Do Dogs Go to Heaven? (Redux)

“Well do they?”

“I don’t know honey, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

My wife got us a dog several years ago… over my strenuous objection I might add.  Over the years, he and I have spent a lot of time together; whose knee did you think he’s curled up on…?   (OK, in the cold months he’s at least warm!)

He doesn’t scare anybody away from the house.

He doesn’t catch mice or anything useful like that.

He does chase rabbits and squirrels, but even when he catches them by surprise and could catch one, he stops and waits for them to run … it’s the game for him, not the catch.

In truth, he really doesn’t do anything that a dog is supposed to do to ‘pay his way’ so to speak.  But you know what he does?

He has anxiety issues.

He has separation anxiety.

He freaks on the fourth of July.


He loves everybody unconditionally.

I can’t find any Biblical text that would make me think that dogs really go to Heaven, but I can find hundreds that say that if more people had that last attribute, then they would go to Heaven!

(Originally posted Feb. 2012)

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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42 Responses to Do Dogs Go to Heaven? (Redux)

  1. Anonymous says:

    and i am reminded that many of us are like your dog. Well, okay, I am like your dog. Much of the time I view myself as not being able to “pay my way” in the whole scheme of things. I’m not good for much more than freaking out at times and being exhibit A for anxiety.

    And yet, God loves me. He loves us all.

    During my drive to work this morning, as the sun was gleaming from the horizon, I was thinking about the words, “For God so loved the world….” and I thought, “This wasn’t someone’s explanation of what they thought God was like; no, these are the recorded words that came from the lips of God, himself.” These were the words that Jesus spoke….Jesus, who was the living, breathing, flesh and blood heart of God on the earth. He said, “God loved the world so much that he gave his son, so that whoever simply believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Loved by God. In our freaking out, too much of the time filled with anxiety, at times so unsure of what we are any good for…..loved by GOD. LOVED.

    Thank you for writing about your dog today. He sounds like a great little guy.

  2. William Haney says:

    All I know is that I told my wife whichever one of us gets to heaven first, we are to pick up “Eddie” (who passed away last August) from my mother and step-father in the great beyond.

  3. Stacy says:

    Jesus returns to earth riding a horse. I believe all animals get a free pass to return to their Creator.

  4. dnorris99 says:

    Well, we know that there must be horses in heaven for the Lord’s return, so why not dogs? Google “Rainbow Bridge.” That has provided comfort for my wife and I over the years as we mourn the loss of that unconditional love you mentioned. Bottom line: I don’t think we will care once we get there. We’ll be too busy soaking up the light of the Lord.

  5. Greg says:

    It seems (and feel) to me that God wouldn’t give us these special creatures that provide so much to us, as we to them, and there not be a place for them. And ultimately if they don’t, I won’t ever know it; I’d be saddened if my beloved pet wasn’t there awaiting me. And we know there will be no saddness in Heaven. So, I’ll go on thinking they do 🙂

  6. I didn’t used to think animals got to go. That’s what I was taught from a young age. We’ll talk about the therapy later. For now, the Bible tells us the lion will lie down with the lamb. Pretty sure that’s referring to the new Earth, so…

    • Don Merritt says:

      Could be. But if my dogs are all waiting for me there, as some have suggested, then you’ll know me in heaven because I have a whole pack of dogs following me around. Hmm… what about “cat people”? Will they be followed around heaven by a “pack” of cats? That would something I wouldn/t want to miss! 🙂

  7. Roos Ruse says:

    I looked for years – every time a fur kid left us. I gave the question up to another of the joys that await us when we finally make it home.

  8. eled4 says:

    Great post & unconditional Love is definitely The Bottom Line !!! My husband needed a company while he recovered from his parents & brother passing all within 3 years. His Dad went first, then his brother the next year and his Mom the next year and if that wasn’t bad enough his health started failing him as a result of an automobile accident thru no fault of his, so as a result of much prayer Laila was rescued from a shelter to come live with us. She was a Vezsala mix and she had failed two other adoptions, but we knew The Lord wanted us to help her as she helped us! It turned out that Laila’s problem was she could not tolerate being closed off where she could not see out which was ok with us we live on the lake where windows are necessary. Also my husband made sure her enclosure, which he called her Hacienda,when we had to go somewhere without her, he built it with all 4 sides of just fencing type wire but 4 foot high with a solid metal roof and a guard on the ground so that she could not see an escape route! He also assured her verbally that this was her hacienda that was built for her The Princess! She did her unconditional love to the max, but also she could tell if anyone was in pain and where the pain was coming from and she was always right!!! However, more than this every time I would enter into HIS PRESENCE, Laila would come in and stay there with me no matter how long or even if I was praying or worshipping or just meditating! I did nothing to attract any attention and as with most of us that spend time with HIM, there is no certain time or how long we spend with HIM, but she always was there and on occasion she would lay her head on my lap ! I have never had a dog do this and may never again! After 3 years Laila died after all attempts to keep her alive after being hit by a truck and I have to say I have had several pets to pass but as a special friend especially in my quite time with The Lord, she is so missed and if it could possibly be so , maybe she has wings now that she is with her maker!!!

