Skyrim: Best Animal Mods

There are plenty of creatures that roam Skyrim, and it’s as cruel to animals as it is to pretty much anything that lives within its harsh lands. With that, maybe you want more variety in the wildlife or feel sick and tired of every NPC being weirdly aggressive toward dogs and bunnies.

Related: Skyrim: The Best Non-Humanoid Companions, Ranked

Why should chickens be the only animals fiercely protected by all citizens of Skyrim? If you find yourself constantly overusing the Animal Allegiance shout for the sake of peace, there are plenty of amazing mods that cater to the Dragonborn that just so happen to have a soft spot for animals.

Bors looks at his farm dog by their tent
Mod: Smart No More Stupid Dog by soupdragon

Get Smart No More Stupid Dog by soupdragon

Whenever there’s a dog walking around in Skyrim, regardless of what hold they reside in, there will always be someone calling them stupid. It could be a guard, a passing citizen, or even their own owners. Not only does this voice line happen so often that it feels like a spam email, but it also just seems sad that all these doggos are getting hated on for no good reason.

Thankfully, this mod exists to stop all of that. Now, friendly NPCs (including your family and housecarls) will no longer say “Stupid dog!” toward your animal pals. This doesn’t just cover your adopted pets and follower dogs, either. It also saves NPC dogs that have a good disposition toward you. Enemies will still say it, but that’s just another reason to go John Wick on all those bandits.

9 I’m Glad You’re Here

dragonborn selects option to hug their companion armored German Shepherd
Mod: I’m Glad You’re Here by WhiteWolf

Get I’m Glad You’re Here by WhiteWolf424242

This mod isn’t actually exclusively an animal mod, as it allows you to show your love and appreciation for your followers, children, and spouse. It adds tons of dialogue and animations that allow you to give hugs all around.

For animals, you get to pet them and let them know that you’re glad they’re tagging along. Doing so also gives them a gameplay boon as it applies Friendship’s Embrace. There’s just something about giving your loyal animal companion a hug and some nice words that make Skyrim a more wholesome place.

8 Styx The Spectral Wolf Companion

Styx the spectral sits on the ground as her frost puppy form
Mod: Styx by nyphani

Get Styx by nyphani

There are plenty of mods that add dedicated animal companions, often even in tribute to beloved pets that the mod creators have. What makes Styx of particular interest is that you can watch her grow from pup into an adult. Her growth is also based on in-game time, so it’s a gradual journey as you bond and have adventures.

Her growth is quite immersive as her strength, carry weight, and confidence will depend on her age. She also has improvements over vanilla followers as she doesn’t set off traps, can be marked essential, and won’t take up a follower spot in case you still want another humanoid companion.

7 Pet All The Cats And Dogs

Dragonborn pets Bran in the Dawnguard dog pen
Mod: Pet the Dog by JaySerpa

Get Pet the Dog by JaySerpa

Get Pet the Cats by Xtudo

These mods do exactly what you think they do. It’s the perfect addition because why wouldn’t you let players give pets to little furballs? If anyone deserves to pet an animal, it’s a weary Dragonborn that literally starts out getting almost executed and goes on to face dragons, draugr, and all manner of cultists.

Related: The Best Video Games You Can Pet The Dog In

The Pet The Dog mod allows you to pet all vanilla pups in the game as well as those added in by mods (as long as they are marked as dogs within the game files). Meanwhile, Pet The Cats works with a bunch of the most popular mods that add cats to the game (since the base game lacks felines that aren’t an entire race of upright humanoids with a penchant for stealth and wares.) Just don’t try to pet a Khajiit unless you want an uncomfortable social encounter.

