Where Do Dogs Go When They Die?
Published July 13, 2020
I remember it like it was almost yesterday. It was a Wednesday morning, quiet until it wasn’t. I was alarmed to hear screaming so early in the morning. Apparently, as my uncle was driving his car out of our garage, my beloved furball, Kim, ran outside.
As she ran onto the street in front of our house, another car unknowingly ran her over. I was devastated. Burying a dog’s limp body right before going to school isn’t something a 10-year-old kid should experience.
I never brought a handkerchief with me to school, not once. But that morning, I had to bring something to wipe away the tears that wouldn’t stop falling. And that was my first real experience with death.
But then it got me thinking about something. Where do dogs go when they die? Their bodies remain on earth and are buried or cremated to honor them. But what happens to a dog’s spirit when they leave this earth?
As a Christian myself, I would have said, “Oh, that’s simple; they go to heaven.”
Since nobody’s quite experienced death, we can only speculate what happens after it. And speculate, we shall do today.
The “afterlife” or “life after death” is present in many different religions and beliefs. In Christianity, the afterlife comes in the form of heaven and hell. If one accepts Christ as their savior, they go to heaven. Otherwise, they go to hell. Putting it that way, shouldn’t dogs be unable to enter into heaven?
It’s ambiguous at best. However, Isaiah 65:25 explains what to expect in New Heaven, and mentions how animals will be at peace with one another. This verse doesn’t explicitly include dogs, but we can assume it does. So that’s it for the Christian explanation.
There’s this poem entitled “The Rainbow Bridge.” It’s a beautiful one that describes this magical land where all pets are made whole again. It is one where they know no pain and suffering but only joy and fulfillment. While we can’t be 100% sure that such a place does exist, it’s comforting to think our fur pals are in paradise.
In Buddhism, animals and humans are heavily linked. There’s a possibility of a human reincarnating as an animal and vice versa. So, in their philosophy, animals are just as capable of “enlightenment,” which is the ultimate goal for Buddhists.
Others like to refer to spiritual energy. When a pet dies, they say that they turn into spiritual energy, free of sickness and fear. Often, when pets know their time is coming, you will notice a change in their behavior. This is said to be a way for them to prepare for the next phase of their life cycle.
In this spirit form, pets still like to make contact with pet owners. So, you might be able to feel or sense your pet in certain situations. In some cases, pets are said to reincarnate themselves into other pets. This is especially evident when new pets show similar traits to the ones that have passed.
Believing in the afterlife is a way many humans cope with losing a loved one. Whatever you choose to believe in, I hope you find solace in knowing your dog’s in a better place. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you loved your paw pal immensely while they lived. And I can assure you, they loved you just as much, if not more.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.