Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed Movie Poster Image
Talking dogs are matchmakers in this uninspired romcom.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Deserving people can find happiness. A little nudge is sometimes needed to help folks move in the right direction.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Leading characters are honest, empathic, and upstanding. Stereotypical effeminate male. Finds humor in seniors with memory issues. No ethnic diversity.


Literal pie-in-the-face slapstick falls and spills. 


Couple lives together before marriage; kisses. Mild sexual innuendo (will they or won't they?) and banter.


"Breaks wind," "pee." Dogs are encouraged to poop to retrieve a ring.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine and champagne in social settings. No drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed is a live-action, talking-dog story. In this adventure, the adorable pups play matchmakers to a young couple whose romance has gone astray. There's no peril or suspense, only some slapstick action, which includes pies in the face and some tumbles. Some typical pooch bodily functions are referenced: pee, poop, "breaking wind," and in multiple instances, a puppy swallows something that must later be "retrieved." The couple at the center of the story kiss, cuddle together in one sleeping bag, and there's a "will they or won't they?" vibe, but no sex. Expect some stereotyping: an effeminate man and an aging woman whose memory issues and confusion are meant to elicit laughs. With romantic comedy at the heart of this tale, the movie is okay for tweens, but not meant for those looking for a cute and cuddly animal romp.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old July 4, 2020

Hate it

This movie is terrible for the following reasons. First of all the voice of the Country pup as a moderately stereotypical voice. The voice is also high and anno... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLoganisbest March 28, 2020

The worst movie ever

You can tell everything is green screened when they are in the car. Also they use they Same dog for half of the scenes.

What's the story?

Celebrating their one-year anniversary as a couple, Jessica (Sara Fletcher) and Mel (Rip Hillis) coincidentally gift each other with twin white Pomeranian puppies in PUPPY SWAP: LOVE UNLEASHED. It's a joyous moment, topped only by Mel proposing to his beloved partner and giving her a ring. The future looks wonderful. Three months later, however, the engagement is off. Jess has been offered a career-making job in Los Angeles, more than a thousand miles from their Montana home. Mel won't move. Jessica doesn't want to turn down the opportunity. It's a bitter parting, painful, too, for Haley and Lindsay, the two bonded puppies who will be separated as well. Four years later, Mel is still living in his Montana ranch, pining for his lost love. In Los Angeles Jess is on the verge of a major success. Marketing the fragrance she has created will take her on a publicity tour around the country. Jess's boss and now-fiance, Powers (Corin Nemec), makes Montana the first stop on the tour for a "hometown girl makes good" appearance. In an accidental stroke of good luck, the pups are secretly reunited when Jess lands in Montana. The pesky little dogs come up with a plan to bring the lovers back together. It isn't easy, but they're very resourceful young pups, and they're not to be denied.

Is it any good?

This odd hybrid of cloying talking-dog story, farcical comedy, and sweet but routine romance is weakened further by amateurish execution, some overblown performances, and an ever-changing tone. Everybody is working hard in Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed, but they're undone by the incompetence and inconsistency of the creative team in charge. A ten-mile car ride, which starts in daylight, ends at night. Dogs that are supposed to be identical are anything but. Some of the actors are obviously brand new, and others are painfully unrestrained. Sara Fletcher, an able young actress, deserves better. And it's a sad legacy for Margot Kidder, in what was most certainly her last role. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of stereotyping. Which character(s) in Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed might be considered a stereotype? Did you find Delilah's increasing foggy memory and confusion funny? How does her character perpetuate stereotypes of older people?

  • In this movie, like many others, choosing a simple life in a small town or rural area is found to be more satisfying than a big city. What are some of the positives and negatives about both locations? What do you like best about where you live?

  • For what ages do you think talking-dog movies are intended? Puppy Swap: Love Unleashed incorporates the pups into a romantic comedy about grown-ups. Do you think younger talking-dog fans will respond positively? Why or why not? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate