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The Spiritual Meaning of Dogs

Lady Saoirse
By Lady Saoirse
July 01, 2024
The Spiritual Meaning of Dogs
The Spiritual Meaning of Dogs

Dogs are perhaps the friendliest animals on the planet, and are great companions to many, but what is their deeper spiritual meaning? Find out why dogs are called “man’s best friend” and what dogs represent spiritually. Learn what it means when you dream about dogs and all about the dog spirit animal.

Seeing people with their dogs can bring a smile to your face. Dogs just seem to be smiling, always happy, and ready to make friends with anybody. It’s not surprising that these sweet creatures are called “man’s best friend”, but do they have deeper meaning than just this? Join Mysticsense to learn all about the spiritual symbolism of dogs. Find out just what dogs are and why they are called “man’s best friend”. Learn what they symbolize, what they mean in dreams, and what it means when dogs are your spirit animal.

What is a Dog?

From the tiny teacup chihuahua to the massive St. Bernard, all dogs are descended from the same ancestor, the Pleistocene wolf. Not only were dogs the first species domesticated by humans, but it is believed humans first domesticated dogs at least 15,000 years ago, maybe longer. Selective breeding over the centuries has dramatically changed the forms dogs take now, and their closest living relative is the gray wolf. The first burial with a dog was found over 14,000 years ago, and it was buried along with a man and woman. However, other evidence suggests dogs may have been domesticated up to 23,000 years ago in Siberia, and that dogs accompanied the first humans in the Americas. Some say dogs have been with humans for much longer.

The range of sizes dogs can be is amazing. The smallest dog recorded was a chihuahua named Pearl who weighed 1.22 pounds and the largest dog known to us was an Old English Mastiff named Zorba who weighed 343 pounds. Dog’s sense of smell is so powerful, they can detect 28 different medical disorders or diseases and their hearing is four times more powerful than ours. Depending on breed, a dog’s life expectancy can be up to 8-15 years, which most dog owners would agree- simply isn’t long enough. Females go into heat twice per year and unlike some species, dogs in the wild do not mate for life. A female dog can have over 30 puppies in her life. Read about love at first sight here: Is Love at First Sight Real? | Mysticsense

The Dog as Man’s Best Friend

The Dog as Man’s Best Friend

Since dogs have been helpers and companions to people for so many centuries, they have adapted well to us. They were domesticated before the rise of agriculture, and helped our ancestors with hunting. Besides helping today’s hunters catch game, dogs have important roles in the lives of people. They are service animals to the disabled, helping them perform tasks of daily living, and providing emotional support. Petting your dog lowers blood pressure, and their need for physical activity will keep their owners walking, which is good for weight control and cardiovascular health. Dogs also help foster social connections, and people with good social connections are 50% more likely to live longer than people who don’t have those. To read more about the benefits of having a dog, see here: Dogs are good for your health - Mayo Clinic Health System

We might not be qualified to be called dog’s best friends, though. Because of domestication, dogs have become dependent on human beings and today there are over 30 million homeless dogs in the United States alone. Almost half of all dogs will be rehomed for some reason or another and in 2023, over 359,000 dogs were euthanized in America alone. Both cats and dogs are 15 times more likely to die due to abuse than at an animal shelter, though. People with lower incomes will rehome due to inability to afford animal care, but higher earners are likely to rehome animals due to lifestyle or allergy issues. If you want to help dogs, reach out to a local animal shelter or donate to The Humane Society of the United States: Donate to help animals | The Humane Society of the United States

What Do Dogs Symbolize?

After over 15,000 years or more, dogs have come to symbolize a lot of things. They symbolize both loyalty and companionship. They symbolize happiness, and they also symbolize protection.

Loyalty

Dogs are known for being loyal. They are descended from wolves and are pack animals. In the wild, the pack ensures the survival of every member, and each member plays their part in contributing. They form emotional bonds to other animals and people and rely on affection for their emotional and mental wellbeing. Pet dogs rely on their people for proper care, and a bond of trust forms over time. They also respond well to good leadership in the form of training and the establishment of routines. Dogs are naturally empathetic to their loved ones, including humans, and will seek help if the one they love is hurt or in distress. Read about unconditional love here: Unconditional Love Meaning | Mysticsense

Happiness

Happiness

Dogs get very excited when their human comes home after a long day of work. They also get really excited when it is time for ‘walkie walkies” and treat time. They leap, run, pant, and bark excitedly when certain things they like happen. They associate their humans with positive experiences, and when they see us, they know they are about to have a good time. They also make their people happy. The exhilaration of a walk on a beautiful day together and enjoying conversations with other dog owners on those walks makes both humans and dogs happy. If a dog isn’t acting happy, it is either sick or mistreated and if your dog is always happy, it means it is healthy and well cared for. Read about the road to happiness: The Path to Happiness | Mysticsense

Companionship

The pack tendencies make dogs the ultimate companions. They bond with their special people, even if they are nice to everybody. They are also taken more places by their people than other pets like cats, birds, or reptiles. Dogs are the ultimate playmates for kids and adults who are kids at heart. They love going anyplace you can take them- except maybe the vet! They are always ready for a walk or a ride, and they love to sleep in bed with you or cuddle on the couch. They will always stay by your side. Dogs might just be the ultimate companions. Read about soulmates here: What's a Soulmate & When Do We Know We Have One? | Mysticsense

