Top 15 Sad Dog Movies (2024) – Get Ready to Cry!

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Everybody needs a bunch of sad dog movies occasionally to let them reconnect with reality, feel something deep inside, and maybe even shed a tear or two. 

Therefore, I have curated a list of the best heart-touching Sad Dog Movies, including both types of animated and live-action.

So, if you also need a good cry or want to feel closer to animals, these sad dog movies won’t disappoint you.

Note: I attempted to include official movie trailers but could not locate the official trailers for several movies listed below. These can be found directly on their respective streaming services.

15 Saddest Dog Movies (Overview)

For a quick glimpse into the list, here is an overview of the top 15 sad dog movies featuring their IMDb rating

Sr. No.Sad Dog Movies IMDb RatingWatch Link
1.The Art of Racing in the Rain7.6/10Disney+ & Prime Video
2.A Dog’s Way Home6.7/10Hulu, Prime Video & Disney+
3.Red Dog7.3/10Prime Video & Netflix
4.I Am Legend7.2/10HBO Max & Prime Video
5.A Dog’s Purpose7.2/10Prime Video, HBO Max & Netflix
6.Frankenweenie6.9/10Disney+ & Prime Video
7.My Dog Skip7/10Prime Video & Apple TV
8.All Dogs Go to Heaven6.7/10Prime VideoHBO Max 
9. Marley & Me7/10Disney+ & Prime Video
10.Hachi: A Dog’s Tale8.1/10Prime Video
11.Where the Red Fern Grows6.8/10Prime Video & Peacocktv
12.Eight Below7.3/10Prime Video & Disney+
13. Old Yeller7.2/10Disney+ & Prime Video
14.Turner & Hooch  6.2/10Disney+ & Prime Video
15.Year of the Dog6/10Prime Video

1. The Art of Racing In The Rain (2019)

Inspired by Garth Stein’s book of the same name, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a 2019 Simon Curtis film starring Milo Ventimiglia. 

Ventimiglia plays Denny in this piece, a guy whose Golden Retriever puppy, Enzo, is guiding while he pursues a career as an automobile racer. 

2. A Dog’s Way Home (2019)

The adventure drama A Dog’s Way Home was released in 2019. Except that Shelby, the dog, can communicate with viewers, the plot is remarkably similar to that of Lassie. 

Her owner is meant to see her there shortly after being sent far away. However, Shelby is unaware of this and flees in search of her hometown and owner.

3. Red Dog (2011)

Red Dog, a 2011 film directed by Kriv Stenders, is based on the true story of a stray dog that finds refuge in Australia’s Pilbara region and develops relationships with several people who take him in as a temporary pet. 

In addition to Josh Lucas, Rachel Taylor, John Batchelor, Noah Taylor, and dog actor Koko also star in this performance. Red Dog’s success led to the creation.

4. I Am Legend (2007)

Among Will Smith’s most recognizable movies is I Am Legend. The third adaptation of Richard Matheson’s eponymous novel was directed by Francis Lawrence in 2007. 

Smith plays scientist Robert Neville, one of the few humans to survive a plague that transformed nearly all of humanity into mutant animals, in the movie. Thus, he avoids the infected who wish to murder him as he roams New York City with his dog Sam in search of other survivors.  

5. A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Trailer link –

When you’re a dog, what does life mean? The main character of this 2017 movie seeks to find the answer to that issue as he repeatedly reincarnates in order to keep his many owners company. 

Based on the same-titled novel by W. Bruce Cameron, this production’s enormous box office success led to the creation of a 2019 sequel.

6. Frankenweenie (2012)

Another film that emphasizes the value of pets in childhood and the things humans may do to keep them around longer is Frankenweenie.

 In this Tim Burton animated picture, which also pays homage to the horror classic Frankenstein, we are introduced to Victor. 

He is a bright young man who, without realizing the horrible ramifications of his actions, uses science to bring his dog Sparky back to life after he passes away.

7. My Dog Skip (2010)

Having a pet during childhood can be quite beneficial, particularly for youngsters who struggle to socialize with their peers or are shy. 

My Dog Skip centers on Willie, a lonely youngster whose life takes a sharp turn when his mother gives him a puppy named Skip. 

From that point on, Willie and Skip are inseparable, and the audience follows them as they go through several phases of life, seeing Skip’s impact on the young man. 

8. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

In this 1989 film, Charlie, a German Shepherd who is a con artist, finds his way to heaven after being killed by his former business partner and friend, Carface Caruthers. 

Charlie decides to take his revenge, for which he manages to postpone his death and come back to Earth. 

Along the way, he encounters an orphan girl named Anne-Marie, who challenges him to rethink everything he has ever believed in and teaches him valuable life lessons.

9. Marley & Me (2008)

David Frankel is the movie’s director, drawing inspiration from the same-titled novel by John Grogan. In Marley & Me, we follow John and Jenny, a recently married couple who grow their family by bringing Marley home. 

Sad Dog Movies - Marley & Me
Source: IMDb

Marley is a naughty Labrador who ends up becoming their most devoted friend. This movie won over the audience and became a huge box office blockbuster, stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

10. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Another movie on this list that is based on a true story is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. This movie is also added in our best dog movies of all time list.

This 2009 film, which was directed by Lasse Hallström and starred Richard Gere as the principal actor and producer, explores the relationship between college lecturer Parker Wilson. 

Hachi: A Dog's Tale
Source: IMDb

Furthermore, Hachi, an Akita dog he rescues at the train station, stays by his side even after he dies. 

of a follow-up and a documentary released in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

11. Where The Red Fern Grows (1974)

The 1974 movie Where the Red Fern Grows is based on the same-titled novel by Wilson Rawls. Some of the movie’s features include James Whitmore, Stewart Petersen, Jack Gin, and Beverly Garland.

Where The Red Fern Grows
Source: IMDb

Petersen portrays Billy, a young child who enjoys raccoon hunting with Little Ann and Old Dan, two puppies he acquired after putting in much effort. 

A version of this show starring Joseph Ashton, Dabe Matthews, and Dabney Coleman was released by Walt Disney in 2003.

12. Eight Below (2006)

Under the direction of Frank Marshall, Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, and Jason Biggs feature in this gloomy 2006 Disney survival movie. 

Eight Below
Source: IMDb

The 1983 Japanese film Antarctica was remade as Eight Below, which centers on a group of scientists who are forced to cancel an Antarctica expedition due to a weather-related mishap. 

The team will go to tremendous measures to locate the group’s sled dogs, who are stuck there and attempting to survive, so this is not the end of their quest.

13. Old Yeller (1957)

Robert Stevenson’s 1957 Walt Disney picture Old Yeller, starring Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk, Fess Parker, and Kevin Corcoran, debuted. 

Old Yeller
Source: IMDb

Based on the same-titled novel by Fred Gibson, this play centers on the Coates, a Texas family whose father leaves the family to go to a distant job, leaving their teenage son in their care. 

Later in the story, they meet Old Yeller, a stray dog with a tendency towards getting into mischievousness, and he becomes the new family member.

14. Turner & Hooch  (1989)

Canine and owner relationships frequently get off to a bad start. In Roger Spottiswoode’s 1989 buddy police film Turner & Hooch, starring Tom Hanks and Beasley the Dog, that’s just what happens to the major characters. 

Turner & Hooch 
Source: IMDb

In this story, Hanks plays police inspector Scott Turner from California, who is not pleased to accept a friend’s dog after his death. 

However, they immediately become the best of friends and even solve many criminal cases together.

15. Year Of The Dog (2007)

This 2007 movie emphasizes the deep influence of pets on our lives. 

Molly Shannon, who plays Peggy, is an administrative secretary who lives with her dog Pencil and doesn’t have many friends and love in her life. 

Year Of The Dog
Source: IMDb

Hence, Peggy is overwhelmed by the sudden death of her pet dog while searching for a reason to move on in life. This journey takes her to a path she never imagined going on.

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Conclusion: Red Dog is the most heart-touching!

In my case, the Sad Dog movies listed above are really special. They make us pet parents feel deep emotions and sometimes cry, but they also teach us about love and friendship. 

Red Dog is the saddest movie I have ever watched. It was a heartbreaking movie, so it’s my favorite. I hope you’ll like it, also “Marley & Me,” “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” show us how amazing dogs are and how they touch our hearts. 

These movies are about more than just sadness; they’re about the special bond between dogs and people.

So, if you want to feel moved and understand more about dogs, these movies are perfect. 

Did I miss any of your favorite movies? Let me know in the comments below!

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