Do Animals or Pets Go To Heaven? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Almost everyone has lost a beloved pet.  They become part of the family and many couples who are childless consider their pets as their own children.  So what happens to pets after they die?  Do the go to heaven?  Will we ever see our dearly departed pets again?  What is their fate?  What does the Bible say about animals after they die?  These precious loved animals include dogs, cats, horses, and even a few unorthodox pets that families have grown to love and grieve after they are gone.  Let’s see what the Word of God says about whether or not animals or pets go to heaven?

Pets Are Part of the Family

Are pets part of the family? This may seem like a trivial question for some people but for those who have pets, this is a question that has been asked particularly after the death of their pets.  The Bible is clear that babies, young children, infants, or toddlers that die before they are able to accept Jesus Christ as Savior go directly into the presence of the Lord.  When a parent loses a child, they can be comforted with this fact, but this does not mean that they will not grieve them.  I can remember losing pets and losing them is painful; our family has grieved these who were lost too.    They are part of the family.  They are treated as a child and I have had a few pets that thought that they were human too in the way they acted.

I know of several couples that were unable to have children and so they were especially close to their pets and loved them as they would their very own children if they were able to bear them.  Many elderly couples and those who have had a spouse die are left only with their pets and animal’s companionship has sustained them through many lonely days and long nights.  A pet’s love is so very often completely unconditional.  They don’t care what your day was like, what went wrong at work, what your mood is when you come home.  They are always ready to jump up into your lap and are so full of joy at seeing you that they display this love in their actions.  How often I have come home from a hard day at work only to see my beloved dogs or cats run with joy to greet me.  Their sheer joy at seeing me often makes me forget what a difficult day I had because they are there to meet with eager expectation.

Famous Christians Who Believe Pets Go To Heaven

Randy Alcorn in his book called “Heaven” believes that animals will be present in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Famous Christian authors who believe that pets go to heaven include: C. S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft, Sylvia Brown, Niki Behrikis Shanahan, James Herriot, and dozens and dozens of others; the list of Christian pastors, theologians, and clergy is too long to list here. Suffice it to say that a lot of Christians believe that pets do go to heaven and that there will be animals in heaven.

What the Bible Says About Animals

Let’s take a look at the scriptures that relate to animals and what is said of them:

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21: “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath (literally “spirit“); humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

Job 12:10 “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath (literally “spirit”) of all mankind.”

Genesis 9:9-10 I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 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.”

Genesis 9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Genesis 6:19-22 “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.  You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Genesis 1:30 “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”

Hosea 2:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.”

Luke 12:6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.”

Animals in Heaven

The Bible indicates that animals will exist after His return and the beginning of the Kingdom as Isaiah 11:6-9 reads, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”  Here is the Word of God declaring that animals will still exist in the future, after Christ’s reign begins. Ecclesiastes mentions that there is a “spirit” in man but also in animals in (3:19, 21) but this does not necessarily mean that it is an eternal spirit.

Revelation 19:11-14 indicates, for example, that Jesus returns to the earth with His army of saints on white horses, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”

The Conclusion

Upon examining the scriptures we just don’t have biblical support to say this with certainty whether or not our pets will be in heaven, however it does appear that animals will exist in the Kingdom of heaven (Isaiah 11:6-9). If our pets will be resurrected or not, we just cannot say for sure. A more important question is if you, the reader, will be in heaven.  It is pointless to ponder the question of whether your pet goes to heaven if you yourself are not there.  The only way to be sure is to make certain you can go there. Decide today to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and have the full assurance that you will go to heaven and receive eternal life.  As for your pets being in heaven or not, the only way to find out is to go there yourself.  That is my prayer for you.

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Is Smoking Cigarettes A Sin?

What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?


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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

rebecca October 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Hi! I would like to comment. Do you change from spiritual body to physical body in heaven? Then change back from physical to spiritual? Are our physical bodies different in heaven than on earth? Will there be eating in heaven?

I wonder.



Marianne December 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm

I’ve often wondered the same,and more!
I guess the only way to know for sure,is to GO there!


Celita Louback Welsch October 9, 2015 at 10:32 am

Excellent article and excellent conclusion.

