Which One Won? When it comes to dog book covers, the more puppies, the merrier

Even if you’re not much of a dog person, you pretty much can’t resist smiling when you see a puppy. Just try to glare at one. I dare you.

(It’s impossible.)

But if you are a dog person and you’ve just brought home a cuddly new ball of fur, exactly what version of puppy sweetness do you love the most?

One author recently took to PickFu to ask 50 Amazon Prime members their opinion of three dog book covers about keeping puppies happy and healthy in their first year of life.

Option A features a solid green background, a vet, and a little dog.

In Option B, we can practically hear the three cover-puppies wriggling on a patch of green grass.

Option C goes back to a solid-colored cover with a single puppy looking dolefully upwards.

Can you guess which one won?

And the winner is…Option B, with a score of 54! Option A was a close runner-up with 46 points, while Option C nailed third place with 26.

The puppies should capture the essence of your dog book covers

True dog owners will catch the problem with Option A: the dog on the front does not look like a puppy. When people think puppy, they think fat-bellied, snorting, waddling balls of fluff.

Which is exactly what we see on Option B’s cover. The puppies are clearly playing with each other. They’re adorable and, respondents pointed out, look healthy.

Honestly, the puppy in Option C looks kind of sad. Not exactly the poster puppy for this type of book.

By contrast, Option B’s jubilant puppies “[make] you feel happy,” as one respondent said.

Here’s the takeaway: if your book about health features advice for how to keep an animal happy, make the animal on the front cover reflect that joy.

Grassy backgrounds are fresher than solid-colored ones

In addition to the puppies, respondents liked the fresh green grass in Option B.

One respondent said, “The grass on [Option B] is really nice, since it evokes freshness and life.” The grass is a natural background for the playing puppies, and its vibrant color evokes life and health.

Which is exactly what you want for a book about keeping puppies healthy in Year One.

A vet on the cover can add authority to dog book covers

The cover with a veterinarian nuzzling a dog came in a close second, largely because respondents liked seeing a professional on the cover.

As one respondent put it, “I like that there is a Vet shown on the cover of [Option] A. There is also a strong sense of emotion between the dog and vet, which is showing me the book is probably both professional but caring.”

What if Option A had featured a vet holding one or two of the sweet, squirming puppies from the cover of Option B? Which one would’ve won? Perhaps this author might benefit from a follow-up survey using the feedback from this one.

Key takeaways

People want to see adorable puppies on the cover of a book about puppy health. But don’t discount the authority that an image of a veterinarian can bring.

And if you’re writing a book about a baby’s first year of life, or a kitten or lizard or whatever, remember one thing: Everything about the cover should point to health and goodness, to match the material within the book.

Having a tough time choosing a cover for your veterinary or pediatric health book? Create your own poll on PickFu and find out which cover your audience likes best!

Laura Ojeda Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents.com, Mom.com, Gardener’s Path, and of course, PickFu. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle-grade novel, Missing Okalee, was published in the fall of 2021 by Shadow Mountain Publishing.