Top 20 Most Frequently Asked Bible Questions:
Do Pets / Animals Go to Heaven?
Of course. Everyone knows all dogs go to Heaven!
Seriously, our pets are our best friends, and they bring great joy to our lives. That’s why so many people wonder if pets and animals go to heaven.
When one of our four-legged family members die, we want to believe we will see them again when we reach our heavenly home.
Another reason this is a common question is the Bible does not give us a direct answer.
By studying the Bible and having discussions about topics like this one, we can gain more clarity.
We Are Stewards of Creation
“The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel.”
– Proverbs 12:10
In the beginning, God created Heaven and Earth and all of Earth’s inhabitants.
God instructed Adam, “Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
This means in addition to naming all the animals in Eden, Adam was expected to rule over them.
However, as Relevant Magazine explains, “The rule over the animals given by God to humans (Genesis 1:28) is to be a picture of the Shepherd’s care for His sheep.”
As a result, it is easy to understand why humans have such a strong bond with their pets.
Animals Have the Breath of Life
We are told humans and animals have the breath of life. This means both are living beings, but animals aren’t human beings.
Randy Alcorn says, “Animals aren’t humans, but they have personalities and display love and affection, and God creates a great bond between us and them.”
However, unlike humans, animals are not made in God’s image.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:26-27
Animals are Not Capable of Spirituality
This is where it gets complicated.
According to Got Questions, “Being made in the image and likeness of God means that human beings are like God, capable of spirituality, with mind, emotion, and will, and they have a part of their being that continues after death.”
Our likeness of God gives us our souls and allows us a spiritual relationship with our Savior.
In contrast, animals are not capable of spirituality.
This is why some people believe pets do not go to heaven.
However, while there are people who don’t believe you will see your beloved pet in Heaven, there is reason to believe animals will be in Heaven.
Evidence of Animals in Heaven Found in Scripture
There are multiple times when Scriptures allude to animals in Heaven.
Randy Alcorn writes, “Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot pulled by horses (2 Kings 2:11). We’re told there are horses in heaven (Revelation 6:2-8; 19:11). In fact, there are lots of horses, enough for the vast armies of heaven to ride (Revelation 19:11; 2 Kings 6:17).”
Additionally, these two passages from the Book of Isaiah specifically refer to animals when God will create new heavens and a new earth.
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play upon the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or 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 11:6–9
“‘The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord.”
– Isaiah 65:25
Some people believe these passages are symbolic, but others believe they are a real indication there will be animals in heaven.
God Was, Is, and Is To Be a Creator
“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 1:25
God created animals when He created the world. We continue to enjoy these wonderful parts of His creation today.
Because animals existed in Eden before the fall of man and God deemed them good, it is reasonable to believe they will be part of the new earth.
John Piper says, “Did he create amazing diversity in the animal realm only to simplify everything by getting rid of that diversity in the age to come so that you have stunning, amazed worship at God’s diversity in creation in history, but you don’t have it in the age to come — that is all gone? I doubt that.”
Along these same lines, Randy Alcorn writes, “Animals aren’t nearly as valuable as people, but God is their maker and has touched many people’s lives through them. It would be simple for Him to recreate a pet in heaven. I see no reason to believe he wouldn’t if it would bring his children pleasure.”
While we are unable to definitively say whether our pets will be in Heaven, we do know our God is good, loving, and capable.
Those who will spend eternity with Him can trust Heaven will be exactly as it should be.