Do Dogs go to Heaven?

Do you believe dogs go to heaven?

After writing a post about the recent passing of my Bernese Mountain Dog, Nicki, I asked that question on my Facebook page and got a ton of responses. Here’s just a few of them:

  • Of course! God created animals as a key part of Paradise before the fall. And He declared them "good!" Why wouldn't His perfect world include them???
  • Yes! Dogs are gifts from God and they will be there to greet us in Heaven.
  • I no longer believe in Heaven in the Christian 'great never-neverland in the sky' sense but I believe that most dogs are less alienated from Spirit than most humans. It's not our love and grief that preserves them for eternity, it's their adoption of us that brings us closer to the whole of Being and reminds us how to be creatures. They are a bridge from the domestic to Wildness and Presence that so many of us have all but lost.
  • Don't see why they wouldn't. God created them and Heaven wouldn't be much fun without animals!
  • The pope says they do..... Just saying.....

Out of scores of responses, only a couple weighed in that they didn’t believe dogs are in heaven because there’s no direct Scriptural evidence.


 Here’s one blog post written about it who states:

“In the Creation story in Genesis, a very important distinction is made between animals and human beings. Human beings were created not only out of the same material that the animal world was created, but also with the “breath of God,” “in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1-2). What precisely is the difference? (Orthodox Christian Network/Do Pets go to Heaven)

We could say that animals do have a soul, in the sense of a life force and the basics of perception, response, the ability to learn, instinct, and so forth. What they don’t have is the “image of God” in them.

Why Do I Ask?

You may be wondering why I am asking the question. Here’s the thing:

I’ve never believed animals go to heaven because they don’t have a will.

People are called the highest creation because we were given the ability to choose God, as far as I know, no other aspect of creation can “choose” with their will for God.


Don’t get me wrong--I do believe animals are in heaven as they are God’s precious creation, I just didn’t believe “our dogs” are in heaven.

But, since Nicki’s died, I’ve been wrestling with the question because every time I think about her, I instantly see her next to Jesus, with her tail straight up in joy! That could be pushed off to say I miss her and this is my mind (or my loving Father) bringing up a comforting picture for me.

The only thing is, it doesn’t stop there.

I was on a hike with my daughter, Heather and her husband, Luke after Christmas and I could physically feel Nicki’s presence with me. She used to do this thing when she was really happy about something….she would bump into my leg, as if she was hugging me and saying, “Thanks for the walk!”

I experienced it over and over on this hike...each time it was a jolt of surprise to my body. It felt like the two realms of heaven and earth were converging….like I was experiencing both at the same time.

The hike is not the only reason I am changing my mind about dogs going to heaven.

Nicki’s Angel Alerts

Nicki was my teacher when it came to the supernatural realm.

Those of you who have been to a Reclaim Ministries retreat or an event where the heavenly realm is activated saw Nicki in action.

My gentle giant, who took her rest very seriously, would run into the room, look wildly around, and begin to bark. She would go to the person receiving ministry and take her snoot under their elbow and lift it up. She would then bounce back, looking all around behind the person, and run to the door to go outside.

Our Reclaim Identity Retreat team started to call her “Angel Alert.”

Even the week before she died, as I prayed in our Great Room and Nicki slept in her bed in our bedroom (quite a distance away) when the heavenlies were activated, she came running around the corner and down the stairs to alert me!

How did she know?


Some people thought it was the sound of my voice which caused her reaction. But, many times I wasn’t even praying out loud, or it was another person causing the “heavenly movement."

Others thought it was something we did (on earth) which caused her reaction….but how would she know if she was in a completely different room and no noise was being made?

I choose to believe what was obvious to me.

Glimpses into the Heavenly Realm

Nicki had an inside glimpse into the heavenly realm and she lived her life ready to help other people believe it too!

One woman who came to the retreat told me she’d always longed to see and experience angels. We were having lunch when she told me her angel dream. I realized she was coming for her one on one session with me right after we ate. I made sure Nicki was in the room for the woman's appointment.

At one point in the prayer time, Nicki woke up out of a dead sleep and did her thing: she ran over to the woman, stuck her snoot under the woman's elbow and moved it up and down a couple of times.  Then Nicki jumped back barking loudly, quickly scanned the room, and ran to the door for her quick escape!

It was one of Nicki’s last gifts to the Reclaim Identity Retreat.

That retreat participant will never be the same!

I guess Nicki being an “Angel Alert” shouldn’t surprise me as Jesus told us, “I only do what I see my father doing in heaven” (John 5:19).

I believe God is serious about showing us what he is doing in heaven.

The following day after my hike with Heather and Luke was New Year's Day. Each year, the Lord gives me a theme of where he wants to teach me and break through into new areas. When I got up to spend time with him to hear my eagerly awaited theme, all I could think about was my hike and experiencing Nicki.


Suddenly I knew.

It was the convergence of the two realms: the earthly realm and the heavenly realm. I had a sense of being at an eye doctor exam where the lenses are blurry, but then one becomes clear.

This is what I believe. We are in a season where the Lord wants to open the eyes of his Kingdom people so we can “see” what he is doing in heaven.   He is showing us this because he wants us to “do those things too!”

I’ve had a few other experiences of the two realms converging since my New Year’s Eve hike….and I am looking forward to more...for myself and for the Body of Christ.

What to you think?

I’d love to hear your response to two things:

  1. What do you believe about dogs going to heaven?
  2. How have you experienced the realms of heaven and earth converging?

One thing I know, we are in a time of great adventure and shift in our faith life.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)