Let’s think: God created the universe and animals but Jesus didn’t die for the soul of animals because they don’t have soul, but “spirit=life”.
8And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
The heaven is for the saints, those that Jesus justified by his precious blood.
God created us his image. We have spirit and soul. The redeemers , the church of Christ is called BRIGE, so God’s people. I don’t need to be distract by any animal in heaven because I know God prepared us a celestial home where joy and worship will be our holy “rotine”! Praise the Lord!


Karen November 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Sylvia Brown claimed to be a psychic. If so… could she really be a Christian? The Bible, in more places than one, states we are not to be involved with psychics, fortune telling etc etc.


Marc December 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

Thank you for your article. My dog died on Monday of this week and it has been so hard for me as I have been so busy being caught up with my own personal life I haven’t been able to forgive myself for spending more time or doing more stuff with him. He had cancer and it hit fast. I just want to know that he is with the lord and his that he is in a very state of happiness. I loved him so much.


felix June 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

i lost my pet dog.. I gave him food on 14th june 2016 around 8 pm .. there were other street dogs .. but next morning i found that he is dead ..and a small other dog is also dog.. i cannot tolerate my pain… ohh god , can u please create him one more time???? with prayers….. i dont know that my dog has a soul or not… can u help me


Jack Wellman June 16, 2016 at 9:37 am

I am sorry for your loss Felix. I cannot help your pain but only pray for you friend but the Bible does not say that pets go to heaven. We cannot say what the Bible does not.


nancy January 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

My dog died a week ago today. I want to know that Bailey will be there with me too. I loved her very much! I miss her too. If we are to be truly happy in heaven and god know our hearts then our pets must be there with us.


Tess Salzer January 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

Our family had a beloved horse die yesterday 1/24/16 and it was extremely hard to see him go. He was white by the way, and I firmly believe that God cares for the creatures he has created a they will be in heaven. I believe that the hope of seeing our animals again is a pull on our hearts so that we would want to be there also. Thank you for your article especially your conclusion, nicely written.


eric montfort March 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I totally believe all animals and pets will be in Heaven with us and in a glorified state. God is perfect and good and it is inconceivable that animals who suffer so much on earth will not get rewarded after they die. And if we ask God to resurruct our beloved pets, He will do so being the Love and Creator of everything!


rechel gillan March 24, 2016 at 6:18 am

Our dog just have to be put down today. I have never witnessed death before not even a relative so it was so sad to let him go. I did I not expect to cry so much, knowing he won’t be coming back home with us. I would like so much to see him again one day in heaven. At least now he is not in pain anymore.


adi barrales March 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm

I have lost many pets, but today march 26 2016 I felt the worse of all pains, my heart aches as if it burns the rejection of all words come to me strong and the feeling of guilt and confusion take over me in great manner as I almost vomit to see my baby die in my arms. Yes it was my baby a puppy no older than 7 mos old who I loved as my own son and held him till the last minute and saw him felt him rest his body in my arms and his loving eyes looking at me and I asked my self why can you just get better? I felt his heart stop beating as mine agitated as I sobbed in tears an pain as I had to let him go and come home with out him. My throat is shut from pain my heart aches tremendously and I heard comments as it will be ok at least he is not suffering, and that I know but he was so happy and jumpy three days before and now he’s gone why? Why must he so innocent be gone and those around me who are ungrateful mean and care less be their just their?


Sam March 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm

I just recently lost my best friend on st. Patrick’s day. I had come home from a good day at school as my dad sits me down to tell me that our dog had been killed. I wished that he was joking. But he wasn’t. Our 7 year old cockapoo had been ran over by a ups truck. I quickly realized that the truck was delivering things I had bought online. If it weren’t for me my dog would still be alive. We had done everything with her, Lucy, went camping, boating, and brought her to our cabin. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. I never thought of her as a dog, in fact I sometimes forgot we weren’t even the same species but more she was a friend. The only friend who didn’t care about my imperfections and she didn’t care about mine. She always knew how I felt and cheered me up. But because of me she is dead. Every morning she would jump up and wake me up and then just set her little head on me. Now I wake up every morning and go down stairs to find her not sitting in her chair. Then I remember that she’s dead. And pretty soon all she will be is a pile of ashes. And that she died on the side of the road with no one to comfort her or say goodbye. I wish I could go back and save her. We recently went to Arizona for a week and being separated from her was painful. Now to think that I will be separated for an eternity? What did she do to deserve that? It should have been me! Why does God do that? If I can never see her again in heaven then there would only be hell.


