Do Dogs Go to Heaven? Learn The Truth

By Charalampos •  Updated: 04/01/23 •  6 min read

Have you ever thought about what might happen to your furry best friend when their life on Earth comes to an end? What about all the other dogs in the world, does God have a plan for them too?

These questions and more will be discussed in this blog post as we explore whether or not dogs go to Heaven.

The Soul of An Animal

According to the Bible, God created all living creatures, including dogs, and declared them “good” (Genesis 1:25).

In fact, throughout the Old Testament, dogs are often mentioned in a positive light. For example, in the book of Tobit, the archangel Raphael accompanies Tobias on his journey and is accompanied by a faithful dog who guides and protects them along the way (Tobit 6:1-8).

Overall a dog is much appreciated in Christianity, many Church Fathers spoke about a dog mentioning its brave and glorious qualities.

However, while the Bible tells us about the value of all living creatures, it also makes clear that humans are distinct from other creatures.

Humans are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) and are therefore called to a unique relationship with God. Only humans can pray to God and wisely control their actions.

This is why, according to Orthodoxy, humans have souls that are immortal and created in the likeness of God, while the nature of a soul of an animal remains a secret.

Do Dogs Have Eternal Life? 

Do Dogs Have Eternal Life

One Orthodox Christian opinion affirms that dogs, like all animals, don’t have souls that can have eternal life.

Basil the Great, referring to the book of Leviticus, writes: “Since, according to the Scriptures, the soul of every animal is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), and the condensed blood usually turns into flesh, and the decayed flesh decomposes into the earth, then, in all justice, the soul of cattle is something earthly.”

In the understanding of the saint, the soul of an animal animates the body, and although it can have some mind and “personality”, it can’t have eternal life in heaven.

Accordingly, if the soul is not immortal, then there is no question of the inheritance of paradise by animals at all.

Nobody among Church Fathers says that dogs don’t have value or that they are not beloved companions to people. Rather, it’s simply a recognition of the fundamental difference between humans and animals.

Also, the verse from Leviticus was applied to the ancient people, who practiced rituals related to blood. Most probably it was the easiest way to describe the soul of an animal.

The Soul of A Dog is Different Than A Human’s

There is also another opinion, which says that although the souls of a dog and a human are different, dogs can also be in heaven just like humans.

In the Bible, in the Book of Joel, there is a phrase: Even the beasts of the field cry also to you (Joel, 1:20).

Although this verse can be poetic and symbolic, it contradicts the previous opinion, since such an appeal is hardly possible if we consider a soul of an animal as just a body-animating principle. 

Some saints also wrote that animals can have immortal souls and that there is the possibility of inheriting eternal life for them.

In the interpretation of the passage 11:6-9 from the Book of Isaiah about the peaceful existence of predatory and herbivorous animals in the transformed world, the early Christian Hieromartyr Irenaeus writes:

“I know that some try to attribute this to wild people belonging to different peoples and different occupations, who will believe, and Having believed, they will come together with the righteous. But although even now this is true in relation to some people from different tribes who come to the same mind of faith, nevertheless, in the resurrection of the righteous, it will also come true with respect to those animals.”

The saint says that those verses aren’t only about people of different nations and occupations, but are also literally about animals.

Saint Simeon the New Theologian also shares the opinion that in the future there will be a renewal of the whole world, not only of the human population but also of animals. Unfortunately, because of two contradicting opinions, this question remains open.

Read Also: Do Cats Go to Heaven?

Orthodox Treatment of Dogs

Orthodox Treatment of Dogs

The Orthodox Church has a long tradition of honoring animals and recognizing their value. Many Orthodox Christians ask saint Modestos to protect their animals from illness and injuries.

The Orthodox Church recognizes that animals, including dogs, are part of God’s creation and therefore deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

This means treating animals humanely and avoiding unnecessary cruelty.

The Renewed World

According to Orthodox theology, at the end of time, God will renew the entire universe, including the physical bodies of humans and most probably animals.

This renewed creation will be free from suffering and death, and all creatures will live in perfect harmony with God and with one another.

the Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann writes, “The eschatological vision of Christianity includes not only the resurrection of the dead but also the transfiguration of the universe, the entire creation. This means that everything that has been created, all nature, will be transformed and will share in the glory of God.” Since animals are parts of nature, we can believe they will be also transformed.

Final Thoughts

We have found out that there are two points of view regarding whether the soul of a dog goes to heaven. One claims that the soul of a dog is not created for the afterlife, while the other says that after the end of the world, all animals will be resurrected.

We have also understood that dogs are considered very valuable animals in Christianity and that all animals should be treated with love and respect.

Even if dogs may not have souls that are capable of eternal life just like humans, they will still be part of this renewed creation, enjoying the fullness of life in God’s presence.

In this sense, dogs and all animals are a reflection of God’s goodness and creativity, and they serve as a reminder of the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
Basil the Great, interpretation of Leviticus 17:11
Interpretation of the passage 11:6-9, Hieromartyr Irenaeus


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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