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?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Rawls August 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm

There are many of our loved ones who will not be in Heaven. No thing or person will be in Heaven merely because we love them so dearly. So believe that is refute what we DO know the Bible says about salvation and replace it with our own version of salvation and Heaven. Whereas this self concocted version of the “WAY” might make us happy here on earth it is little more than a placebo. The fact is the Word of God tells us that there will be no sadness in Heaven so we will not mourn our parents, siblings, relatives, spouses, neighbors, etc who do not make it into Heaven because of their unbelief. I love my pets but I am not willing to write my own Bible so that it says what my flesh would like to believe here on earth.

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Peter November 5, 2017 at 5:35 am

The article gave you proof of animals in heaven. If you do not believe the word of God try reading what C.S. Lewis said about the topic. You cannot limit what God can do. Try reading There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan. You might learn something.

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Jack Wellman November 5, 2017 at 7:53 am

Hello Peter. I am not limiting God. Please give me a Bible verse that proves that pets go to heaven and I will “learn something,” but I haven’t found I yet. The book you speak of is full of speculation and unproven but thank you anyway for your comment. I do believe the Word of God and that’s why there is no proof one way or another, so please, when the Scriptures are silent on such subjects, so must we be, including you and Shanahan.

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peter gianoukas November 7, 2017 at 7:42 pm

You wont find the word Trinity or Rapture in Bible. That does not mean it is not true does it??? You gave more proof verses and Gods covenant with ALL Creatures which animals will be in the kingdom. The Bible does not have to say it in your words. it is implied through out the Bible. He is God and your not. Either am God does not breath life into his creation for a temporary length of time its for eternity.

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Jack Wellman November 7, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Hello Mr. Gianoukas. To imply that the Bible does not have to say it in words because it is implied throughout the Bible, is a slippery slope sir. Great theologians have long said, “If the Bible is silent, so must we be.” The Trinity is in the Bible, just not that word, and we don’t have to imply it because it speaks of the Three Persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (i.e. Matt 28:18-20, and many, many more) so it is true from Scripture. Pets going to heaven, not so much. God breathes life in His creation, yes, but does this also mean poison ivy will be in the kingdom and lives forever? I can agree to disagree with you sir. Thank you. I must be convinced by Scripture.

Ryder March 22, 2018 at 1:18 am

GOD is the most merciful. he loves his creation more than anyone.
he has justice.
so animals are going to be satisfied.
we will see all the animals
we eat, we kill, we pet,
every animals of the world will go to heaven or be satisfied.
and we will be happy with that

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Jack Wellman March 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Thank you Ryder. I hope you are right.

william t oates September 6, 2018 at 9:53 am

Three verses that show animals are resurrected.
Isa 40:5
Luk 3:6
Rev 20:5
Other than these verses, there are other scriptural themes of proof too. If you message a reply then I will send you more. Scriptural proofs are to be believed and it requires faith. Some see proofs and have no faith and still do not believe. These verses are a great launching pad of searching that lift your understanding and faith in HIS plan (which is YAHsome!!!!).

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Jack Wellman September 6, 2018 at 10:00 am

Hello Mr. Oates. Luke 3:6 is about salvation and not about resurrecting animals and Rev 20:5 is about the resurrection of the dead, but is specifically speaking about people and not animals and finally, and Isaiah 40:5 is about all people someday seeing the glory of God. Not one of these is about animals. The Bible is silent on pets being resurrected, so we must be silent on this subject too. Thank you for your comment.

Casey Peterson November 9, 2017 at 9:30 pm

Heaven is perfection. Our pets will be in heaven as sure as the sky is blue. There is no question. Do not worry about what others say.

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peter gianoukas November 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm

No sir, It does not mean poison ivy will be in the Kingdom of Heaven absurd. Since Poision Ivy was part of the curse with briars and thistles. On the other hand pets that are considered part of our family are not part of the curse since they were subject to death only because of mans sin. They were innocent and God has a very special place for animals for eternity. If you want proof text I will send you another email to the scriptures that validate how God loves all his life breathed creatures man and anmials. Again HE did not create them for a short time and then anialate them.

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Jack Wellman November 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Hello Mr. Gianoukas. You are welcome to post the Scriptures here for us all to see them. Then since plants are part of his “life breathed creatures,” since they are alive, are they eternal too? How far does this “life breathing” into His creation create eternal things? Thank you.

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debbie taylor darino December 11, 2017 at 11:40 pm

All I can say about our pets is from my own experience. When my two dogs died I was devasted and mourned terribly for them. I asked God one night to show me that they were okay and He gave me a dream. In the dream my dog was glowing and much younger and in our minds we talked. She told me how happy she was and everything was great. On two more occasions over the years I asked God what they were doing. Both times after asking, I had a dream and they were both running and playing in a field of grass.. I know I cant make myself dream these things and the only time I had those dreams were after I prayed and asked God to show me. He showed me in those dreams. I know they are in heaven with their creator…the psalms talk of God creating a place in His kingdom for them….He loves them too! I have not had dreams of them before or after asking him about them in prayer.

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Mr. Sunny Panama December 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

Thank you so much for the edification on animals going to heaven or not. From the verses one now knows that they will be in heaven, but may not be raptured. Also it will interest you that my son aged 7 and daughter aged 5 asked me just now. And as usual… I will tell them to go and google question I don’t know. But it interested me that I had to join in the search and found your write up on this. Thanks a lot for the light.

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J.C. Nicoletti December 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Jack… I am a bible-based Christian and believe Scripture to be the true, living word of God. It does say animals will be on the New Earth, and/but it does NOT say pets will. The joys of Heaven (the New Earth) are beyond our comprehension as sinners, we can only imagine what glorious, eternal life awaits us. I would like to believe that an all-loving, all-merciful and perfect God would let His wonderful creation of loving pets continue to give their unconditional love to us in Heaven… As It has been said before (here on earth) ‘the unconditional love of pets should be a helpful reminder of Christ’s unconditional love for us… I, for one, think the Lord has a most pleasant surprise waiting for us!

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Jack Wellman December 13, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Thank you J.C. In my conclusion, I just don’t know, and we will only know later, but yes, I think everything and everyone else will pale in comparison to the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ.

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Margaret Byrd January 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Christ said he would go and prepare a place for each of us in heaven! He knows first. I will love living eternally with God, Christ, Holy Spirit! But He knows that for me to be the happiest, I will want to again see every one of my animal friends I’ve ever known here on Earth! So, since the Trinity does everything perfect, that place He makes for me will have them in it!! Also, God sad, I look at killing a bull the same way as killing a man! So He loves them too and He breathed His spirit into them to! No so with plants! He just made them! They don’t have the same emotions as humans and animals! Thank you Lord for the comfort of knowing I will see them again one day, for eternity!! Amen!

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Mike E December 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm

So if all animals go to heaven, does that mean every monkey, lion, rat, snake, spider and flying cockroach will be there to? What’s the cutoff if there is one? Without a doubt, this is the most emotional topic to discuss in Sunday school class.

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Jack Wellman December 24, 2017 at 8:59 am

NO one has said that all animals go to heaven. My conclusion is we don’t know if our “pets” go to heaven. We just don’t know the answer about our pets and that’s what I have said. Thank you Mike.

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Lena Brister December 26, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Hi, thanks everyone for every comment. I have great trust in Father God to keep my beloved Bandit, he saved my life and gave his for me. Yes I believe God cares for all my house “as for me and my house we serve the Lord” Remember all is the Lords! God be with us all.

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Roy January 12, 2018 at 7:03 pm

I think we must keep in mind that the only way for a person to enter into heaven is with a spiritual body. If we do not remember those we love here on earth in heaven, and they did not make it into heaven, then it would also seem that ones’ pet ( s) would then be just like humans and have to be faithful to God so as they themselves be worthy to enter. Make sense? God Bless

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Miriam Madhav January 21, 2018 at 11:40 am

Thank you for your generosity of spirit in sharing this wonderful piece, Mr Wellman. My son & I look after 7 stray cats/kittens, though we’ve always loved dogs: and what a revelation they’ve turned out to be! This evening, Orange, spunky father of five, passed away: and he was only 2.5 years old. Poor soul! I recall reading that stray cats only have a lifespan of about 5 years: that must vary widely, I’m sure. The Lord loves us, and we are so undeserving: and I believe he loves animals too. And you’re right about babies, too, Mr Wellman: my first son died at 5 weeks (my second is now 26, praise God) during a particularly nightmarish time in my life. Then God gave me a dream in which I saw this little baby. Angels were holding his hands, one on either side, and gently flying past. And he was happy – and healed! I cannot tell you just how much that dream comforted me, and how vividly I recall it, 28 years on. Our God IS able! Many thanks again, Mr Wellman! Greetings to you from Chennai, India!

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Jack Wellman January 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Am overjoyed that this article could bring you some joy. I am convinced they are now with the Lord. No doubt in my mind. God bless you richly Mrs. Madhav.

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Jerry Branscum February 22, 2018 at 11:29 pm

I believe our pets will be in Heaven. God made them before he made human beings, so that should tell you how much he loves them.

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Heidi Joy March 18, 2018 at 1:14 am

I know The Lord God as among other descriptions, a compassionate, warm, generous, merciful, understanding God. He loves me way too much and He knows me too well to welcome me into Heaven without also allowing all of my beloved pets to be there with me because I asked Him to during my time on Earth. He said He will give me the desires of my heart, and it is the desire of my heart for my pets to be a part of my place in Heaven. God keeps His promises.

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Jake April 11, 2018 at 3:17 pm

I really don’t see why people need to argue over this, I think it’s common sense to think that if God wants you to be happy, he’ll allow you to have your animals in heaven with you 🙂

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Rose Price April 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Ecc. 3:21 answers the question. Sorry FiFi it was nice while it lasted.

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David August 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm

I just had to have my beloved Gracie put down 2 days ago. She was very sick and nothing could be done. My heart is horribly broken. I pray to God the Father that she will be in heaven with me. Jesus will be my peace and happiness but my Gracie will help to express it. Please, Lord… let my little dog greet me at the gates of heaven.

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tony November 1, 2018 at 9:53 am

david, dont be sad over gracie, you met her in this life, i believe you will meet her in the next.

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Jack Heiny, Jr. November 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

It Doesn’t Make Sense Of God Creation Which Includes Everything On Earth Would Perish And Would Not All Have Equality Process To Be Renewed In Heaven. After All Why Would God Be Partial To His Own Creation. To Be Secondary To Being The Love Of It All. Heaven Is A Superior Place. Why Did God Make The Steps This Way? To Experience The Woes And Wonders Of Earth And It’s Everyday Life? It Is Not Perfection Of Us Or Any Animal Or Plant Life To Be Dealt With On Earth. But It Is In Heaven. Why The Second Step? God Simply Is The Boss. And It Is A Wisdom And Heart Warming Experience For God’s Creation To Be Fully Developed In Heaven. The Gap Is Narrow. Earth To Heaven. But Earth Is A Stepping Stone. And Worth The While.

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