Barry Barnes May 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

When asked, “Do dogs go to Heaven?”, Evangelist Billy Graham responded, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
I believe that this is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I feel very confident that all our animals will be restored when Jesus brings down the new Heaven and the new Earth. They are God’s pets too. He created all the animals and said, “It is good.”
You are very correct in stating that it is most important to make sure that we are there also to see them. The animal will be restored without having to believe or repent. But for us, it is important to be rightly related to God which is very simple… we just need to trust that Jesus came to fulfill the law that we are not capable of obeying completely and we will be accounted as righteous in God’s eyes just as it was for Abraham.


Carrie K May 26, 2016 at 4:11 am

Hello, My dear dog Josie had cancer and we put her down…I am a Christian and so broken hearted..Josie was an angel…I pray she is on the other side, waiting to greet me when it is my time to pass..Our Lord is all about love and my Josie was the most loving living creature I ever encountered. She showed me more love than most humans.


Yasmin May 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Of course your dog will be in Heaven. Everything and everyone is God made and dogs are more than spirit – they love unconditionally. This is true love and hallmark of the soul. This is a true Gift from God. Jesus loved us unconditionally as do the dogs we love as part of the family.


Katherine June 7, 2016 at 9:24 pm

My dog died yesterday


Linda July 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm

How can our pets, who show us so much love, not have a soul!


Gary Cole July 20, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Hello Mr Wellman
I lived in Derby for many years with my aunt Paula Snyder. Her brother Milton McDaniel lives incoming equipment/Acceptance needed Mulvane. I am searching online daily about pets going to heaven. They have this unbounding love for us. They greet us when we arrive home. They give all their heart and everlasting love to us. The day that I sent my Alley Cat away, he still had a little in him to show me that he loved me. His story is a very sad one. I would say all abandoned pets have a sad past. I was 64 when he left Had him for a little over two years. I know that God sent me to rescue him and give him love and comfort until the end. His loss hurt me more than losing family. Because I watched him recover from nearly dead at 1 1/2 pounds to 12 pounds. There is much to tell. I pray everyday for his presence in heaven. As you said, we have to wait until that time. You are an amazing person to devote your life to God and to helping others. I know that the next time that I am in your area, i will stop by on Sunday morning. God bless you my friend


Jack Wellman July 20, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Thank you Mr. Cole. We’re neighbors, sort of. My wife is an animal rescuer and I got the bug…we love it. She finds abandoned cats and gets them fixed, shots, and homes, but many call our place home. I appreciate your kind words sir. Wish you were still near Mulvane, KS. I’d love to visit with you sir. May God richly bless you.


The_Aweosme_Pie August 11, 2016 at 12:05 am

i’m really wondering if they do go to heaven cause my dogs about to die >:(


melissa September 1, 2016 at 2:25 am

I believe that God made pets so innocent so they could go to heaven, they know right from wrong in a childlike way. Animals are completely innocent and pure so they can’t sin like we do. They sin like children, and if a child dies before reaching the age of accountability and they go to heaven i believe animals are the same but they never reach the age of accountability. So therefore i firmly believe they do. Great article by the way!


lloyd September 3, 2016 at 8:55 am

I was thinking the same thing when I read her name.she doesn’t claim to be a Christian just a fortune teller.


Shai September 4, 2016 at 6:06 am

This happened to me today. Ive been so busy i wasnt able to take care of him. I have so manu regrets. I hope they can get to heaven and be healed and happy there.


Hannah September 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

I think you misunderstood what Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 is saying. It is explaining life without God. Without God the animals are our equals and we will end up in the same place. If God hadn’t died for us who knows where we’d end up. Later in the verse it states “Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”, but this is also NIV. In the New King James version it states, “Who knows the spirit of the sons of man, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down into the earth.” This simply stating that we wouldn’t know what would happen to us. If you don’t understand my point, I found a website that explains it MUCH better than I can.
Hopefully this clears some of this up! God bless!


