Sometimes people encounter dogs appearing before them to deliver spiritual messages of some kind. They may see angels manifesting in the form of a dog, images of a beloved pet who has died and now they believe is acting as a spirit guide to them, or images of dogs who symbolize something God wants to communicate to them (known as animal totems). Or, they may receive extraordinary inspiration from God simply through their ordinary interactions with the dogs in their lives.
If you're open to receiving spiritual messages through dogs, here's how God may use them to send messages to you:
Angels Appearing as Dogs
Angels are pure spirits who don't have physical bodies of their own, and they can choose to manifest physically in whatever form would be best for the missions that God gives them to fulfill on Earth. When it would be best for angels to appear in the physical form of dogs in order to deliver certain messages to people, they do so. So don't rule out the possibility of an angel visiting you as a dog; it could happen if God decides that's the best way for an angel to communicate with you about something.
Dogs as Departed Pets Who Are Now Spirit Guides
If you've had a particularly strong bond with a beloved dog who died, God may allow you to see an image of your former pet in a dream or vision so you'll pay close attention to a message that God wants to convey to you.
In her the book All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love, Sylvia Browne writes that "Our animals and pets that have passed over will follow us, visit us, and come around to protect us in dangerous situations."
Dogs as Symbolic Animal Totems
God may arrange for you to encounter either a live dog in the flesh or a see a spiritual image of a dog in order to communicate a symbolic message to you through that experience. When you experience dogs in this way, they're called animal totems.
In her book Mystical Dogs: Animals As Guides to Our Inner Life, Jean Houston says that dogs are "holy guides to the unseen worlds." She asks: "How often do you dream of animals, have visionary experiences that involve animals, follow pathways into inner space guided by animals? Animals stretch our boundaries, prompt us to ask great questions again of ourselves and of existence."
Browne writes in All Pets Go to Heaven that "Our personal totem animals ... silently protect us in ways that we may never be aware of."
Dogs as Inspiration in Your Everyday Life
Finally, God can speak to you powerfully every day that you interact with your own dog or other dogs you know, believers say.
Dogs offer people "an ordinary, extraordinary grace," writes Houston in Mystical Dogs. "Look in their eyes and you find beatitude; listen to the thumping of their tail when you come through the door and you know that you are well met in this curious universe of ours." “Dogs are the great companions of our lives. They teach us, love us, care for us even when we are uncaring, feed our souls, and always, always give us the benefit of the doubt. With natural grace, they give us insight into the nature of the good and often provide us with a mirror of our better nature, as well as a remembrance of once and future possibilities."
In their book Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love by Allen Anderson and Linda C. Anderson write that "dogs exhibit spiritual qualities in abundance. Dogs can be wise, compassionate, loyal, courageous, self-sacrificing, and altruistic. Most of all, they can give the purest, most unconditional love."
When dogs are serving as "messengers from Spirit," they can communicate many different kinds of important messages from God, they write: "Dogs bring to humans such messages as You are loved. You are not alone. You are protected and guided by a divine higher power. Dogs deliver messages such as When you are lonely, weary, overwhelmed by life’s burdens, I am here. People who are in pain often can’t hear the voice of God whispering comfort and hope. So God sends them a messenger with a furry face, wagging tail, licking tongue, and generous heart. Those who can accept the gift are taught that love is all around by one of life’s wisest teachers."