I grew up as an only child in a family of pastors. My happiest day was when my father adopted a
dog. This changed everything since the dog, and I became best friends. I cared for her for a few years, and then she died one day. This was one of my most painful experiences as a child. I remember asking my father, “do dogs go to heaven?”
The Bible does not explicitly teach whether dogs go to heaven when they die. Though dogs have the breath of life, as explained in Genesis 1:30, they cannot choose or reject the only access to heaven, which is Jesus Christ, as explained in John 14:6. Therefore, it is unclear whether dogs go to heaven after they die.
Now that I am a pastor with more knowledge of biblical studies, I will discuss what the Bible
says about animals’ afterlife in this article. Join me on this exploration and discover whether
dogs go to heaven and what the Bible says about it. Read on to find out more!
Table of Contents
Will I see my dog in heaven?
Though this is the hope of every dog owner, there is no guarantee that you will see your dog in heaven. This is because the Bible suggests that the only way to enter heaven is through Jesus Christ, as explained in John 14:6. This verse says, Jesus, answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Since dogs cannot believe and confess Jesus Christ, there is no assurance that they will go to heaven.
The Book of John 3:16 says, Whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life.
Since no verse in the Bible says that animals can choose eternal life, their fate after death is unclear. Dogs cannot choose or reject the only access to heaven, which is Jesus Christ.
These Bible verses share the same message as Romans 10:9. It says, If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Since dogs cannot declare that Jesus is Lord, there is no assurance that they will go to heaven after they die.
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he did not try to bring salvation to any animal. In fact, in Mark 5:11, he let a legion of demons enter a herd of pigs which led to their death. However, this does not mean that God does not care about animals.
God declared his creation of animals was good in Genesis 1:25. This verse says, And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps in the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Though God cares for all his creatures, including dogs, salvation is only meant for humans; this is the only way to heaven.
What does the Bible say about animals’ afterlife?
The Bible suggests that just like humans, animals have the breath of life as explained in Genesis 1:30. This verse says, And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.
The scripture implies that when an animal dies, its life leaves the animal’s body and returns to God. This gives dog owners some comfort even if they are not sure they will see their companion in heaven. However, The Bible does not explain the form the animal’s life takes when it returns to the creator.
Also, the Bible does not mention that dogs have eternal souls as humans. Since humans are made in the image and likeness of God, they are the only residents of earth with a soul. When a Christian dies, their soul goes to heaven, where God gives it a new body to house it, as explained in 2nd Corinthians 5:2. According to this verse, the spirit of the Christian returns to God in heaven.
Since the Bible does not mention that dogs have a spirit, many Christians believe that dogs do not exist after death as humans do. Ecclesiastes 3:20 suggests that animals like dogs come from dust, and when they die, they return to dust.
Also, the Bible does not suggest that animals such as dogs will be resurrected after death like humans who believe in Jesus Christ. Even in the Bible, resurrections are only associated with humans, not animals like dogs. Some of the cases of resurrections involving humans are mentioned in verses like 2nd Kings 4:32-37 and Acts 9:36-42.
The Bible is also unclear about a dog’s afterlife since it is not mentioned anywhere in the scripture that animals will face the final judgment like humans at the end of the age. The Bible only talks about humankind facing final judgment in different verses like Romans 2:6-10. This verse says He will render to each one according to his works. To those who, by patience in well doing, seek glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, there will be wrath and fury.
Does the Bible mention that dogs will go to heaven?
The Bible does not give any explicit teaching on whether dogs have souls or whether they will be in heaven. The holy scripture suggests that the difference between humans and dogs is that humans are made in the image and likeness of the Lord, while dogs are not.
This is explained in Genesis 1:26, which says, Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the livestock and all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth. Being created in the likeness and image of God means that humans are capable of spirituality. They have a part of their being that continues after death and can therefore go to heaven if they believe in Jesus Christ.
Since there is nowhere in the Bible that suggests that dogs were made in God’s image, Christians believe that they are not capable of spiritually. Therefore, it is not clear whether they go to heaven after they die.
Some Christians believe that dogs will not go to heaven since they cannot take the steps needed to qualify for the heavenly calling. These steps include exercising faith and obeying God’s commandments, as explained in Matthew 19:17.
Though the Bible does not state that dogs will go to heaven, it suggests that our joy will be complete with or without our animals. The book of Revelations suggests that no absence of a relative or a pet will reduce the bliss that Christians will experience in heaven. Revelations 21:4 says, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying no pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Joseph M. Jordan
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.