31 Of The Best Songs About Dogs: Canine Playlist

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

It is not every day that you come upon songs about dogs, but being an animal favored by many all around the world, there are many pieces that have hit the radio airwaves.

From country songs that celebrate the love between a pet and its owners to punk rock tracks that compare people to dogs, we’ve listed here 31 of the best songs about dogs. Let’s get started.

1. “Hound Dog” By Big Mama Thornton

Originally recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1952, “Hound Dog” is one of the iconic songs that shaped rock and roll. The song was a hit with over 500,000 copies sold and would come back to the top of the charts three years later when Elvis Presley released his cover.

The song uses “hound dog” in the lyrics as a metaphor to describe an unfaithful partner. The lyrics refer to a man who is snooping around in a similar fashion to the way a hound dog will follow a scent or look for food.

Comparing the man to a hound dog isn’t flattering, and it’s a metaphor Big Mama Thornton uses to create a contrast with the classy image this man initially presented.

Related: Next, read out songs about animals here.

2. “Black Dog” By Led Zeppelin

The heavy rock song “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin is another piece that mentions “dog” but in a metaphorical way. The single was successful and remains one of the most recognizable songs from the band.

The song, released in 1971, gets its title from a black dog the band spotted while recording their fourth album at the Headley Grange. It also featured in the band’s concert film The Song Remains the Same.

Though the song is entitled “Black Dog,” the lyrics, however, refer to an untrustworthy woman who steals the singer’s car and leaves him to be a star. The title might be a reference to her unfaithfulness and black-hearted nature.

3. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” By The Stooges

Yet another song that uses “dog” metaphorically, “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” was The Stooges’ debut single in 1969. The single was a commercial success in Europe and remains an iconic punk song.

In the lyrics, Iggy Pop sings about wanting to be a dog in the sense of acting in a loyal, almost possessive manner to their significant other, especially after having messed up and realizing he wants to be with her.

The song uses the bond between a pet and its owner as a metaphor for the relationship. The line “And now I wanna” even sounds like a dog howling.

The harsh, punk rock sound of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” creates a stark contrast with the love songs of the 1950s and ’60s that is celebrated in a softer tune.

4. “Everything Reminds Me Of My Dog” By Jane Siberry

Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry’s song about dogs, “Everything Reminds Me of My Dog,” is not very well known. It was included in her 1989 album Bound by the Beauty.

The song is a fun and funny piece about how almost every single thing in the singer’s life reminds her of her dog. It could be the guy at the store, the smiling strangers, and even the skyscrapers.

The lyrics state, “This whole world reminds me of my dog, my dog reminds me of this whole world.” This can be something a dog parent might relate to, as for them, their dogs are the world, and they are every bit a part of them as the world outside is.

5. “Old Shep” By Elvis Presley

Not many know of this ode to a dog sung by Elvis Presley. “Old Shep” was originally composed by Red Foley, with lyrics by Arthur Willis, about a canine Foley had owned when he was little.

More well-known, however, is Presley’s cover, released in 1956. In his version, Presley’s iconic voice tells the story of Old Shep, a dog he got as a child. He continues with their adventures and growing old together until Old Shep passes away.

Since the song is in first person, the story can tug at the heartstrings of any dog owner who has lost a dog to old age. It’s a song that can conjure up memories, both happy and sad, of your four-legged companion.

6. “The Puppy Song” By Harry Nilsson

“The Puppy Song” predates Harry Nilsson’s hits “Coconut” or “Without You” by a few years, but it’s a prime example of Nilsson’s versatility.

He originally wrote the song for Mary Hopkin, a young singer signed to Paul McCartney’s record label Apple Records, but he would release his own version shortly after.

“The Puppy Song” is a fun and whimsical song that captures the longing of a child for the idea of having a puppy. The singer imagines what having a loving companion would be like. The many references to wishes and dreams create a powerful image of childhood and the desire for a pet.

7. “Cracker Jack” By Dolly Parton

Queen of Country Dolly Parton initially recorded “Cracker Jack” for her thirteenth album, Jolene. The song didn’t make the cut, but it appeared in the 2007 reissue of the album, along with three other songs.

“Cracker Jack” is a sweet song about a pet the singer owned during her childhood. The lyrics paint a lively picture of a small dog who might not have been pretty but who meant the world to her.

The song also tells a touching story about how Parton found this dog and rescued him. The story feels meaningful, given that the singer has supported animal rescues over the years.

