Can Pets Go to Heaven?

From Issue: Discovery 8/1/2004

Dear Tasha,

Thanks for your question. The fact is, animals are different from people. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). That means (at least partly) that God made people with the ability to choose between right and wrong. He also gave Adam and Eve (and every human since then) souls that will live forever (read Ecclesiastes 12:7). The souls of the righteous will live forever with God in heaven (Matthew 25:46). Since animals neither have souls, nor the ability to choose to obey God, they will not go to heaven,just like plants or bugs that don’t have souls.

That being said, just because animals will not go to heaven does not mean that God does not care for animals. In Matthew 6:25-26 Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Also, in Matthew 10:29, Jesus said that God notices even when a sparrow dies. God cares for all of His creation.

It is sad when an animal dies, especially when it is a pet. God does care, however. And He’ll care for you even more by bringing you to heaven to live with Him forever if you obey His will.


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