Is it ok for my dogs to wear sacramentals?

Is it ok for my dogs to wear sacramentals? Sometimes I like to put crucifixes on my dogs or scapulars etc. I think it’s cute and it reminds me that they are Gods creatures and God loves them too. My dogs pray before every meal and before bed. I know it’s silly and playful but I am sincere in my actions even in fun.

I just want to make sure I’m not doing anything wrong, offensive or displeasing to God.

I’m pretty sure it isn’t okay. Pardon me if I’m wrong but this is what I’m initially thinking.

I think you’re assuming that dogs have souls like human beings, in any rate they don’t and I’m pretty sure animals wearing blessed sacramentals is very wrong. Especially if what you say is true about putting on scapulars, which people wear as a sign of consecrated devotion to whatever the scapular is (i.e. our Blessed Lady).

I don’t have the info to back up my statements though.

Pax
Jeffrey

They do have souls but you’re right they don’t have souls like we do, but I am open to opinions and or facts that’s why I asked : )

Thank you for your reply! : )

I’ve seen St. Francis “pet medals” made to be put on a dog’s collar, but other than that, I wouldn’t think sacramentals on a pet are appropriate, and certainly not a scapular.

We, who are fortunate enough to belong to Franciscan Parishes have our animals blessed every year.

I guess I don’t really understand what a scapular is. My father gave me one when I was a little girl.

Mmmmm yeah it does seem inappropriate. If you think about it, these were amazing gifts given to humanity for the sake of avoiding hell and growing in holiness. The guy who prayed for Mary to give him a great spiritual tool (the rosary) went through a lot to get it…

“Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.”

Think about it from his perspective… How would he react if he saw you putting a rosary on your dog…

You also may want to google the history of the sacramentals you put on your dog. I mean these are things that save people’s lives, not decorations. Although I understand you meant no harm by doing it.

Same.

I’d also recommend strongly against continuing to put sacramentals on your pets, it could (if done knowingly) be mortally sinful (as an act of sacrilege).

I wonder how your dogs pray before meals? God has given rational souls only to men (and women) not to dogs. Only those with rational souls can pray. So it would seem that dogs wouldn’t be able to pray. We are all, thanks to our baptism, called to be priests and as such to offer thanksgiving and worship on behalf of all creation to God. I think you’d be better off praying for your dogs rather than having them “pray.”

God bless.

Although I’m not sure this is exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said “Do not give what is holy to dogs” (Matthew 7:6), sacramentals are intended to be of spiritual benefit to people to dispose us to receive grace. They cannot really function that same way for animals.

There are blessings for pets, though (such that are traditionally done on the feast of St. Francis). I’m trying to visualize a dog wearing a scapular and I just cannot picture it (at least, not without giggling :o). I’m surprised the dog keeps it on! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the answers.

So is there anything official? I mean no disrespect so far it seems like opinions although highly reasonable opinions backed up with pretty good reasoning.
Just wondering if there is anything else?

For the poster inquiring about my dogs praying…obviously I’m the one praying for them lol I meant to imply these actions are done out of sincerity and not because I actually think dogs are praying or know what’s going on. I’m fully aware they are only conditioned to act out the motions of praying. I offer this all up as my prayers on their behalf.

To the poster who informed me that the sacramentals are not decorations but have meaning…again… obviously… hence my post : )

They don’t really keep them on except for my pit he will wear the crucifix all day if I let him.

They do it at non-Franciscan parishes too :slight_smile:

Also, I’m taking away from this that medallions and crucifix are ok so long as they aren’t blessed?

I’m confused why do they bless dogs and why do dogs have a patron saint?

I have to confess that my first reaction to your post was “This HAS TO BE a troll.”

Usually when we have instructions from the Church on anything it’s

[LIST]
*]about something that is normally done and how to do it, or
*]about something we should not be doing but which so many are doing that it has become a problem.
[/LIST]
Just because there is no document that says you can’t do somersaults in the sanctuary during Mass doesn’t mean you are free to do so. Somehow I don’t think the Church has ever envisioned people putting crosses and scapulars on their pets so has, up to now, not felt it necessary to put out a ‘do not do this’ document.

Personally, I think putting a scapular on a dog it is very disrespectful and could be seen as mocking the Catholic religion. It would be the first thing that comes to my mind if I saw someone’s pet so bedecked.

I had the same reaction to what I saw in the pet cemetery that illegally developed in a large green space in my town. I commented to my husband that based on the number of crosses on these graves that there was an inordinate number of Christian cats and dogs in the area. You want a grave marker for your pet, fine, but I find it distasteful to include religious symbols on the grave of an animal.

Nope’ not a “troll”, not sure why you would think that. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done that nor the last. I know many people wear rosaries as ornaments out of ignorance and or blatant lack of respect but not always necessarily both. Not everyone knows everything you do, it’s good practice to remember that. I’m also not mocking as I indicated in my original post. I just wanted input as I couldn’t find any readings concerning it and my priest told me something differently than most have said in this thread. So, I’m still not entirely clear because of the blessings that are done and blessed medals worn and what my priest said about it to me, but I will err on the side of caution. Thanks for all the replies! : )

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.