8. “The More Boys I Meet” By Carrie Underwood

“The More Boys I Meet” is a song from country singer Carrie Underwood, included in her second studio album, Carnival Ride, which was released in 2007 and topped Billboard 200.

The song paints a cynical picture of the men the singer has dated. She concludes that the more boys she meets, the more she appreciates her dog.

Beyond its humorous hook, the song evokes the frustrations of a woman who can’t seem to find a mature partner who is ready to settle down. It’s also a heartfelt tribute to her dog, who is always there for her.

9. “Man Of The Hour” By Norah Jones

“Man of the Hour” is a sometimes-overlooked track from Norah Jones’s 2009 album The Fall. With its slow tempo and jazzy feel, “Man of the Hour” feels like a classic love song.

However, listeners quickly understand that Jones is singing about her dog. It’s a fun reference to the dog featured on the album’s cover, but it’s also a moving love song that celebrates the bond she shares with her pet.

If you were wondering whether the dog featured on the album cover is Jones’s actual dog, the answer is no. The gorgeous St. Bernard that posed on the cover belonged to a friend of the photographer, but Jones owned a poodle at the time of the song’s release.

10. “Abcdefu” By Gayle

With a Grammy and iHeart Radio nomination, it’s safe to say that “Abcdefu” was among the most memorable songs released in 2022. The upbeat pop track has also proved popular on TikTok.

In “Abcdefu,” Gayle sings about a painful breakup. The singer expresses her anger at her ex and his entire family for teaching him to treat people so poorly. However, the singer makes an exception and excludes her ex’s dog from the list of people she hates.

This detail feels humorous and reminds us that animals are often better than people. There is a true story behind the lyrics, and Gayle’s ex owns an adorable shih-poo that she couldn’t bring herself to be angry at after the breakup.

11. “Me And You And A Dog Named Boo” By Lobo

“Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” was an instant success for pop country singer-songwriter Lobo. The debut single topped the charts in several countries and remains a classic tune from the early 1970s.

The inspiration for the song comes from the singer’s pet. His German shepherd Boo decided to check in on the singer while he was struggling to write the lyrics to this upbeat song.

The lyrics describe a road trip a young couple takes around the country with their dog, and the mentions of the dog Boo make the song feel more evocative and memorable.

12. “Little Boys Grow Up And Dogs Get Old” By Luke Bryan

Our next song has “dogs” in the title and is certainly about a loving canine. “Little Boys Grow and Up and Dogs Get Old” appears on the deluxe edition of Luke Bryan’s 2015 album Kill the Lights.

The country song tells a powerful story about a lab called Bandit that the singer owned during his childhood. The lyrics look back on the bond he shared with his pet and evoke the heartbreak of seeing his best friend grow old.

The song feels bittersweet and is a powerful reminder to pet owners to cherish the precious moments they get to spend with their beloved companions.

13. “I Love My Dog” By Cat Stevens

British multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Cat Stevens released his first single in 1968 with “I Love My Dog.” The soft vocals and folk guitar are representative of the artist’s unique style.

“I Love My Dog” compares the artist’s lover to their pet. He sings about loving both equally, but he finds some qualities in his dog that his partner lacks. These qualities include unconditional love, loyalty, and a complete disregard for material goods.

The tongue-in-cheek lyrics make “I Love My Dog” a fun tune, but they also evoke why dogs make such great pets.

14. “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)” by Miley Cyrus

In 2014, Miley Cyrus lost her dog, Floyd. The artist took to social media to express her sorrow and mourn her pet.

A year later, the artist released “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)” in memory of her dog. The lyrics describe the beauty of nature as a contrast to the way the singer feels on the inside. She also sings about longing for death after losing her dog, whom she refers to as “her flower” in the lyrics.

The dark themes of this song reflect the difficult process of mourning a pet, especially one that dies unexpectedly.

15. “Old King” By Neil Young

Released in 1992, “Old King” might be a subtle reference to Neil Young’s timeless hit “Old Man.” The song tells the story of a hound dog that Young owned.

It celebrates Young’s canine companion by looking back on the moments they shared, but it also makes fun of the hound dog’s tendency to jump out of moving vehicles.

While “Old Man” evokes the complexity of human emotions, “Old King” is a heartfelt and humorous song that shows how simple the life of a dog is. The result is a touching track where Young uses his talent as a songwriter and singer to remember a beloved pet.

