Do our Pets go to Heaven?

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Do Dogs have Souls? What Does the Bible say? The answer to the question “Do Our Pets Go To Heaven” depends upon your religious beliefs.

In the Christian Faith – No, but possibly Yes.
In the Spiritual Faith – Yes.
In the Islamic Faith – No and Yes, but has no clear answer.
In Buddhism the question does not apply.
In Hinduism – No, although possible through eventual reincarnation.
In Judaism – Yes.

In the Christian Faith

Within the Christian Faith an animal does not need redemption, Christ died to save the souls of humans, not animals. Therefore animals do not have souls to save, thus they do not go to Heaven.

However some reading would suggest that there are animals in Heaven which would indicate that they DO have souls. As animals are “INNOCENTS” maybe their souls, if they have one, do not need saving.

In Isaiah 65: 25, NIV it states – “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.” 

Various Roman Catholic Popes have given alternative answers, leading to more confusion over this issue within the Christian community. Pope Francis stated to a small boy that “Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures. This contradicted the view attained from his predecessor Pope Benedict 16th who said that “when animals die, they just die”.

There is some consensus among the Christian denominations that believe as Pope John Paul II said in 1990, animals do have souls. What they could not agree on is whether or not animals are welcomed into heaven alongside people.

The Mormon Faith within Christianity have made their position clear, declaring that YES animals can go to heaven.

Clearly the Christian Faith with all its differing views cannot agree on this question.

In the Spiritual Faith

The overall answer would appear to YES. Any contradiction simply seems to be in what form do animals appear within Heaven. Some believe that Dogs appear as Angels, Guardian Angels or guiding lights.

Dog With Wings And Halo
A Guardian Angel?

In the Islamic Faith

Islam does not appear to give a clear answer. In Islam ALL souls are eternal, including those of animals, but, to enter Heaven or Jannah, any being must be judged by God on Judgement Day. Some Muslim scholars say that animals are judged and some Muslim scholars maintain that animals are not judged as humans are. This opinion over the judgement clearly sits on the fence as to a definitive position.

Muslim At Prayer
A Muslim at Prayer

The Qur’an says that “those who enter paradise can have whatever they want”. So if you wanted your pet to join you then you could say that animals have a way in to Heaven.

The Faith of Buddhism

Buddhism maintains that a being can be “reborn”. Animals are seen as sentient beings as are humans. Humans can be reborn as animals and animals can be reborn as humans. It is a cycle until you reach Nirvana, which is reached after being reborn possibly several times.

Buddhist Monk Feeding Dogs
A Buddhist Monk feeding dogs

Thus within Buddhism it has to be possible for an animal to reach Heaven.

The Faith of Hinduism

Hinduism also has a reincarnation stasis where the eternal soul known as Jiva is reborn on a different plane (level), as such an insect could become a bird on one plane and then the bird dying will be reincarnated as a cat and this process continues until the soul is liberated.

Animals are believed to have souls and that all the souls will eventually evolve into a human plane so that they can be closer to God.

The Jewish Faith

It is clear within Judaism that animals have souls. Those of Jewish Faith who keep Kosher, do not eat the blood of birds or mammals as it is believed that this is where their souls are held.

The area that appears unclear surprisingly is whether “Heaven” or “Hell” actually exists, but Judaism

What’s clear, however, is that animals do have souls in Judaism. Jews who keep kosher don’t eat the blood of birds and mammals because that’s where their souls are said to be held. That leads us right back into the unclear zone, however, as there’s no consensus on what an animal “soul” is, and whether it is as important or as divine as a human soul does state that animals are created by God, are capable of suffering and need to be cared for, thus their souls would have to be cared for also.

What the Christian Bible says about Dogs

The only breed of dog mentioned by name in the Bible is the greyhound (Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version):

“There be three things which do well, yea, Which are comely in going; A lion, which is strongest among beasts and Turneth not away from any; A greyhound; A he-goat also.”

Greyhound Dog Black
Greyhounds have a rare mention for Dogs in the Bible

Dogs are known to sacrifice their lives when protecting their beloved masters. Dogs show grief when their human companions die. In the old days, sacred dogs that lived in the god’s temples would lick visitors’ sores and wounds. Reputedly, their tongues healed and soothed. In such cases, we see their benevolent action. 

The Bible amplifies our understanding of dogs’ role as physic

ians. In Luke 16:19031 when explaining the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. In part, the parable reads: “even the dogs would come and lick his sores.” 

In the Jewish and Christian scriptures, dogs are generally considered ill- tempered scavengers – tolerated but not trusted; certainly not admired and loved. In several passages, it’s clear that dogs were thought of as scavengers:

“Any one belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat. . . ” (1 Kings 14:11). A pack of dogs might threaten one’s safety: “Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me. . .” (Psalm 22:16). One might well have to beat them off for protection: “And the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?'” (1 Samuel 17:43). A strange dog might quickly become vicious if riled: “He who meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17). Jesus refers to their role as scavengers when he says, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Matthew 15:26).

Within the Bible – Do Dogs have Souls?