Protection

Protection

When the author’s home was broken into, the police told her that a barking dog is the number one deterrent to home invasions. Indeed, many own a dog for protection. Larger breeds like rottweilers, doberman pinschers, and mastiffs are often kept as protection, but smaller dogs are fiercely protective of their people also and won’t hesitate to defend them against much larger animals or other people. They guard their territories as well as loved ones. They will chase away non-threatening things like birds, squirrels, and insects also. Consider allowing your dog to bark instead of training them not to. “Annoyed” people who complain about barking dogs can be taught to stay off your property, and when a dog barks, it attracts attention to criminal activity. Read about blocking negative energy here: Converting Negative Energy into Positive Energy | Mysticsense

Dreams about Dogs

As important as dogs are while we are awake, they are also messengers of important things while we are asleep. Dreams of dogs can symbolize any of the things they represent in real life. Details in your dream will give more clues about what the dogs are telling you in dreams.

Dreams About Puppies

Puppies represent kindness, innocence, new beginnings, and playfulness. If you are worried about a fight with someone you know, and you dream about puppies, the dream is telling you to go out of your way to be kind, and it will make the conflict stop. If you are starting a new part of your journey, and you are worried about what will happen, a dream about puppies tells you to enjoy the journey and enjoy the new experience. If you are working hard and under a lot of stress, dreaming about puppies tells you to take time out to enjoy life instead of doing nothing but work. Read about the meaning of pregnancy in dreams here: Pregnancy Dreams and What They Mean | Mysticsense

Dream about a Black Dog

Black dogs represent warnings and act as guardians. Culturally, some people equate black things with evil and white things with good, but a color won’t make anything inherently good or evil. In some tales from antiquity, dogs of various colors and sizes guard the gates of the underworld or guide the spirits of the dead there. While some may fear this today, in times past, the underworld was not necessarily seen as a bad place, but a place where the dead were protected and could rest. A dream about a black dog howling warns you people are speaking against you and you should protect your reputation. Read about the difference between good and evil here: What’s the Difference Between Good and Evil? | Mysticsense

Dream About a White Dog

Dreams about white dogs represent friendship and protection. A dream about walking with a happy white dog means a guardian spirit is nearby and will protect you from all dangers. A dream about being accompanied by a white dog into a stressful situation means you can handle any negative experiences gracefully because your own personal soul has the power to overcome. If you are feeling lonesome, dreams about a white dog alert you that friendship and companionship is on the way. Read about being friends with your ex here: Ex-Relationships: Signs of Attention-Seeking Ex. | Mysticsense

Dog Dying Dream

Dreams about a dog dying symbolize loss of friendship or loyalty. If you have recently lost an important relationship, this dream reveals what a loss you feel this has caused. If no such falling out has occurred, this dream puts you on notice it could happen very soon. If the falling out has happened already, this dream reminds you about unresolved feelings about it. You can always reach out to the person and try to reconcile or at least tell them you love them and are sorry you broke things off. Read about contacting the dead here: Contacting Dead Loved Ones | Mysticsense

Dream About a Dog Biting You

Dreams of being bitten by a dog symbolize fears or worries about being vulnerable. A vicious dog attack in a dream symbolizes you are worried about being a victim. If you are unable to defend yourself from this attack in your dream, it means that someone much more powerful than you is striking out against you. Remember, though, specialized dog trainers know how to avert dog attacks, and some can train attacking dogs to be gentle. With the right approach, you can avoid or deter attacks from people. Read about dreams of snakes here: The Meaning of Snakes in Dreams | Mysticsense

Dreams About Your Deceased Dog

When you dream about a dog you had who has passed away, chances are, the dog is visiting you in your dreams. Pay attention to the things that happen in the dream, and what your dog is trying to say. Maybe they are visiting in a dream because they miss you and they want you to know they love you. Maybe they have important messages they are delivering. It is also possible your dog is not visiting when you dream of it. It could be your heart and mind reminding you of how much you miss your dog. Some people believe all the pets we love who pass on before us will be waiting for us at a place called the Rainbow Bridge, so we won’t be separated from them forever. Find out how to communicate with deceased pets here: Ghosts of Animals; Can Animals See Ghosts? | Mysticsense

The Dog Spirit Animal

Maybe every pet dog is a spirit animal. At least they seem to think so, don’t they? When the dog is your spirit animal, they teach you all their gifts. Dogs are gifted with excellent smell, sight, and hearing, and they teach us to use all our senses to pay attention to what is going on around us. They teach us to fiercely protect those we love. They teach us undying loyalty, and they teach us to be happy when the people we love come to see us. They teach us to take joy in the small things in life like good food or a nice day, and to follow our instincts. You can adopt a dog to be closer with your dog spirit animal. Read more about Spirit Animals here: What Spirit Animal Am I? | Spirit Animal Quiz | Mysticsense

Dogs are a big part of our lives, have been for at least 15,000 years, and probably a lot longer. Your pet dog may be your helper, your companion, or your best friend, but dogs are an unforgettable part of our lives. They represent loyalty, happiness, companionship, and protection. They want nothing more than to be a part of the lives of the people they love…except maybe belly rubs and treats! Perhaps our ancestors domesticated them as work animals, and they still do important jobs today. They help disabled people live independently, they help police and doctors sniff out crime and disease, but most importantly, they help us with their love and companionship. People say we don’t deserve dogs, and maybe we don’t, but dogs love us anyway. Lucky us!

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