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Excuse me, Nintendo, where is Nintendogs for Switch?

How long has it been since you fed your Nintendogs? Too long, I bet, and it’s sad that we don’t have them on the Switch, either.

Nintendogs feature - two Nintendogs pawing at a Switch Lite console

Seriously, why isn’t there a new Nintendogs game yet? I’ve waited seven years for Nintendogs on Switch and still don’t have it, and there are no leaks or rumors pertaining to it. Come on, Nintendo, give us the puppies we deserve.

I’m holding out hope that a new Nintendogs – a Switchtendogs, if you will – surprises us as a Switch 2 release title, but who knows? We had Little Friends and its sequel, Puppy Island, which only slightly filled the void – they didn’t quite live up to the magic of those pixely, yapping dogs of old.

What baffles me is that Nintendogs is a great franchise, that is clearly profitable, and a delightful game for all levels and types of players. As of December 2022, the franchise sold more than 28 million copies. A new game would just print money – so where is it?!

Here’s a fun fact – Nintendogs originated as a tech demo for the GameCube, making it a long-standing idea even before the first game came out. The game was then released on the original, chunky DS in 2005 with Labrador, Dachshund, and Chihuahua versions. There was also a Dalmatian version released the next year and Shiba Inu in Japan. Another fun fact is that Nintendogs is the second-best-selling game on the DS and received a perfect 40/40 score from Famitsu.

Nintendogs feature - a blue DS console covered in stickers

It’s also worth mentioning that the different versions came out in a bundle with a DS console in various colors like silver, pink, and blue. My crusty old blue DS is going strong to this day, housing my nearly 20-year-old doggies.

In 2011, we got a sequel – Nintendogs + Cats – on the 3DS. The six-year gap between them was a painful wait, and it’s now been another twelve years. A third installment is overdue. Given that the games are unavailable on the 3DS eShop and Nintendo no longer produces cartridges for it, I can’t help but feel like it’s a disservice that the games aren’t available anywhere or as a new version.

Anyway, Nintendogs + Cats released with French Bulldog, Toy Poodle, and Golden Retriever versions, with plenty of new features and things to do with your furry friends like Streetpass, Spotpass, and an in-game pedometer. Since then, we’ve not seen our beloved pals again outside of two small appearances as assist trophies in Super Smash Bros, and special furniture items in both Animal Crossing City Folk and New Leaf.

There’s not even been much merch, but given that Nintendogs isn’t really a current title, that sadly makes sense. Back in the day, you could get plush toys in Japan, some t-shirts, and trading cards. Even a re-release of these would satiate my desires.

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Another option for Nintendo to make money hand over paw is that rumored Nintendogs mobile game. In early 2023 a patent appeared that showed an AR dog on a mobile device and some technological mumbo jumbo that got fans invested in the idea of Nintendogs on their phone. Obviously, we’re yet to see the fruits of that, but there’s still hope.

Imagine it. We could get a battle pass of pups, walk them with Pokémon Go style GPS tech, and throw treats for them on screen. We’ve seen how Nintendo integrates mobile technology into games with Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom, and it seems like the next logical step after the DS and 3DS’ camera, mic, and touchscreen tech.

This does bring up the question of how a Nintendogs on Switch would work as the touch screen is iffy at best, and there’s no mic or camera – but that could be where the Switch 2 comes in. There could even be a wardrobe of peripherals related to Nintendogs and caring for them. Just look at the Pokémon Go Plus (and Plus +…) – we could get a lead-shape device and literally walk our digital dogs.

Look, I live in a small London flat with no garden so I can’t get a real dog. Nintendogs are the closest I can get, so please, Nintendo, give us back our virtual friends and let us pet pixelated dogs once more. I don’t really have any interesting reasoning or looks behind the curtain, I just wanted to vent my frustration at our glaring lack of currently attainable Nintendogs games.

We can recommend some good dog games, cat games, and farm games if you’re into that, though.