Debbie October 2, 2016 at 4:10 am

I too have lost a few dogs even recently. It pains me that at one time I did not care for dogs or any animals. But by chance for my son’s sake, I accepted one then others followed. I feel very deeply in love with Gizmo and cried as if I lost a human loved one.. Why were these animals put on earth? Was it to give humans an open heart? I love and feel so deep for animals now and spend time playing the guitar every night to the dogs we have. The minute I start playing they start falling asleep. May God bless n keep all God’s creations safe . They bring comfort n love so much joy. This is from one who despised these innocent creatures am ashamed to say. May God forgive me. ..As many dogs I have lost my heart and painfully hurt. I will always have an open heart for God’s creation and give thanks for these blessings. The pain is worth the love they have given me.


Anke October 18, 2016 at 1:24 am

I am 37 and as I am still unmarried, I have not given birth to a child yet. However, I adopted a cat for myself and her cousin for my boyfriend, after he was in a very bad accident. His cat later had kittens, one of which I kept and he became my everything. My cats are my life. I used to go out partying all weekend, but now I would look forward to weekends with my babies, watching movies and playing in the garden. My big boy passed away this weekend. We have no idea why and I was too distraught to have his beautifully perfect body opened for an autopsy, so we will never know. He is only a year old this month. I came home and he was lying lifeless on the floor. So many things have gone through my head since I found him. But none of it will bring him back. We tried to resuscitate him and raced him to the vet but he was gone. No sign of injury or poisoning. Just his perfect body. I have never been so distraught. He was literally my child. We buried him under the mulberry trees where he liked to play. I haven’t slept with the worry that he is too young to know anyone where he has gone. I pray all day and all night that our Lord takes him in and looks after him for me, and I pray desperately that I will see him again someday when it is my time. Thank you for your verses you have quoted has definitely helped soothe my heartache. God Bless you and your wife and all you do for the animals aswel as humanity. I will be looking at starting up something, in honour of my Leo, for other cats who are less fortunate than he was. Kind regards and blessing, Anke – PE – South Africa


Andrew October 24, 2016 at 5:55 pm

I firmly believe all animal’s soul/spirit, (be it pets or wild animals).. go directly back to our father when they die. Just like us.

No more pain or suffering, nor sorrows.

They are held to a much different standard than we humans are.. So I believe they are in peace and rest with God for all eternity.


Amber November 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I lost my Yorkie about two weeks ago. She was such a huge part of my life and now it feels so empty. I don’t have kids yet, and she was like a child to me. I was blessed to have her for 11 years. She was the best friend I ever had. She loved me unconditionally and was so loyal. She was with me when I lost my fiance, my Grammy, and most recently, my younger brother. Now she is gone too and I feel like I’ve truly lost EVERYTHING. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly state if pets go to Heaven, I tell myself they do, as it makes losing her a little less painful believing she is with the Lord. I pray so much that my fiance and my Grammy are in Heaven with her too. I know my little brother is with the Lord.


B November 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

Sweet Friend,
I can feel your pain. I lost my dog yesterday. But as I sat down to read my Bible and looked on the web for some kind of comfort, I realized that our sweet unconditional loving pets are such an example of how Jesus loves us. I finding more comfort in worshipping God for creating my beloved Bernice. And for allowing her to be part of my life story. Seek your creator my friend and cry out to Him. Like your pet that was always there God who created you and them is waiting for you to look for Him. And in that seeking sometimes we need to just be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10). Acknowledge God. Let the creator of your sweet pet to transform your life. Ask Jesus into your heart. I can tell you that He has transformed my life and I’ve never known such peace until I trusted Jesus as my Savior. Thank you all who blogged. It helped me to grieve with so many others.


