Pet afterlife

Where Do Pets Go When They Die?

Imagine Seeing Your Dead Pet Happily Sitting Next to You!

Approximate reading time 5 minutes

Table of Contents

 You’re Devastated Over the Loss of Your Pet

Where do pets go when they die answers the question of whether a pet moves on to another place just like human souls do.

When a beloved pet dies, grief can be profound and emotional. It may be as challenging to move through, as with any human loved one that has passed. Moreover, we’ve lost our companion, our friend, and precious family member. At a time like this, adult pet owners, and children, may wonder, “What happens to my pet when it dies? Do they go to some kind of a pet heaven?” pets-in-the-afterlife

Can Pets Have Some Kind of Afterlife?

Just as Humans, Pets Move On to Another Place

I can assure you that pets do indeed move on to a particular place on the *astral plane. Animals that reside there, including every pet we’ve ever had, cats, dogs, birds, and even horses, stay connected to us with the same unwavering loyalty and unconditional love that they gave us during their time on earth.

When we humans transcend to the ‘Other Side’, our deceased loved ones are there to greet us. This fact also holds true for our pets who are also excitedly waiting to welcome us ‘Home.’

The Trauma of Putting a Pet Down

It’s devastating when we have to put our pet down due to old age or illness. Pet owners may feel a profound sense of guilt, and wonder if their pet in spirit resents them because of this. Be assured, the pet ‘understands’ on a spiritual level why this had to happen. They will not hold a grudge against former owners, and in fact, they are thankful towards us for having eased their pain and suffering.

Ms. Meyer’s Dog

Ms. Meyer’s beloved dog, died in January 2006, But she believes her dog’s spirit continues to visit her. So much loved was her dog, that she keeps the cremains in an urn by the door.

Ms. Myers shared,”Every now and then I hear her coming up the steps. I can sense her, feel her. She was the most special, special dog.”

How Deceased Pets Let Us Know They’re Near

Many pet owners report seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, or the presence of their much loved pet after its death. It can be an apparition of Princess lying on her favorite rug or the faint clicking of Bolt’s paws trotting down the hall. Other times, it’s the distinctive odor of Ellie’s fur. And, it’s not surprising when more than one family member mentions noticing their pet.

Pet owners have claimed seeing a fleeting glimpse of their departed pet. Additionally, they’ve reported smelling their pet’s scent. And, they’ve felt them as well. 

In some instances, the pet owner experiences a rubbing sensations against a leg just as the animal did in life. Furthermore, many reports include hearing a familiar meow or a particular bark. When this happens, there can be a feeling of wonderment and emotional upliftment with the realization that their pet is still alive somewhere!

People often dismiss the signs of visits from pets as imagination, a trick of the eye or wishful thinking, yet when we acknowledge that visits from our deceased pets are real, we can receive greater comfort from their loss.

What Science Says about Where Pets Go

Dr. Mark D. Miller, an associate professor of psychiatry at UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, says his profession generally views reports of pet spirit encounters as grief-related hallucinations. Furthermore, it’s on an unconscious level. 

We think it’s a phenomenon where the critical thinking part of the brain is suspended because pet owners want to believe so much that their beloved pet is coming back, and maybe they aren’t actually dead.

To add to this, Miller feels that they’re not accepting the pet’s death. Also, they’re not accepting the reality of it because it’s too painful. Hanging onto the pain is, in a way, hanging onto the pet,” Miller says.

Joe Hirsch, chairman of the Hearts and Paws Ministry at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, says he believes animals have souls but doesn’t put much stock into the paranormal. In his view, pet spirits’ sightings are explainable due to grief and a kind of memory association.

What Happens to Pets: Religious Points of View

The Rev. Rapczak, a Lutheran minister, regarding an afterlife for pets, says a lot depends on whether an individual accepts their religion’s official teachings. She continues with, “To her knowledge, no primary Western faiths officially teach the survival of animals after death. “They teach that when animals die, they die. However, Eastern faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism have a much different view. They believe that animals fit into the great wheel of **Reincarnation.”

Spirit Over Mind

Author of “Pet Ghosts: Animal Encounters from Beyond the Grave,” Joshua P. Warren, says people worldwide report animal apparitions all the time. He calls them “phantimals” — a mix of the terms phantoms and animals.

“Pet spirits do exist and often visit their owners,” says Dr. Janice Dreshman, a registered psychic- medium in Lily Dale, N.Y. “In my experience, those pet owners are being able to witness a piece of Spirit.” She goes on to define Spirit as the purest light from God, or The Divine that is a part of every person and animal.


In the North Hills of Finleyville, Washington County, PA, the Peace of Mind Paranormal Society captured audio evidence of a suspected ghost cat. Don Wagner, Tech Manager stated, “The client told us that something would shake her mattress each morning, jump on her chest and purr loudly in her face, waking her up. Interestingly, her pet cat died long ago. No other cat being present, the team  unmistakably heard purring while sitting in her kitchen.

A Friend’s Pet

The first time I was aware a pet’s soul existed was when I visited a friend that I hadn’t seen for some months. Upon entering the house, I suddenly thought that her dog, a large black Labrador, Ben, was unusually quiet. Whenever I’d been there before, he bounded down the hallway barking, before being hustled off to the kitchen by my friend.
“On this particular day, I was looking through the open doorway into the hall, where I saw Ben padding past. ‘Oh, he’s fine,’ I thought, and carried on chatting to my friend. Some time later though, she said: ‘Of course, you didn’t know that Ben has died.’ I kept it to myself that I’d just seen him.”
“Years later and some weeks after she’d had to be put to sleep, I was not surprised when I tripped over the reclining body of my much-loved Labrador, Sally, in her customary place between the kitchen and living room doorway. “

Deceased Pets Might Appear in Dreams

When a beloved pet dies, they may visit us in a dream. Are these dreams a real visitation or merely a sign of grief? Yes and no. While it’s true that we may dream of a deceased pet due to sadness, a pet may very well appear as themselves in a dream to console us. They want us to know they are happy in their spirit world.

Not Sure if You Really Did See Your Deceased Pet?

Learn to distinguish your own thoughts from those emanating elsewhere. “Pets will whisper things that only the owner can know.” The person may feel that it’s their own emotions coming up to surface yet, it was most likely placed there by their pet’s spirit.

In conclusion:

Sadly, seeing, hearing, or feeling a deceased pet doesn’t happen for everyone. Although many pet owners might not have the experience of consciously detecting a departed pet’s presence, on a much deeper level, owners will often intuitively know when their dead pet is near. They don’t know how to explain it, but the knowing is as real as any physical sighting.

As mentioned, the death of a pet can be devastating as some of you have experienced. However, knowing that your pet is alive and well on another plane of existence may help to alleviate some of the grief and sadness felt at the passing of your pet. Be assured they will be there to greet you when it’s your time to pass to the “other side.”

You may also like: Moving through Grief from the loss of a pet.

*Astral Plane: The dimension closest to the earth where human spirits, spirit guides, and animals reside. This dimension is considered as Heaven to some.
**Reincarnation: A person or animal in whom a particular soul is believed to have been reborn.


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Author, Carol Nicholson, Ph.D.
Author, Carol Nicholson, Ph.D.

Carol Nicholson is thirty-five years a professional Psychic Medium and author of numerous Psychic and Spiritual courses since 2001. Subscribe for more posts like this, get a FREE Psychic-Medium Starter eGuide, and notification of fantastic coupon deals.


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