16. “Seamus” By Pink Floyd

“Seamus” combines a slow and bluesy guitar sound with the barking and howling of a dog. It’s a unique track featured on Pink Floyd’s album Meddle, and many fans consider it the band’s worst song since the constant howling of the dog makes it hard to listen to.

The song didn’t receive as much attention as tracks like “Echoes” or “Fearless,” but it shows how Pink Floyd could take unusual sounds and turn them into music.

The lyrics are short and simple, but they feel powerful. The song describes a memory where the singer remembers sitting in the kitchen while their dog was howling outside.

17. “I Love My Dog” By Sublime

A song about dogs should be fun and happy, and ska-punk group Sublime delivered in their song “I Love My Dog.” The fun track was released by Sublime in 1996 as part of their eponymous third and final album.

The song uses elements of ska, dancehall, and reggae to create an upbeat tempo. The lyrics are simple and focus on expressing the singer’s love for their pet.

The tempo of the song also evokes the act of taking a leisurely walk with a dog. In short, “I Love My Dog” feels uplifting and evokes the simple joy of taking a dog for a walk.

18. “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?” By Patti Page

Novelty songs were big in the early 1950s. Patti Page’s recording of “How Much Is That Doggy in the Widow?” remains one of the most successful novelty hits of 1952 after topping the charts for an impressive eight consecutive weeks.

The song incorporates barking sounds as an answer to the question the singer asks about the dog’s price. The fun lyrics evoke the excitement of pet ownership and reflect the wonder of walking past a pet shop and admiring the animals in the window as a child.

The lyrics also include references to different benefits of pet ownership, from protecting one’s home to preventing loneliness, reflecting how people perceived pet ownership in the 1950s.

19. “Gonna Buy Me Dog” By The Monkees

This little-known song from the Monkees feels modern and experimental with its use of spoken lines, barking noises, and even snoring sounds. The band didn’t release “Gonna Buy Me Dog” until 2006, and it gives a fun insight into the laid-back atmosphere of their recording sessions.

The lyrics tell the story of a breakup. The singer decides to buy a dog now that he finds himself alone. The text feels humorous and becomes progressively surrealist toward the end of the song, but it’s a fun and heartfelt piece about how a dog can bring love and companionship to someone’s life.

20. “Dogs On The Run” By Tom Petty

Singer-songwriter Tom Petty recorded “Dogs on the Run” for his Southern Accents album. The song didn’t receive much attention compared to the lead single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” but it’s an interesting example of the singer’s ability to create unique images in his songs.

The image of dogs on the run acts as a metaphor. The song is about people who don’t have a home and who get by any way they can. Once these people achieve success, others turn to them for answers; however, the secret is that they share the nature and survival instinct of a dog on the run.

21. “Diamond Dogs” By David Bowie

“Diamond Dogs” came out in 1973 and is one of David Bowie’s last recordings in the glam rock genre, but there are some elements of punk rock that signal a shift in the artist’s style. The song was a moderate success.

The lyrics paint the picture of a post-apocalyptic world. The text feels cryptic at times, but it evokes the idea of a world where groups of survivors prey on each other, much like a pack of wild dogs.

Years later, Bowie explained that the diamond dogs were a reference to the early punk movement and the perceived threat of artists like Johnny Rotten or Sid Vicious.

22. “The Dog Song” By Nellie McKay

A songs-about-dogs list without a song titled “The Dog Song” is just not complete. Nellie McKay‘s 2004 single is the perfect one that describes those fun-loving canines and their owners.

“The Dog Song” states everything that a pawparent might have experienced, including getting a dog because they were lonely and feeling happy because of how their canine companion looks at them: with utter love and loyalty, no judging in between.

The lyrics also mention walking the dog and catching some sun. For the singer, together like this, they “can’t go wrong.”

23. “Atomic Dog” By George Clinton

Funk singer George Clinton dropped the album Computer Games in 1982, and it featured the unique song “Atomic Dog.”

In this essential funk song, Clinton and his band ad-libbed the lyrics while recording the song, and it’s fun to see how they came up with creative images on the spot.

The song includes references to different types of dogs, vocalizations that sound like dogs barking, and some descriptions of typical canine behaviors, such as chasing one’s tail. The lyrics also create a parallel between dogs and human nature.

24. “Like My Dog” By Billy Currington

Country singer Billy Currington dropped “Like My Dog” in his fourth studio album, Enjoy Yourself, in 2010. It’s a humorous song where the singer complains that their significant other doesn’t love them unconditionally the way their dog does.