  9. Pingback: Do Dogs Go to Heaven? (Redux) | A disciple's study

  10. Do Dogs Go to Heaven? or to change the question – Will there be animals in heaven?


    God’s original creation has been subjected to degradation and decay through sin, but it will be restored as it was in the beginning. The apostle Paul wrote, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20, 21, NKJV). Although our sins have destroyed ourselves and nature, God will restore both. Just as animals were part of God’s untainted, original creation, so they will be part of the world and life when He restores everything new—without the 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.” (This sounds as if we will have pets in heaven, does it not?)

    Isaiah 11:7-9, “The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea”

    Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”

    Thank you for posting ”Do Dogs Go to Heaven?” article.

  11. Gail Johnson says:

    I have a little Shih Tzu and she is amazing that way. Unconditional love. Complete trust. I have learned many spiritual lessons from her. So thankful the Lord thought to give us fur babies. Love this.

  12. My husband, a pastor, believes dogs go to Heaven. I have believed it for a long time. God does not waste anything He creates. He took two of every kind of animal into the ark. He told Jonah to preach against Nineveh because there were children there and much livestock. Proverbs 12:10 says that a wise man, a righteous man regards the life of his beast. Isaiah 11 promises a time when “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them…They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain. Sounds like Heaven to me!

  13. I cannot think of any Bible verses that specifically say dogs don’t go to heaven. I know quite a few people who think that, since only humans are made in the image of God, no other animals will be in heaven.
    But then again, Revelation 19 tells us Jesus will have no trouble finding white horses in heaven when it is time for Him to return.

  14. Pingback: More of New Realities | The Life Project

  15. Don. Glad you liked my poem “To Paraphrase …” In re to your question about whether dogs go to heaven, I suggest James Dickey’s poem “The Heaven of Animals.” I’ve found it helpful in my life. Maybe you will in yours?

  16. Lizzy says:

    When my mum had her first heart attack and NDE, she saw her dog waiting for her. I do not see why dogs, or any other critters God has made, would not go to heaven.

  17. 9awalsh says:

    Dogs, and all animals, will be in heaven. Yes, the Bible speaks of several animals in heaven. How could it be heaven if my pets aren’t there?! God loves them too or He wouldn’t have created them.

  18. Steven R. Bruck says:

    Micah 4:4 indicates that after the judgement we will be under our own fig tree, drinking our wine- seems that the Prophets wrote about the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) with the thought that we will be back to where we started- on Earth, which will be a new Earth- after all, if we are all going to live in heaven, why would God need to create a new earth and a new Jerusalem? I think that we will be in the presence of God, that the heavens are where God dwells but He will dwell with us, so the answer to the question about where and who goes to heaven is this: we all do and no one does. The separation of heaven and earth we have now will no longer be separated- both will be one because heaven is where God is, there will be a new Earth and God will dwell with us here, so by definition Earth will be heaven. And I believe the earth will have to be populated with animals to help us to cultivate the vines, work the fields so that we can sit under our fig tree and drink our wine (with Jeremiah, a bullfrog, who was a good friend of mine.)

  19. Steven R. Bruck says:

    Of course, Jeremiah had to die first because (get ready- here it comes…..) frogs always croak. 🙂

  20. Mara says:

    Just my 2 cents .. The lord communicates with me through visions a lot of the time. He has blessed me with images of heaven. Besides being an amazing place, I have seen every animal you can think of. I have seen dogs that belong to people and they are with them. I’ve seen horses, birds, deer, elephants, Rhinos, tigers .. you name it, and they all get along quite well together.

  21. I’d suggest that the promised new earth would include dogs, if it is to be an actual new earth. But mosquitoes? We’re made to ‘know him, love him and serve him in this world and be happy with Him forever in the next’ according to the old catechism. Knowing creation is a window to knowing God – read a Psalm of your choice. Loving any part of his creation is loving the Creator. Love endures … WT

  22. Oh, getting stuck into the theology distracted from thanking you for looking into Agnellusmirror! So thank you! Will

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