As pet owners, we are always conscious of the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our furry friends.
Many of us fall into the curiosity about this immaterial part of our pet that may live on even after their death and end up questioning, ‘does my dog have a soul?’.
To fairly answer this question, we delved into physical, psychological, and spiritual perspectives along with theological interpretations.
Do dogs have souls?
The Limbic system situated in the cerebral cortex of dogs has an appearance and functionality quite resembling that of humans.
The regulation of this system occurs in such a way that dogs can feel an array of emotions including fear, anxiety, joy, sadness, and euphoria.
Studies show that in average cases, dogs are as intelligent as a two-and-a-half-year-old child.
Dogs can comprehend emotional loss and can grieve as a consequence. Their grievances can sometimes lead to their death.
They can comprehend to some extent the sadness and anxiety of humans with whom they have bonded strongly. In such cases, dogs can provide emotional support.
Defense responses are triggered in dogs due to the amygdala present in the Limbic system. We have heard stories of dogs sacrificing themselves to save their master’s life.
Dogs are very in tune with human emotions. They exhibit similar responses as humans when introduced to emotionally reflective sounds, such as the sound of laughter and crying according to certain studies.
The advancement of biological and psychological sciences has aided us with the knowledge to understand our furry friends better.
As Natural Historian Jake Page expressed, biology has come a long way from underestimating the emotional and intellectual merit of our canine friends.
Any one of us who has closely observed dogs has possibly noticed how ethically competent they can be. They are studied to have fulfilled emotional lives.
In Ayurvedic spirituality, there are seven centers of spiritual power in the human body. In Sanskrit, these centers are called Chakras or wheels.
The third one of these Chakras is called Solar Plexis Chakra or Manipura Chakra. The color they identify with this Chakra is yellow. Yellow represents intelligence.
With the aid of Agni, an element of the Chakra, it works to balance the body and mind.
After creating a bond with humans, they radiate energy from a properly balanced Manipura Chakra.
Dogs accepting humans as they are, showing us socio-emotional validation, caring for us when we are sad or ill, are exemplary of this.
This is a bit tricky. Theological readings are based on multiple perspectives. But if we go by Abrahamic theology, animals have been set apart from humans and are considered as our inferior.
It is debated whether animals have an intangible and everlasting part to themselves. Even if they do, it is different from that of humans.
So, answering the question, ‘do dogs have souls?’, multiple perspectives indicate, ‘yes, they do’.
Do dogs have a soul and go to heaven?
For people who have pets, their furry friends become an integral part of their lives. Most of us end considering these animals as an important part of our families.
They say dogs are human’s best friends. These canine wonders bring immeasurable joy into our lives and make the bad days livable.
As such, it is natural for those who believe in spirituality and an afterlife to wish for their pet friends to end up at an auspicious place.
This is a topic, of which it is difficult to have a proper understanding. Hence why people who have lost their furry friend end up asking, ‘is my dog in heaven?’
What do theologists say?
In Abrahamic theology, if you go to heaven, God will provide you with everything you may need to enjoy ultimate happiness.
If one’s ultimate happiness depends on the presence of one’s dog, their dog will be there. This explanation is according to the words of Rev. Billy Graham.
The well-renowned reformationist, Martin Luther, believed dogs go to heaven.
Do dogs know the concept of death?
Loss leads humans to sadness, grief, and in some cases, depression. We mourn for the emotional loss caused by the death of a loved one or a pet. In these periods we need support and special care.
This often makes people question, ‘do dogs understand when someone dies?’.
Even though dogs cannot exactly comprehend the esoteric or objective indications that death has, they can sense that someone is missing. They understand that they have lost a companion.
How does a dog react to death?
Upon losing a human they have bonded with or another canine companion in the household, dogs will experience mourning and all the emotions associated with it.
We can observe them exhibiting behavioral changes as an impact of their sadness.
Sometimes, dogs can fall into depression as a reaction to loss.
Symptoms of depression in dogs
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Losing appetite
- Searching for a lost friend
- Excreting at improper places
What the Bible says about dogs
Dog-loving Christians have a curiosity associated with what the holy book of the Bible has to say about their furry companions.
Dogs are the descenders of wolves. As they were the only creatures who could bark, humans started using them as shepherds and for hunting from an early time.
When the Bible talks about dogs, it mentions them in the context of such activities (Job 30:1; Isaiah 56:11)
Dogs have been portrayed in both positive and negative lights in the bible.
Negative implication of dogs in the Bible
To describe some humans as evil and disgusting, they are compared to dogs (Philippians 3:2; Proverbs 26:11).
These notions expressed towards dogs may be due to dogs running wild, exerting predatory characteristics to survive during that period of time.
But there’s archaeological evidence of dogs being a pet in ancient Israel neighborhoods, but not until the Hellenistic and Persian periods. There’s an instance of this in the Bible (Matthew 15:27).
Do dogs have an afterlife?
Christian dog owners wish that the entity of their dog doesn’t end with death. They pray for their souls to rest at a better place after the event of their death.
It is hard to find a conclusive answer in the Bible. But in Matthew (19:26, NIV) we find the words, ‘‘….with God, all things are possible’’.
After the creation of new heaven and a new earth, there remains debate on whether animals will be redeemed as well.
It is implied in Genesis (1:26, NIV) that animals do not souls the same way as men do,
Restoration of creation in Christian theology
Prophet Isaiah described that animals will in fact be present in the new heaven and earth by the grace of God.
“The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.” (Isaiah 65: 25, NIV)
Thus, we can consider that dogs will have an afterlife too.
Dogs are precious and useful creations. They might be one of the most ethically sound creations, who have the capability of leaving a mark in our lives.
We hope and pray that when they do leave, whether it’s a pet dog or dogs in the wild, their souls are treated well.
We talk about more Dog Care tips
Personal Protection Dogs Guide, Small Batch Dog Food, Flying With a Large Dog, What is Loss of Appetite in Dogs?, What is lethargy in dogs, Will I See My Dog in Heaven?, Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue, How to Socialize an Aggressive Dog, OHIO DOG BITE LAW, How Much Chocolate Can Kill a Dog
I am Abu Zahid Zuhin. I am a professional blogger, content writer and SEO Expert. I am the founder of DogsCareBlog.com.