Should We Love Our Pets Like We Love Our Neighbors?

There’s a lot to like about pets. The majority of them are cute, affectionate and cuddly, and all of them are just plain interesting to watch. Walk around a zoo sometime and see how excited children get over the most mundane activities of animals.

But even if we might like them a whole lot, should we love them? Should we love our pets like we love our neighbors?

Share your thoughts!

29 Responses to “Should We Love Our Pets Like We Love Our Neighbors?”

  • Nick says:

    I think we might flip it around – shouldn’t we love our neighbors like we love our pets? The problem isn’t that we love our pets too much, but that we don’t love people enough.

    • Pat says:


      I have to agree with you on that one! I used to work with a woman who cooked food for her dogs.

  • Andy says:

    I think that pets provide us a really tangible way to live out our attitude toward God’s creation. Since they’re not made in God’s image, I don’t know if “love” is quite the right word for it, but treating pets and animals with kindness is a way we show our appreciation for God’s creation, I think.

    Earlier this year, we had to put to sleep a cat that had been a part of my wife’s life for twice as long as I have. Anyone who’s been in a similar situation will tell you that if those emotions aren’t real love and grief, they’re something awfully close to it.

  • Yes of course we should love our pets like our neighbours but not to the extent that we replace people for them. Where I come from pets aren’t valued as much and that’s pitiful. I wish people would pay more attention to these beautiful creatures that God has bestowed in our care. Pets can contribute so much to our lives…

  • I believe pets can be a very important part of peoples lives. God gave us pets to enjoy and to take care of. I do not think we can love them as we do our neighbor. Pets can give unconditional love but I believe sometimes when people go overboard and love their pets that something is missing in their lives. This is definitely a better alternative than other means of comfort as drugs, alcohol, etc. but sometimes it can get carried away. I am a veterinarian and have spent 30 years of my life working with and keeping pets from suffering. They are a very improtant part of my life but love your neighbor first is much more important than the love we can give or receive from a pet.

  • Erin says:

    Of course not!! This is just silly. I was just having this conversation with someone. It’s typical in the world we live in today, when everyone’s priorities are so far from where God wants them to be, to treat animals as though they are human. Before we know it, it will be “legal” for people and animals to marry. Laugh now, but my grandparetns could have never dreamed of the insanity that is taking place in 2009, let alone 2029 or 2059. I am scared to even imagine. Also, ss difficult as it is to hear, little Benji will probably not be joining you in Heaven. He has no sole. No conscience, just instinct. So, NO, we should not love animals as we love our neighbors. I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible.

    • Sure animals don’t have a soul because that’s the essence of what makes us human. But are you forgetting something? Pets have a spirit. Just like their are unseen forces of this world and where do those live. right. that’s my view of course.

      • Tim A. says:

        To spunkyduckling: if you don’t mind elaborating on the “animal’s spirit” topic, by what verse of biblical scripture do you know for sure that animals are spirited creatures like us? I’m not ridiculing you, I’d just like to know.

        • Jack says:

          I came looking for an answer but as of yet i have not found one. If you’re just going to argue i’ll have to wonder myself… i love my animals but not to a human extent. They have souls but we will most likely not see them in heaven, they most likely go to a different place. I will miss them if this is true :(
          please reply with advice

          • Jacob says:

            actually sir, animals will not be anywhere near heaven, according to Ecclesiastes 3:21. So please, end this discussion, because people are eternal, and animals are not. We should not love them, but we are to treat them well, as they to are God’s creation. Proverbs 12:10.

    • Don says:

      I agree completely, I don’t even think animals should live in the house, thats just nasty!

  • Erin says:

    I love Nick’s comment!!! He’s so right!

  • It is good to love pets but not as much as one is to love neighbors or evean a streanger

  • Wendy says:

    Of course we should love our pets, aren’t they also one of God’s creatures? When you get a pet you are taking it’s very life into your hands and I believe just as taking care of our children is our responsibility and a gift from God, so is the pet we have brought into our lives. If we cannot or do not love the pets we bring home then we should not have them.

  • Wendy says:

    I hope Erin never has a pet.

  • we should love all of the lords creations as we love the lord for is he not the creator of all, an has he not given us dominon over his creation to use an care for as he does for us if we be made in his image should our love not extend to all he has created as his love extend to us

  • Sandra says:

    I think that God gave us animals for many reasons, but as far as pets go I believe that thru them we learn to love to have compassion and to care for something other then ourself. There are many that may not always show emotion to others but with their pet they are ver affectionate. They are learning to love (because somewhere in life they were deeply wounded and scared so they need to learn to trust again and they can do this thru a pet) I don’t think anything can take the place of human love but I do believe that a pet comes close. God showed us when he let the lion lay down with the lamb. This was to teach us that all things are possible and that we all need to get along with each other.

