Can I bring my dog to church? Quite a few people may think that it is a weird question. Some of them believe that they are allowed to bring their dogs to church as a matter of course. Meanwhile, some others think that dogs are never welcomed to church.
In reality, whether you can bring your dog to church or not depends on the cultures and norms of different countries. In some cases, it is also related to Church policies.
Facts about dogs in church
On January 10, 2016, an event occurs that Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, a church in Calgary attracted more than 200 people together with their pets that were leashed to attend Blessing of the Animals (BOA). The ceremonial started to be held 20 years ago. Since then, it has become more and more popular, especially when the lady named Heather Trainor initiated this ceremonial after the death of her dog. Blessing of the Animals is aimed at conferring blessings on alive animals and reminding of dead ones. On that day, attenders stood beside their pets, singing a hymn. Blessing of the Animals are usually celebrated within the first week of October. The reason is that the feast of Francis of Assisi takes place on October 4 every year.
As far as I’m concerned, in some countries like Canada, Peru and France, many people take their dogs to the church on special occasions, for example, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals and the natural environment. On Saint Francis’ day, this event involves the presence of a lot of dog owners who bring their dogs to church to receive blessings. In New York City, the worship service is held at church every week. Therefore, many people here usually take their dogs to the church, especially those who live alone so that they consider their puppies to be family members or friends.
In some other places such as Underwood Hills Presbyterian Church in Omaho, Nebraska and Pilgrim Congregational Church in the Boston suburb of Weymouth, dog services occur once a week. Accordingly, owners and their dogs take part in these events. Moreover, at Pilgrim Congregational Church, bringing dogs to church is regarded as taking children to church. However, these churches give some rules that dogs must adhere to. As usual, when coming to church, all dogs must be accompanied by their owners and kept on a leash.
In Spain, pets are also taken to the church to get blessings on the day of Saint of Anthony of Padua. On this occasion, dogs, cats, rabbits and turtles accompanied by their owners have to join a queue to enter Church of Saint Anthony the Great, which is located in Madrid, the capital of Spain for blessings. Numerous Spanish people believe that their pets will have good health and long lifespan after receiving blessings.
Can I bring my dog to church?
Except for these special occasions, like other public buildings, the church is not regarded as an appropriate place that you can bring your dog to. In the United States, service dogs are allowed to go to the church and many other public areas while other service animals or pets are forbidden to come to these places. As usual, the places that do not welcome service dogs include pagodas, temples and sites for broadcasting.
As a matter of fact, even at the churches that dogs are involved in community activities, almost all services and activities take place outdoorss. A lot of people still want their dogs to go to church for a blessing. But they should be aware that people of all ages, genders and nationalities are welcomed to church. In that environment, what will you do if your dog suddenly barks while his owner (you) and other parishioners are praying to God? It is certain that you will feel confused and it also makes surrounding people uncomfortable. In addition, of the people attending church, some of them are allergic to pets or fearful of animals, so they find it terrible to stand near your dog. Moreover, if your puppy is an aggressive or fierce dog, it is advisable never to bring him to public places including church. For this reason, if you are the owner of an unfriendly dog, it’s best to leave him at home.
In general, not that you can bring your dog to church in all places. It depends upon church policies and rules as well as cultures of each nation. Therefore, you should carefully consider these issues if you intend to take your pet to church.