Many churches hold a special service called “The Blessing of the Animals” where people can bring all types of pets to church to receive a special blessing. Typically this service is held once a year, but a new trend is spreading across the country.
Some churches have gone a step further and now hold special weekly or monthly church services where people can bring their dogs to church to worship with them. This is not part of the regular service, but in addition to the weekly service.
The advantage to doing this is that many people view their dog as part of the family, and enjoy having them at church. Some people who would not otherwise go to church may find it appealing to attend with their dog.
Some dogs are stressed when left alone and this allows their owner to go to church without worrying about their dog who is home alone.
Of course, there is always the therapeutic aspect of having a dog in church for those people who need their dog for support. Not every dog is trained to be a therapy dog but many untrained dogs fill that role in a small way.
Owners who want to bring their dogs to church (where it is allowed) should be sure that their dog is in no way aggressive to other dogs or people of all ages. The dogs should be clean, well groomed and housebroken.
However, if your dog seems stressed about being in church, perhaps because of the music or other animals you should not bring them back and if the dog gets very upset you may have to leave.
The owner must be prepared to clean up immediately if the dog has an “accident” on church grounds.
Be sure to check all of the church’s rules about bringing a dog to a service and be willing to volunteer to help clean the church after the service if it is required.
Keep in mind that some of the regular members/attendees at the other services may be allergic to dogs which means that the church has to be cleaned thoroughly after the “dog’s allowed” service.
Some of the states that have churches that offer services with dogs are:
Maryland; Texas; Wisconsin; Kentucky; Nebraska; and California.