Do Dogs Go to Heaven?


 Chloe, at one of our favorite places. I sure do miss her!

“Do dogs go to heaven?” I was asked this recently by someone grieving the loss of her dearly loved pet. The Bible doesn’t give us a specific answer, and I wouldn't build doctrine around what I'm about to write, but I think there are some comforting ideas to consider.

First, did you know that the gospel, which means “good news,” did not begin as a New Testament idea? The prophet Isaiah* speaks of “good news,” which pertains to God’s reign and rule over his kingdom. From the Garden of Eden until now, the LORD has been moving to restore his creation—to reverse the curse of sin and death. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, he redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

But what does that have to do with our pets? Think about this, we know that animals will live in the new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 11:6). Doesn't it make sense then that God would restore those animals that have died because of the curse, rather than create new ones? 

Second, we have this comforting verse from King David, “Your righteousness is like the mountains of God, your judgments like the deep ocean. You save people and animals, O LORD” Psalm 36:6 (GNT).

Finally, when I was seven years old, my dog, Yobi, was hit and killed by a car. It was devastating. To console me my parents read Matthew 10:29, “not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (NLT). I found great solace in that verse. I reasoned, if God knew about my loss, and because I believed he loved me, he must care about my sorrow too. 

Will our treasured pets go to heaven? Only God knows. However, we can say with confidence that God loves us and cares about the details of our lives; after all, he knows how many hairs are on our heads! (Matthew 10:30)

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to cast all of my cares on you, believing that you care for me in every situation and grief I experience. Amen.

Copyright 2021 Sarah Keith
*Isaiah chapters 40-66.

Reader's comments:
"I have to reply to this with something I heard Pastor Wayne Knisley say a couple years ago. He had commented something so wonderfully stated! If you think through the wisdom of this, this is his perfect explanation: A little girl was grieving over the loss of her cat. She asked, "Will my cat be in Heaven?" He responded with, "If you need your cat to be there, it will be there." Because all our needs are fulfilled in Heaven! Isn't that just the most perfect answer? Way to go Pastor Wayne! He has since passed on and now knows the answer to that question perfectly! Just thought you might enjoy that explanation!" ~ Kathy Cook.

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