I love my pets very much, and they seem to love me also. Do they have souls the same way we do? Sometimes I think they must, because they all have such expressive and affectionate personalities.
I’m glad your pets bring you happiness; I grew up on a farm, and animals have always been a part of my life. God not only created the animals, but He also gave some of them the ability to express affection and loyalty.
We have much in common with animals; we too have physical bodies, and we too think and can express emotion. But God also gave us something animals do not have: He gave us a soul or spirit. Unlike them, we can know God and make Him part of our lives. We also can discover how He wants us to live, and realize that we are accountable to Him for our actions. All of this is possible because God put something of Himself within us. The Bible says, “God created mankind in His own image” (Genesis 1:27).
The Bible has much to say about what we can learn from animals, and also how we should treat them. Just as sheep are dependent on their shepherd, Jesus said, so we are dependent on God. Treating animals cruelly or neglecting them is wrong, the Bible states, because we have a God-given responsibility to care for them. The Bible says, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
Be grateful to God for your pets. However, don’t love them more than you love other people—and especially God. The Bible says, “and this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another” (1 John 3:23).