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- In Beethoven a boisterous St. Bernard is adopted by the Newton family.
- Lilo & Stitch has elements of this. Lilo expects a dog to drink out of a baby bottle and sleep in a doll bed, and Nani is inclined to return him to the pound when things don't seem to be working out. Stitch, however, is not a normal pet, so most of the incidents in the movie are not consistent with what would happen getting a real dog.
- The Berenstain Bears has a book about the Bear family getting a puppy named Lady and learning to take care of her.
- Philip Hall Likes Me I Reckon Maybe has a chapter in which Beth's parents agree that she can get a puppy. Her discovery that she is allergic to dogs causes issues as she desperately tries to find a way around the allergy or find a breed of dog that won't make her sick. She is unable to find a dog that she can keep, and has to deal with giving up on the idea of having a dog of her own.
- My Dog Skip - Willie Morris is unable to make friends as a kid so his mom gets a terrier puppy for him because his only friend (A high school student) goes to fight in WWII, the dog which he names Skip goes on to enrich his life as well as become well loved by the community.
- Marley and Me - The story of writer and columnist John Grogan and his family's dog Marley, who is a manic, energetic and not that bright, that same unruly dog manages to win them over both because of his crazy antics (Marley can actually chew thru drywall) and because of moments that show that he is truly the most loyal friend the couple can have.
- In My Friend Flicka Ken is already familiar with horses, but getting a filly of his own is the first time he truly shoulders the burden of responsibility, and has to actually deal with the issues that come up.
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing has a significant plot thread following Peter caring for his new pet turtle, Dribble.
Live Action Television
- Full House covered this more than once. First was an episode dedicated to the family getting a dog. In a later episode, Michelle got a goldfish as her first pet. She accidentally killed it, but was later able to overcome her sadness by taking better care of the second goldfish. Other episodes covered the kids trying to get animals like a horse and a donkey, and running into the issues that come with those animals.
- The title character on Monk had a great dislike for animals in general. There was one episode though, in which he had to care for a dog and (despite his initial protests) found himself getting to really like it. Ultimately, he decided to give the dog and her new puppies to a little girl and her family because he thought the dog would be happier and better off with them.
- The Haunting Hour: In "Best Friends Forever", Jake has trouble keeping his pets alive for more than a week, so he gets a zombie as a pet, who can't die.
- An episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had Rainbow Dash decide that she wanted a pet and hold a contest to decide which one she wanted. Her initial decision was based on the fact that all her friends had pets and she just wanted to jump on the band wagon. Her main concerns were that she get a pet that was "cool" and that would make her look good. Over the episode she learns that it is more important that a pet be an animal with whom she could share love and affection. She ends up with a turtle (tortoise!) that saved her life, which she dubs Tank.