Do Dogs Go To Heaven? Biblical Explanation

January 5, 2023

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

Author & Non-profit Consultant

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

I love finding ways to feel God in my day, whether I’m going to work or cooking dinner. I make sure I’m connected to Him by listening to Bible stories, sermons, praying, and singing praise songs. All the apps I test are introduced into my everyday life so that I can feel their usability on a daily basis.

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Dogs are thought to be a man’s best friend. Their ability to connect with their owners on a spiritual level makes them wonderful family companions.

Their theatrics are very entertaining and their loyalty is unmatched, so it can be quite painful when a pet like a dog dies. Many owners begin to wonder if they will ever see them again in the afterlife.

As Christians, the answer to any question we have in our heart has been placed in the deep wells of God’s Word. That’s why this article aims to answer the question of reunion with pets in paradise according to what the Bible says.

What Does The Bible Say About Pets?

The first time animals are mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis 1:20-25, in the creation story. God created the water animals and birds on the fifth day, and then land animals like dogs on the sixth. Incidentally, man was also made on the same day. Many people wonder if this is significant. 

Perhaps God did this because He knew of the relationship that man would grow to have with some of them. We can’t be sure.

The main point the book of Genesis makes, however, is that God created man to have dominion over every single thing on earth, animals included. They were Adam’s responsibility, the Bible in Genesis 2:20 tells us that he went around naming them.

You have to know that as important as your pet may be to you, you are only their steward or temporary custodian. They are God’s creation, He knows them all and He cares for them (Psalm 147:9).

Much like God cares for all His creation, we who are made in His image are also expected to care for them. Proverbs 12:10 tells us that a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal. 

The only mention of a possible pet owner in the Bible is the poor man in Nathan’s parable to David recorded in 2 Samuel 12:3

It tells us that the poor man had just that little ewe lamb. He brought it up, feeding it with his own food and drink and it was like a daughter to him. Man is expected to treat animals, especially pets, with love and care, providing for them, just like the Father does.

Do Dogs Have Souls?

When wondering if dogs go to heaven, another commonly raised question is if they have a soul as men do.

Well, they don’t. Due to man being fashioned after the image of God, he is the only one of His creations who has a soul that is like that of God.(1 Thessalonians 5:28)

Animals do have a kind of soul, a certain kind of consciousness, however, that gives them the ability to be fond of their owners and be teachable. But this animalistic soul has a limitation. It simply means that they can’t be saved or have eternal life as a man can. 

It is man’s spirit that is returned to God in heaven after he dies. Man not only has this spirit, but also God’s spirit living inside of him. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no dogs in heaven.

Since dogs don’t have a soul like that of man, the argument that they don’t make it to paradise seems to hold a bit more water. But that’s not all there is to it.

Is There A Heaven For Dogs?

Since it’s a bit uncertain if pets like dogs make it to heaven, it’s plausible to wonder if perhaps there’s a special paradise for dogs and other animals alone. 

A fine description of this place would probably include endless biscuits and treats, a huge field to play on, and squirrels they can actually catch. Unfortunately, we can not be sure whether or not such a place exists.

The Bible makes no mention of a special paradise for animals. The uncertainty concerning the subject of pets in heaven is expressed in Ecclesiastes 3:21 which says,

“Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?”

Will I See My Dog In Heaven?

Many scholars and theologians like Martin Luther King and C.S Lewis held on to the belief that they would be reunited with their pets in heaven. This conviction stems from Scripture talking about the restoration of all creation in Acts 3:19-21 and Revelations 21:1

They believe that this restoration includes pets who have died. While that isn’t guaranteed, the Bible does acknowledge that there will be animals in heaven.

There are a couple of bible verses that prove animals are in heaven. One notable one is Isaiah 11:6-9.

It says,

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together, and a little child shall lead them. 

The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. 

They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

So while the Bible doesn’t come out plainly to say “yes, you will be reunited with your pets in the new heaven and new earth”, there’s a subtle implication that this is possible.

American evangelist Reverend Billy Graham once said,

“I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there (in Heaven), I believe he’ll be there.”

But even if you don’t get to see your pet in heaven, one thing you can be sure of is that heaven will be so full of joy that you will no longer long for the lost things on earth. God promises His children peace, unending happiness, a life without fear or regrets, and a body without sickness or sin. Such is the beauty of heaven.

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Final Thoughts

The answer to the question “do dogs go to heaven” isn’t definite. We will never know for sure if we will be reunited with our pets until we get there. But one thing we can be sure of is that God has prepared a place where the sorrow and pain of losing a loved one will no longer be known.

So beloved, till you get to the place God has prepared for you and find out, treasuring the memories you have with your furry friend is far more important.

They might have only been in your life for a little while, but the happiness they brought to you with their presence is what matters the most.

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Ted Atkins

Ted Atkins

Pastor, Church Leader and Founder

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

Author & Non-profit Consultant