Introduction Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disorder that makes the breathing difficult and is characterized by pathological conditions ranging from chronic inflammation to tissue proteolysis. With regard to ethical issues related to the studies on patients with COPD, the use of animal models of COPD is inevitable. Animal models improve our knowledge about the basic mechanisms underlying COPD physiology, pathophysiology and treatment. Although these models are only able to mimic some of the features of the disease, they are valuable for further investigation of mechanisms involved in human COPD. Material and Methods We searched the literature available in Google Scholar, PubMed and ScienceDirect databases for English articles published until November 2015. For this purpose, we used 5 keywords for COPD, 3 for animal models, 4 for exposure methods, 3 for pathophysiological changes and 3 for biomarkers. One hundred and fifty-one studies were considered eligible for inclusion in this review. Results According to the reviewed articles, animal models of COPD are mainly induced in mice, guinea pigs and rats. In most of the studies, this model was induced by exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), intra-tracheal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and intranasal elastase. There were variations in time course and dose of inducers used in different studies. The main measured parameters were lung pathological data and lung inflammation (both inflammatory cells and inflammatory mediators) in most of the studies and tracheal responsiveness (TR) in only few studies. Conclusions The present review provides various methods used for induction of animal models of COPD, different animals used (mainly mice, guinea pigs and rats) and measured parameters. The information provided in this review is valuable for choosing appropriate animal, method of induction and selecting parameters to be measured in studies concerning COPD.