after she was diagnosed with cancer. But while Tatum’s pup sadly passed away in 2018, the pooch in “Dog” (also named Lulu!) doesn’t.  

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($5.99), Google Play ($5.99)

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” (1993)

We can almost guarantee this movie will make you cry—but for a good reason.  

“Homeward Bound” is the story of two dogs and a cat who embark on a treacherous journey through the California wilderness and all the adventures they have along the way. It’s the perfect addition to your rotation of family movies with dogs. 

Available to stream on: Disney+

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Marmaduke” (2010)

This flick uses some pretty cool CGI to make it look like the animals are actually talking and that Marmaduke (voiced by Owen Wilson) can surf. Consider it one of those fun dog movies for kids that’ll have them laughing along with you. 

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Bolt” (2008)

Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is a canine superstar who doesn’t realize his superpowers aren’t real. In reality, he’s a regular dog who happens to be on a big-time Hollywood TV show. This overconfident pup learns he isn't so "super" after all when he leaves the set and winds up on the streets of NYC. There he teams up with some unlikely pals—a cat and a hamster—to find his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus). 

Available to stream on: Disney+ 

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” (2008)

In this film starring Drew Barrymore, Jamie Lee Curtis and Piper Perabo, a posh pup is totally out of her element when she ends up far from Rodeo Drive. Never fear, though! Her best buds come to her rescue to make sure she gets home safely. 

Available to stream on: Disney+ 

Available to rent on: Amazon Prime ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99) 

“Togo” (2019)

“Togo” is the untold true story about a teeny, troublemaking pup who grows into a strong, lead sled dog. He and his trainer, played by Willem Dafoe, set out on a dangerous mission across the Alaskan tundra to deliver medicine to a small town. The unbreakable bond the trainer and Togo form throughout the intense journey will have you hugging your own pup a little tighter (and shedding a tear or two). 

Available to stream on: Disney+ 

Available to rent on: Google Play ($3.99) 

“All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989)

OK, so technically the main character, Charlie, does die, but he quickly makes it back to the land of the living and the rest of the movie is about this bad-guy German Shepherd learning to be a very good boy in his second life. We promise there are plenty of good feels in this flick that it’s worth a watch. 

Available to stream on: YouTube, Amazon Prime 

Now that you have a solid list of good dog movies to watch that won’t leave you tearing up, all that’s left is grab a fuzzy blanket, some yummy snacks (like these no-bake trail mix bars for dogs and humans), and press play. 


By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated: