Did God create pets especially for us? Do pets go to heaven?
Product of Evolution?
I cannot believe that pets are just an accident of nature, or that the love they have for their owners is only a byproduct of naturalistic evolution. How can love evolve by a genetic process? Is love really just a random accident of a chemical or biological process? If that is so, then isn’t our own love for our family, our children and others just a random cosmic accident? Is love simply a lucky mix of genetic material? My own experience, and the experience of many others that I’ve spoken with, is that our pets were created by God  just for us, and they are placed in our life, intentionally by God, and the love that they give us is just what we need at the time; a love that is unconditional. When you get home from work or had a bad day at the office, they don’t care…they are just glad to see you. I have one cat that thinks he’s a dog (And, no, I haven’t told him differently), and when I get home, he runs out to the garage to meet me. His highest priority isn’t cat food, but the fact that “Daddy’s home.” He sits at my feet, licks my face, marks me as his territory with his paws, and seems utterly devoted to me. I don’t believe it’s just because I feed him. “Mom” does that too, so there’s more to it than just a meal ticket. He doesn’t draw near to me just because I cleaned out the litter box either. His love for me goes beyond his stomach. It is hard to describe, but the way he looks back at me with his eyes when I pet him, shows me there is more to it than we think. Lion (that’s his name) looks at me with the eyes of love and I am convinced it’s not an accident of nature.
We all know the health benefits of having a pet. Studies have shown that when we pet our cats or dogs, our blood pressure lowers, our resistance to fighting disease and illnesses goes up, and our satisfaction levels rise. The facts are, loving someone, even a pet, is good for us. From my own personal experience, I can feel the tension of the day evaporate when I rub this precious cat’s fur. His purring shows me his contentedness and complete trust. He knows me well enough to know, from his own experience, that I would never do anything to hurt him. Even though he’s the “alpha male” around the place, he’s about as loving as they get. He’s a Maine Coon cat, about 3 feet long, nose to tail, 16 inches tall, and weighs almost 18 pounds, but he’s a gentle giant, and I believe it’s because he’s been raised by gentle owners. It’s almost as if he’s “my boy,” and indeed, many who have pets consider them as family. There is such a special bond between pets and their owners that it’s as if they were their children, and for many who have an empty nest, live alone, or those who cannot have children, they are very much a part of the family. I believe one of the reasons God created pets (and there are many reasons!), is so that we might have companionship, and that we might see a sliver of God’s own unconditional love. After my wife takes the cats to the vet, when they return home and are released from the animal carrier, it doesn’t take them long to forgive. They get over it almost immediately. Oh, that we would be more like pets in the sense of showing unconditional love, not holding a grudge, and always being available for companionship. When we are feeling low and things are going wrong, our beloved pets still accept us, regardless of how bad our day went.
Pets in Heaven?
The Bible shows that there will be animals in the Kingdom of God, but does this mean that our beloved pets that die will be there? The more important question isn’t whether our pets go to heaven, but will we go there? The only way we’ll ever know if our pets go to heaven is if we get there too, but as far as pets going to heaven, I just don’t know. I would like to think so, but there is not enough evidence in the Bible to convince me either way, so I just have to say, I don’t know. If the Bible is silent on this, so must I be, but think of the possibilities….I’m in my mid 60’s now, but can you imagine seeing all the pets you’ve ever lost in heaven? Of course, our joy will be off the charts at seeing Jesus face to face for the very first time, but the greater does not exclude the lesser, and pets in heaven  would not be a surprise to me, but again, I just don’t know. I hope so…but there’s no way to prove this from Scripture. When Jesus comes again, He will be riding on a white horse in glory, and we also know that there will be animals in the kingdom of God. Isaiah the Prophet writes extensively about this, so we know there will be animals in the kingdom, but even the very nature of these animals will have changed…lions eating straw, snakes being harmless, and so on (Isaiah 11:6-8), as it says, “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:9a). Who are the “they” that Isaiah is writing about? I believe Isaiah is writing about animals and their very nature being changed, because in the kingdom of God, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat” (Isaiah 9:6). Today, if the lamb lies down with the wolf, it’s usually in the wolf’s stomach, and if a young goat (a “kid”) lies down with a leopard, the young goat would have been the “guest” at dinner, or more precisely, was dinner, but this all changes with the return of Jesus Christ and His ruling the kingdom. There will be no more panic when “The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den” (Isaiah 9:8), because in the kingdom, “They shall not hurt or destroy” (Isaiah 9:9a), ever again.
God created pets for our enjoyment and benefit, but I think it benefits them too because our pets are set pretty well. They are well fed, taken care of, and above all, they are loved, but they also give us love in ways that others do not. They love us when we are not very lovable. They love us when we might not even love ourselves, and for many, they love us when it seems no one else will. They make us healthier and happier, and I for one, am glad God created these precious pets of ours. Our life would not quite be the same without them, so for our beloved furry ones, big and small, “Thank you God.” You certainly knew what You were doing…but of course, you always do.
Something else you might enjoy reading: Will Heaven Be Similar to the Garden of Eden? 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.