No doubt, dogs are intelligent. But does animal intelligence mean they have a soul? Does a dog’s ability to relate to the owner and display of emotions mean that he possesses a soul? An immortal spirit that will survive after he dies?

Unlike other animals, dogs possess a certain consciousness, unique from other living creatures, which is why human beings have a special place for them in their hearts. Yet, despite their unique and high-level consciousness, dogs remain soulless; they have no spirit.

And for that reason, when dogs die, they don’t enter into what humans refer to as an afterlife. Put differently, they won’t live in eternity with us. Why do we say that? Animals were not created in the image or likeness of God. They, therefore, don’t have the triune; body, soul, and spirit — a requisite for heaven. They cannot go to either heaven or hell like human beings.

 Any biblical evidence to support that? Yes, in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and overall the creatures that move along the ground.” 

The verse implies that although animals have the “breath of life,” it’s not an immortal soul in the same sense as we have. God’s plan of salvation is designed for man, not for animals. Since animals cannot make moral decisions or reason, they are not part of the salvation plan that God has offered to man. 

Matthew 1: 21 tells us that Jesus died to “save His people from their sins”. Dogs don’t sin, perhaps only behave badly! Similarly, for one to be saved, believing in Jesus is a must. But dogs cannot exercise that kind of faith in Jesus.

Will We See Our Pets in Heaven – According to the Bible

Another question that plagues many pet owners’ minds is whether they will see their beloved pets in heaven. Although we have destroyed ourselves and our environment through sin, God has promised to restore both. 

Just as animals formed part of God’s original, untainted creation plan, so they will when He restores everything anew—without today’s corruption of sin and death. Isaiah 11:6, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” 

The same sentiments are expressed in Isaiah 11:7-9 and Isaiah 65:25, where we see different animals such as the wolf, lamb, leopard, calf, lion, ox, bear, snake, and fatling all lying down with the kid and being led by a little child. 

In Revelations, the last Book of the Bible, John’s vision of heaven included animals. The vision shows Christ and heaven’s armies “riding on white horses.” (Rev. 19:14, NIV)

Doesn’t that sound like having animals and pets in heaven?

What else does the Bible say about Dogs

Do they have other roles other than being our guardian angels and buddies? 

We all know that dogs have a great appetite, lazy, and never seem to have enough. Isaiah 56:10-11 explains, “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”

In their quest for survival,the Bible exhibits dogs as predatory going to the extent of eating “bad stuff.” Isaiah 56 verse ten describes them as ignorant, lazy and loving to slumber while Proverbs 26:11 deems them foolish, “As a dog that returns to its vomit, so is a fool who repeats his foolishness.”

Granted, the above aren’t referring to actual dogs but comparing humans to dogs in their behavior. And our beloved pet dogs are generally loving and gentle!

So long as we live in this fallen world, we will meet bad characters and face many sorrows and tragedy, such as the death of a beloved pet. When a beloved pet dies, you may want to take solace in the promises of God and let that comfort you. Psalms 34:18 tells us, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Despite their soullessness, animals do have an important role in our earthly lives as written in Genesis 9:9-10: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you — the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you — every living creature on earth.” 

They may not possess souls like human beings and may not benefit from God’s gift of salvation, but animals depend on us to survive; they have been entrusted to us; Psalms 36:6, “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.” 

The Takeaway Conclusion

Although the Bible doesn’t directly address the question of whether pets will be in heaven with us, we do know for sure that God loves us, and He wants us to be happy. Psalms 84:11 tells us, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” 

We can trust a loving God that heaven will be filled with everything needed for our happiness. 1 Corinthians, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 

The Bible doesn’t supply a definitive answer to whether we will be reunited with our pets in heaven. Eccl. 3:21 asks: “How can anyone be sure that the human spirit goes upward while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground?” Either way, just be happy for the time you have with your dog on earth. 

Matthew reminds us in Chapter 19 verse 26, “With God, all things are possible.” Whatever eternal plans God has for us and our pets, we can trust Him that it will be for our good.  The best advice is to love our pets and enjoy the time God had given us with them—and trust Him in everything.

God sees and knows how much our pets mean to us and our love for them. However, we must guard our hearts diligently and not allow our affection for pets (or indeed anything) to diminish our love for God. 

It doesn’t matter how good the gift is; only God – not the gift themselves – is worthy of our total devotion. And that includes our furry friends.

A Final Thought about Animals going to Heaven

Pets bring companionship, happiness, and enjoyment. Most people cannot imagine life without having them around. When you lose a beloved pet such as a dog, it is not unusual to find yourself deeply grieving the loss just as you would for a family member or human companion.

Thus, its’ not uncommon for many religions to wonder whether animals have souls or if their pets will be in heaven?

Scientists have conclusively proven that some animal species do possess intelligence. Whales, porpoises and dolphins can communicate with members of their species via audible language. We can train dogs to perform relatively complex tasks, while gorillas can even be taught to form basic or simple sentences through sign language. Many would argue that dogs are sensitive and intelligent beings.

If it is your wish for your pet to join you in Heaven then you must believe that it is possible for yourself to enter that realm, and if this is so and it is your wish to see your pet there, then so it should be.
Have Faith.

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