Marianne December 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

My very beloved and special cat Ashley died in my arms last night.
It was very sudden and unexpected. I’ve been involved in animal rescue for almost 20 years, and I’ve had many,many animals in my life. Somehow,though,there are those that make a lasting impact, and Ashley one.
I don’t understand why the Bible is so hard for us (well, ME at least) to figure out. What’s a parable and what’s to be taken literally?
When my grandson was 4 years old,he was very ill and in the hospital. The Dr.’s told us that they had done all they could,and we should be prepared to loose him. He DID eventually recover,and over the next few days,weeks,and even years, he would bring up certain “experiences” that he had at that time. I would share them all with you here (they were incredibly spine-tingling),but my reason for this post was just to share this one in particular: a couple of years ago,when his and his brothers’ ferret passed away, I called them to offer my condolences. I spoke to his older brother,who said Noah had said to him “It’s ok,when we get to Heaven,we will see them (our pets) there” Out of the mouth of babes. He has always spoken with such matter-of-factness regarding his experience,as if he were just reciting how his day in school had gone. The funny thing is,though,that if you try to question him,he will just clam up. But he will still casually mention something in passing, like “You know,we don’t have the same colors here that are in Heaven” My fear is that as he gets older,he will forget. But for now,I am somewhat comforted by the blessing that God has bestowed on him,our family and those that can believe the words of a child….


Timothy December 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Our beloved Clara is slipping away at this moment. I have been praying for the Lord to take her without vet intervention. I think one will come today or we will have to take her in. Her sister, Sophie, is the same age, as they turned 15 on 12/1/16. These cats are precious, but when Sophie is gone, my heart is done breaking this way. Without them having a soul, did not Adam and Evening have dominion over the animals? Does that have bearing?


Jack Wellman December 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I am sorry for your pain in losing Clara. I wished I could give you hope from the Bible but dominion over the animals doesn’t mean they have a soul. We just don’t know if they’ll be in heaven or not. We are cat rescuers and know your pain. One we lost was almost 18! It still hurts losing our precious “Red.”


clifton e. pigg December 19, 2016 at 5:50 pm

today I lost Chucky-he was 7 years old -his love was unconditional,and yes he had a soul-anyone whom has had a lap dog for a length of time knows this-I am positive he now is in heaven with my wife-whom passed 4 years ago-now he is gone it is extremely quite here(even though he made little noise)-miss my little buddy.


Ed Wilson December 27, 2016 at 12:32 am

Hi Clifton, Ed here. I’m sure you. Will be with your dog again. I lost my lab the day after you lost Chucky. They are waiting for us, I’m sure.


heinz green December 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

i lost bobo on xmas eve 2016 he was there for me when my wife passed he loved me uncondon he when every with me i miss him so much was my best friend i love bobo see you in heaven heinz


Mimi February 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

I find it hard to believe that all of my pets will be in heaven for they do not have a mortal soul. And…if all the billions and billions of dogs, cats, and other pets do go there wouldn’t it be so overcrowded that you couldn’t walk? So many more animals than people have roamed the earth. What is the answer?


Jack Wellman February 15, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Thank you Mimi. I see your point. The Bible doesn’t say what happens to pets after they die so in my conclusion, I say we just don’t know because if the Bible is silent on this, we must be too.


Pat Garlinghouse February 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm

My cat recently killed 2 hummingbirds. I feel absolutely horrible about this. Do you believe their little souls might be in heaven now? I surely hope so. I hope I can get over this pain.


Jack Wellman February 18, 2017 at 5:55 pm

That these hummingbirds go to heaven is unknown as the Bible is silent on whether animals have eternal souls. In time, we will know, but cats do what cats do (we own 3) and this is unfortunate, but the greatest question is, “Are you and your loved ones going there.” That’s the only way to find out this question. It sounds like you are a believer, Mrs. Garlinghouse, but we just don’t know the answer for sure.


Kim February 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

About 2 months ago my boyfriend brought his moms cat up here to live with us cause she passed and my cat was already here. We thought since they were sisters, they would remember each other and be kind. Well I guess since being apart for over 5 years, changed that. So we had to seperate them. I didn’t think it was fair for my cat to be mostly confined to the bedroom and I noticed how her meows changed and one night I went there to see her and I sat on the end of bed cause she was on the night table on my side and she licked me on the nose and I petted her back and a while later, I said I’ll be back soon and as soon as I got up to leave, out of the blue, she attacked me. I know exactly why she did that. It’s cause the entire apartment was her territory and the other cat was there and she got mad and couldn’t stand it anymore. I wish we never had to put her down on February 9th cause she was my baby girl and I miss her terribly and can’t stop crying. I just hope she’s thinking about me and can’t wait to see me again in heaven.


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