What a good boy! These video games let you pet dogs — and other animals

video games that let you pet very good dogs ddogpuppymgsv

Video games are filled with senseless competition and violence, as players often engage in battles with artificial intelligence, as well as fellow human beings. It can be a stressful experience for even the most hardened video game warriors, and at the end of the day, it’s nice to just forget about the kingdom you need to save and pet a good dog. Luckily, plenty of game developers feel the same way, as there are several titles available that let you pet your pup – or pup-like creature – possibly while you reassure it in a baby-like voice. Plus, 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, so we want to make sure you know you can celebrate with video games that let you pet very good pups.

‘Watch Dogs 2’ (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Despite having the word “dogs” right in the title, the original Watch Dogs didn’t actually feature any canines. For shame. Thankfully, Ubisoft rectified this issue in the superior sequel, Watch Dogs 2, and added a ton of pleasant puppies to the streets of San Francisco for you to play with.

Pressing the “pet” button next to a dog will cause your character, Marcus, to kneel down and give the dog the pets and scratches it deserves, accompanied by a few lines of elated dialogue. You’ll come across big, lumbering “tough guy” dogs, as well as tiny lap dogs, but as anyone with a small dog knows, little ones are the quickest to alert you to someone’s presence.


‘Metal Gear Solid V’ (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain features a few different sidekick characters who can give you additional abilities during your missions. They’re all useful, but none are as adorable and deadly as D-Dog. Initially found as a puppy, D-Dog can pull a knife out of his own combat vest and brutally murder a nearby soldier while you sit and wait. When he returns, you can give him a loving pet. You’ll find him running around Mother Base while you’re busy managing your troops.

He’s a lovable and deadly character, but you have to be careful when petting D-Dog. Accidentally press the wrong button, and Big Boss will slap the poor pup instead. The noise D-Dog makes will break your heart, and you’ll never want to put him in harm’s way again.


‘Far Cry Primal’ (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)

Technically, there aren’t any “dogs” in Far Cry Primal. However, there are wolves that you can tame, and since dogs descended from wolves and share similar DNA, we’re going to look the other way. As a Beast Master, you have the ability to tame wild animals, and when they’re by your side, you can press a button to lean down to not only pet their head, but give them glorious chin scratches.

It’s easy to forget that wolves are killing machines more than willing to eat your face off should you wrong them, but Far Cry Primal has made us a little more willing to give one a snuggle.


‘Fable III’ (Xbox 360, PC)

The Fable series prides itself on player freedom, and with that freedom comes the ability to own a furry canine friend. In Fable III, you can level up your dog’s combat prowess, but he’s also a great friend to have around when you want to relax. By whistling at Man’s Best Friend — that’s what he’s called across the trilogy —  you can open up a menu with the ability to play fetch or give your dog a well-earned pet.

But your dog in Fable III isn’t content to just sit down and wait for you to rub its head. Instead, it leaps into your arms in a beautiful display of love, even licking your face for good measure.


‘Fallout 4’ (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 features a very good German shepherd with a very bad name: Dogmeat. He loves you unconditionally and is undeterred by the obstacles that get in his way, which is why it is so depressing that the base game doesn’t allow you to pet him at all.

Thankfully, some smart Fallout 4 fans have corrected this mistake.

A mod called “Pet-Feed-Call Dogmeat,” which you can download on PC and Xbox One, adds a third-person animation allowing you to pet Dogmeat’s head and stare lovingly into his eyes. The mod also allows you to toss him treats so he knows what a good boy he truly is.


‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’ (Android, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an underrated gem that tells the story of World War I from several participants’ perspectives, and one of them is an adorable canine medic named Walt. Near the beginning of the game, you’ll be playing as French soldier Emile when you run into Walt, and you can earn a quick achievement just by giving the brave dog a quick pet.


‘The Last Guardian’ (PlayStation 4)

The Last Guardian’s titular character Trico isn’t really a dog – he’s basically a combination of a dog, a bird, and a cat – but his dedication to protecting his newfound friend and his love of treats are more doglike than most of the other actual dogs we see in video games. With a furry face and a nose just begging for pets, we’ll consider him an honorary dog, and petting him is actually a crucial gameplay element.

When Trico is injured or frightened, he can begin to lose control and make things difficult. To fix the issue, all you have to do is climb on top of your furry and feathered friend and pet him a few times, and he’ll calm down and allow you to direct him toward objects in the environment again. Many of the game’s most emotional moments come when you’re petting him, and we’d be satisfied if that were the entirety of the game.


‘Nintendogs + Cats’ (Nintendo 3DS)

Nintendogs + Cats lets you live out the fantasy of owning a dog, complete with the ability to give baths, take the furry fellow for a walk, and even give it food and water like a complicated Tamagotchi. Of course, the game also allows you to pet your loving virtual canine with the Nintendo 3DS stylus, and once you start petting, you can keep going for as long as you like.

If you want to use your time more wisely, you can also brush your dog to remove dirt and build up your “Owner Points.”  Frankly, we think a few good chin scratches and pats on the top of the head are more effective, whether or not they have any produce any meaningful in-game results.


Honorable mention: ‘Pet the Pup at the Party’ (PC, Mac)

Every other game on our list features the ability to pet dogs, but only Pet the Pup at the Party’s sole goal is to pet a dog. The game can be downloaded for a price of your choice, and it features 52 different dogs to pet at a party. All you have to do is follow the sound of barking until you find your new friend.

“Petting” the dog really consists of you just waving your hand in the air a little bit, but the dogs react with glee nonetheless. If ever there were a game that could inspire humanity to do good in the world, that game is Pet the Pup at the Party.



Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for February 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn is yet another entry in Ubisoft's popular open world shooter franchise. But while it may feel quite similar in motion, the progression system is changed in a lot of ways. Our beginner's guide is here to help.

Learn to scavenge like a pro with our Far Cry New Dawn crafting guide

Far Cry New Dawn revolves around the hunt -- the hunt for materials to craft new weapons, vehicles, and other useful items. It's easy to miss out on great opportunities to find new materials if you don't go off the beaten path.

Scalebound could be revived for Switch following Xbox One cancellation

Microsoft canceled the Xbox One and PC exclusive Scalebound more than two years ago, but a new report claims Scalebound could have found a new home as an exclusive on Nintendo Switch.

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

Clear up some space on your Xbox One hard drive for the latest games

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step.

Here’s everything we know about the zombie-infested, survival horror Days Gone

Days Gone, the first PS4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.