The lyrics poke fun at the singer’s lazy disposition and other less-than-desirable qualities, but the song is a touching reminder that a dog will love their owner no matter what.

“Like My Dog” isn’t one of Currington’s most famous songs, but it’s a heartfelt composition that most dog owners can relate to at times.

25. “Good Dogs” By Jameson Rodgers

“Good Dogs” came out in 2021 on Jameson Rodger’s EP In It for the Money. The EP did fairly well in the country charts, but “Good Dogs” didn’t get as much attention as the title track.

The song might feel simple at first, but there is wisdom behind the lyrics. Rodgers writes about trucks that can last forever with proper maintenance and makes a valid point about relationships that can last an entire life if both parties are willing to put some work into it.

But at the heart of the “Good Dogs,” he speaks about one of life’s greatest tragedies for pet owners: the fact that four-legged companions don’t live nearly long enough.

26. “Maggie’s Song” By Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton’s “Maggie’s Song” is a 2020 country song that tells the story of the singer’s dog Maggie. It’s a touching tribute to this dog, and pet owners can relate to the memories Stapleton shares in this song.

The song describes Maggie as a puppy and tells the story of how she became part of the family. It also talks about Maggie growing old and passing away.

The chorus focuses on a specific memory where Maggie is running free. It’s a beautiful image that shows how the singer wishes to remember his pet.

27. “Gypsy, Joe and Me” By Dolly Parton

We have yet another song by Dolly Parton that mentions a dog, and this time in “Gypsy, Joe and Me.” The song appears on Parton’s fourth album, My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy, from 1969. There is a recurring theme of hardship throughout the album.

“Gypsy, Joe and Me” begins by looking back on a happier and simpler time when the singer remembers being homeless but carefree with her dog and significant other. The lyrics then tell the tragic story of how she lost her dog and her man.

The song talks about suicide and ends with the singer wishing for death so she can be with Gypsy and Joe again. Even though the lyrics are sad, it’s a beautiful story about the love that a human can share with a dog.

28. “My Dog And Me” By John Hiatt

From Indianapolis, Indiana, John Hiatt was a prolific songwriter with a unique mix of rock, blues, and country. He released some successful tracks in the 1980s and contributed to American music through many songs that prominent artists covered.

“My Dog and Me” is a profound song that looks back on the memory of going on a hike with a beloved dog. The lyrics describe the dog chasing animals and exploring her environment, while the singer experiences a sensation of freedom at the idea of simply being outdoors with their dog.

It’s a touching song that evokes the happiness of spending time with a pet, which, in turn, reminds us of how precious these moments are.

29. “I Want A Dog” By The Pet Shop Boys

English synth-pop duo the Pet Shop Boys released “I Want a Dog” in their album Actually in 1987. The song is a fun and upbeat piece where the Boys talk about the advantages of having a dog once they have a place of their own.

The song mentions that a dog would greet the singer when he gets home and that he could take the dog on walks at night. The lyrics might seem simple, but there is a thoughtful message about loneliness and the longing for companionship in it.

30. “Love Someone (The Edgar Cut)” by Brett Eldredge

“Love Someone” is a 2018 song from country singer Brett Eldredge. The song feels like a classic love song about a man falling for a woman.

However, a month after the song’s initial release and success in the country charts, Eldredge released a new music video that gave the song a completely different meaning.

This music video features the singer’s dog, Edgar. It makes fun of classic love songs by showing the singer on a date with his dog. The music video is humorous, but it also feels like a touching tribute to the singer’s pet and the love they have for each other.

31. “Old Grey Dog” By Jimmy Scott

For our last song, we have a 2010 ballad from Jimmy Scott called “Old Grey Dog.” It is a sentimental and melancholic song about an old dog.

The lyrics describe an aging dog who is not as active as he used to be. People tend to overlook this dog because of his age, but the message of the song is that the singer still loves this old pet.

Scott’s singing conveys emotions well and makes this song resonate with pet owners. The song wasn’t a commercial success, and Scott died four years after its release, but it’s a touching song about a pet who deserves love even when they reach old age.

Summing Up Our List Of Dog Songs

As you have read, dogs have been a popular theme in music and in various genres to boot. These songs offer various perspectives on the bond between humans and their pets, from celebrating the joy of having a dog to expressing sadness over losing an old one.

We hope this list introduced you to some new music and reminded you of the special connection we have with our furry companions. Add these songs to your playlist, and maybe listen to a few with your dog by your side.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.