I’ve started to notice a pattern in my line of questions when I get to know a new student… who else lives at your home? Do you have any pets? This quickly starts a conversation about the pet they have, the pet they want, and/or the pets they cannot have. It made me realize that pets are not only relevant to most children, but they’re also super engaging for them. Either way, they share about their own pets or learn more about other people’s pets. As speech therapists, we can use this to our advantage! A pet-themed speech therapy unit can be used with all ages and to address a variety of skills.

You can find materials for pet-themed activities almost anywhere, usually for a decent price! Not to mention, there are many options, no matter how simple or complex your activity is. Plus, this is a great theme that can be used any time of year!

I’ve already shared my favorite Dog Themed activities. So today, I wrote this post to share my favorite pet-themed: books, play activities, games, highlights from the SLP-Themed Therapy Membership, crafts, digital activities, and language activities. 


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Pet Themed Books for Speech Therapy

With a little bit of preparation, you can use themed books during sessions and target speech, receptive language, expressive language, and even in social language! The Themed SLP Membership includes cheat sheets and story maps for themed books. 

There are so many different pet-themed books for speech therapy you can read with your students. Here’s a list of some of my favorites. 




Get recommendations for pet-themed books you can use for speech therapy!

For more themed therapy ideas, check out this blog post to get a free themed therapy idea guide and planner! 

Pet-Themed Speech Therapy Activity Ideas

Get ideas for your pet-themed speech therapy unit and plan engaging lessons for your preschool and elementary caseload!

For your younger students, you’ll want to find some pet-themed play-based activities. Here’s a list of some of my top picks:

  • Pocket of Preschool has an amazing idea for Pet Store Dramatic Play; make sure to check it out here
  • My all-time favorite B. Pet Vet Toy or Critter Clinic is a must. Keep in mind, it only comes with 2 “pets” so you might want to find 2 additional pets for yours. Learn more about how to use this toy HERE
  • With this toy and a play based cheat sheet, you’ll be ready to go!  
  • Grab some pet stuffed animals & talk about how you’ll care for them, feed them, and play with them. Try to find some cheap “themed pet props”—bowl for food, toys for the animals, collar, leash, tank, and more (lots of these things are at Dollar Tree.)
  • Melissa & Doug Pet Puzzle (with sound) …hide the pieces in a sensory bin, talk about what pets they find, and what noises they make!


Learn more about pet-themed activities for preschoolers and your entire elementary speech therapy caseload.

Themed Therapy SLP Membership Highlights

Become a Themed Therapy SLP member and have pet-themed speech therapy activities for your prek-5th grade caseload.

The Themed Therapy SLP Membership has Pet Themed activities for Pre-K to 5th Grade with activities prepared for you to work with students with a variety of needs and goals. The activities include:

  • Literacy ideas with story maps and book cheat sheets
  • Sequencing Stories
  • Worksheets for speech and language
  • Boom cards
  • Short Stories and Nonfiction passages
  • Grammar & vocab activities
  • Lesson plan cheat sheet
  • Newsletters for parents
  • Toy Guide
  • Open Ended Games
  • Crafts to make a fishbowl, paper plate dog and tissue paper pet!

Digital Speech Therapy Activities for a Pet-Theme

As much fun as play-based activities are, I still enjoy using technology and digital-based activities in my sessions. Here are some pet-themed ideas: 

  • Some apps I would recommend:
  • YouTube videos to check out:
    • Simon’s Cat is always a huge hit with my students. I’ve used it to work on expanding utterances, describing, vocabulary skills, inferencing skills, speech sounds, and even more. Use my cheat sheets to help!
    • Pip: A Short Animated Film by Southeastern Guide Dogs is a great video to share with students. Have them narrate the video using their descriptive vocabulary, grammar targets, or speech sounds. This is also a great video with a clear problem and solution as well as a great lesson!
    Find pet themed digital activities for your next teletherapy session.
    • Online Games:
      • Panic in Pet Paradise on ABCYa involves inferencing, and following directions and can easily incorporate pet vocabulary, a variety of grammar targets (prepositions, negation, etc.), and speech sounds.
      • Giant Hamster Run on ABCYa involves many actions words (jump, slide, run, move), prepositions (under, next to, above, etc), verb tenses, and more!

    Easy Crafts for a Pet Theme

    Use crafts during your themed therapy sessions! Before you do the craft, think about your student’s goals. How can you elicit target sounds or language targets before, during, and after making your craft? 

    • Paper Plate Pets: Grab some paper plates, construction paper, crayons, scissors, and glue and make a paper plate pet. Ask your students what pets they have or want, and they can create the pet of their choice with paper plates and other materials. Don’t forget to ask their pet’s name! There are visual supports for a goldfish and dog craft in the Themed Therapy SLP membership
    • Did anyone else paint a “pet rock” when they were little? Bring some nostalgia to your sessions and have your students paint some pets of their own. Encourage them to use their imagination. What does their pet do? What will it need? What will they name it?
    • Pet Store Fish: Cut out fish shapes for your students to decorate. When they’re done, they’ll put them in bags. You can even have the back of the bag blue to make it seem like water. When you seal the bag, add a piece of paper with the pet’s name, type of fish, birthday, and a list of care instructions.
    Have visual supports for a goldfish paper plate craft for speech therapy

    Language Activities to Teach Pet-Themed Vocabulary

    Dog washing sequencing language activities for speech therapy
    • Seasonal flipbooks includes “All About Pets” flipbook.
    • Boom Cards were such a lifesaver during the pandemic that I still use them during my sessions! Here are a few pet-related boom cards that you can use to target language:
      • Dog Sequencing on How to Wash a Dog
      • Mystery Word Game…Have your students describe the scene with their pet vocabulary and grammar targets. After you figure out the mystery words, have them explain how they found the answer.


    Pets are a part of so many people’s lives. They become family members of many households! It only makes sense that we use pets as a theme in our therapy. What ideas do you have for your pet-themed speech therapy? Share them with us on Instagram or Facebook!