6 Pets Kingdom

A black cat and an armored germen shepherd look at the dragonborn while resting on the cobble streets of Solitude
Mod: Pets Kingdom by gg77

Get Pets Kingdom SE by gg77

Get all the animals. All of them. Add some variety to the non-hostile creatures of Skyrim with Pets Kingdom. This mod adds cats, rats, dogs, rabbits, and beavers to the world – and it adds quite a lot of them. The type of animals and breeds are quite varied depending on what hold you’re in, and there is a good mix of both creatures that just live out in the wild and those that live in homes.

Plus, you can ask some of them to tag along with you (though only one at a time.) This also adds some more pets in every player home Pair it with some of the best horse mods and you will truly have a kingdom of friendly beasts. If you find that there are a way too many animals, you can always pick which creatures you want by installing their specific mod by the same creator instead.

5 Farm Animals And Co. SE

a saddled ram stands by the cabbage patch by Palagia Farm
Mod: Farm Animals And Co. SSE by gg77

Get Farm Animals by gg77

There are already ferocious chickens in the vanilla world, but you may want to add a little more life to the many farms across Skyrim by adding ducks, swans, boars, cows, goats, sheep, pheasants, and more.

This mod adds all of those animals with sounds included. You can pick whether you want a lot of them or just a few to populate select areas. It’s a nice little touch to make the world come to life a bit more and, yes, you can ask them to be your follower. What, you never saw a Dragonborn with an aggressive pigeon before?

4 Herds SSE

two purchasable cows graze in a fenced area by Whiterun
Mod: Herds SSE by Marco Arecibo

Get Herds SSE by Marco Arecibo

Missing a little Stardew Valley in your Skyrim? Add Herds SSE to get dynamic herders that come with cows and goats that you can purchase. They will travel around the nine holds and set up camp, with unique NPCs that have their own backstories.

You can also buy produce from these herders or admire their interesting pets. One of them has a pet torchbug.

3 SkyTest – Realistic Animals and Predators SE

a herd of bulls travels across the plains of Whiterun
Mod: SKYTEST – Realistic Animals and Predators by etayorius

Get SkyTest Realistic Animals by etayorius

This mod will make animals and predators act more realistically, as it tweaks their artificial intelligence significantly. Sure, this makes it a bit more challenging for you if you’re out there fighting off bears and sabre cats, but that’s what Animal Allegiance is for. That said, it also has tons of benefits that go beyond just giving animals a better chance against the elements.

Related: Skyrim: The Strongest Animal Enemies, Ranked

Animals will no longer be snitches that report your crimes. Most importantly, they will no longer fight to the death. If you deal enough damage or thin the pack, the aggressive creature will simply flee. Certain animals will also be scared of fire and a Dragonborn with a high enough Intimidation level. They also won’t try to fight powerful magical creatures like trolls and dragons, among others.

2 Animals Swim (Sort Of)

a fox swims across a steam
Mod: Animals Swim (Sort Of) by JaySerpa

Get Animals Swim by JaySerpa

Skyrim has a fascinating relationship with physics, which can lead to some majestic feats of heroism and hilarious ways to die. This also means many animals can’t swim and simply descend into the water and walk underwater indefinitely. Plus, their movement speed is just the same as it is on land.

As interesting as it may be to consider that all animals are secretly Atlantean and just swim better than you, this mod makes animals kind of swim normally. The mod actually just forces the animals to stay by the surface, but it pretty much feels right.

1 One With Nature – Dynamic Animals and Creatures SSE

the Dragonborn and Lydia stand peacefully with a giant and his mammoths
Mod: One With Nature – Dynamic Animals And Creatures SSE by seeyoulhater

Get One With Nature by seeyoulhater

Put an end to the violence of animals and Dragonborn with the One With Nature mod. This basically lets you select your relationship with various types of animals, so you can have specific creatures become your allies or friends.

If you find that too strange and don’t feel like being Kyne incarnate, you can simply set them as cowardly or defensive in the MCM. At last, you can become one with nature and focus your violent tendencies on the Daedra or Nazeem.

Next: The Elder Scrolls Skyrim: Best House Mods