  • PT says:

    Does Erin really believe that humans and animals are going to marry? Do people actually believe this? In a world full of Erins, thank God for my puppy.

  • we should love our neighbors more
    than our pets but sometimes i love my
    dog to much i think. he is a chocolate lab
    so adorable and loving and this makes it even
    harder but i choose my neighbor over my pet because they are more important. god never said put animals before people. i still believe we can love our animals and should take good care of them.just dont put them first.

  • Nina says:

    I believe that when God created the earth and everything in it, He created it for us to enjoy. From the food we eat, the water we drink the warm sun, the moon and all the creatures, it is all created for us to enjoy,So there is nothing wrong with loving your pets,Lets us enjoy the wonderful works of the hands of the Lord

  • Becky says:

    I agree with spunkyduckling… I believe that because animals have a spirit, they will be with us in heaven. There is a great book titled, Animals in Heave? Catholics Want to Know!” written by Susi Pittman, that shows considerable biblical evidence that animals DO go to heaven… that Jesus came to redeem us and all of creation.

  • Brandy says:

    “You think cats and dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Kerry says:

    In Revelation 5:8-13 all creatures recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world and praise God right along with redeemed men.

    In Psalm Psalm 145:-9-10,13,15-21 God loves all His creation and has made plans for all His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom.

    Romans 8:19 says that the lesser creatures await Christ’s return to redeem the sons of God so they, too, will be released from physical death to eternal life.

    Romans 8:21-22 says “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”

    Of course we should love animals like we love our neighbors! We are all God’s creation, and by not appreciating and loving all of it, we are just spitting in his face.

  • LA says:

    It’s easy to love our pets…why? Because they are LOVELY….and loving. Anyone who disagrees has never felt the love of an animal. Therefore, I believe that animals do have spirit. And feeling. We are called to love. It’s easy to love those who love us. The test then is to be able to love the unlovely. That’s where sometimes it’s very difficult to love that neighbor who has wronged you. Or to love your parent who has hurt you. Or to love that unloving person at school or at work or at church even.

    We are called to love. I want our church to support the local animal shelter. A man at my church said we shouldnt worry about the animals being put down, that God would take care of them. I disagree. He gave us dominion to rule over them and I also believe to protect them and care for them. So that is how I came across this site. I was searching for scripture to back my beliefs.

  • Marcie says:

    Yes animals have spirits
    # Ecclesiastes 3:21
    Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
    Ecclesiastes 3:20-22 (in Context) Ecclesiastes 3 (Whole Chapter)

    How can you see a spirit unless you have a spirit also?
    Please read Numbers 22:21-32

    28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

    29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

    30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
    “No,” he said.

    31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

    32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

  • Deb says:

    I found this discussion interesting. I would like to tell you a story. I found myself with about 12 semi feral cats in the home I moved into. Not having the financial means to fix the all I was blessed with a couple batches of kittens a couple times a year. I have cared for these cats for about 7 years now. For every 12 kittens born only one would survive. Although I toyed with the idea that these babies would go to heaven, just in case I always said a prayer when I buried them. After years of buring dozens of kittens and crying with each one I got really mad one day as I covered another tiny kitten with dirt. For the first time in my life I found myself scolding God for bringing these kittens to me, and putting me in this sad place in life constantly. I have to say I was screaming and hollaring, and throwing the shovel all over the place while crying at the same time. I told him he needed to do something because I could not take the pain anymore. That night I woke in a drenching sweat after reliving the temper tantrum in my sleep, only this time a voice came from nowhere and told me that these kittens would be born to the world somewhere, but because they would not live that they needed to be born into a place to know love for their short time on earth and that is why they are born into my life. I woke up and my daughter was standing over me. She said she could not wake me up, and she thought I was going to have a heart attack in my sleep.
    Not a kitten dies hungry, or cold, or forgotten. I had held each one until they died, and buried each with a prayer and respect.
    This was the day I began to believe in God, as a real existing spirit. I believe that God answered my question as to why me, and helped me with a reason to go on. I now see each one as a gift from God no matter how long they are with me. I try to get to know them as individuals whether they bless me with a day, a week, or a month.
    So…if our pets do go to heaven as I now believe they do I will need a village to house all I have helped cross over and I can’t wait to see them again!

  • Sukey says:

    I find it harder to love those who do not love there pets.

  • Bignino says:

    I think pets are in heaven. When Christ comes back he isn’t coming back on a flying carpet.
    REVELATION 19:11

    and I think you all know about cherubim.

  • Rusty Rowel says:

    Yes, there will be animals in Heaven. God does not create life to only destroy it in a meaningless spec of His time. As a matter of fact, He created animals first, then man which proves to me that God loves animals too. I’d like to picture him with a chocolate lab throwin a stick and sayin, “Go get that dead bird,” as he teaches it to obey Him. Yes, animals are a very important part of our very existence.