5 Spiritual Lessons You Can Learn From Your Dog

5 Spiritual lessons you can learn from your dog

By Tim van der Vliet

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Did you ever realize that God spelled backwards is Dog? A dog, and most other pets as well, retain that godliness that many human beings are born with but often lose over time. Dogs are natural spiritual teachers. My neighbor’s dog, Sammy, has been a great inspiration for me. There are many spiritual lessons to be learned from animals. Here are just 5 of them…

Spiritual Lessons You Can Learn From Dogs

1. Tender Touch is Good for Your Health

We can learn from caressing our pets that physical touch is natural for us. We are naturally drawn to pet our pets. Even research shows that hugging is extremely good for your health. It instantly boosts oxytocin and serotonin levels. It is effective at healing sickness, disease and stress, lowering blood pressure; it reduces stress and anxiety, and can even improve your memory.

That tender touch makes you forget whatever you were thinking about and it elevates your mood and creates instant happiness. Pet your dog or cat or whatever pet you have. And if you don’t have one, try hugging your friends, your children or your partner a little bit more!

2. There is Only Now

How does a dog approach time? Well they don’t, at all. A dog is faithful, in peace, doesn’t worry about the future, nor does he think about the past. A dog is permanently in the now. A dog observes what is happening, and either becomes enthusiastic or he feels that it is time to rest his head on his paws and closes his eyes. We could do the same. We don’t have to have an opinion about everything that is happening in our lives. If we feel this is something for us to be enthusiastic about, fine. If not, we just relax and see what else we can observe that might inspire us.

3. There’s Nothing Wrong With a Simple Life

If we can enjoy the little things in life we are truly happy. It is not about what we own and who we know. If a dog sleeps well, is getting fed and somebody walks him, he is happy, truly happy. If we have good healthy food and get to take a walk outside, with or without our dog, we are getting closer to the essence of happiness. For me the biggest joy in life is enjoying the smaller joys.

4. Nobody is Perfect

Spiritual Lessons You Can Learn From Your Dog - 4 - Nobody is PerfectAll right, I probably should be more respectful to my neighbor’s dog Sammy, who has been an inspiration for my book Spiritual Awakening (the easy way). But Sammy has his imperfections too. He understood intuitively that he inspires me. Now whenever he sees me he jumps up and starts licking my face. I noticed that my spiritual mentor has his imperfections just like the rest of us: he is overweight and sheds, he has poor manners, talks out of turn… and he slobbers when he likes somebody! I realized that nobody is perfect, and Sammy is no different. I am thrilled that my teacher likes me but every time I see him I have to take a shower or change clothes.

Nobody is perfect, including spiritual teachers.

5. Play, Play, Play!

Dogs spend hours per day playing with no regard for time. The other hours they relax or wag their tails because they are happy, often for no apparent reason. I noticed that when I have a problem with something in my life, I am often taking things too seriously. If we can take things, and even our life, less seriously we would probably smile more. Maybe the greatest spiritual lesson we can learn from our dogs is to play more in life.

Play play play!

Trailer: Spiritual Awakening (The Easy Way)

We don’t need to read libraries full of hefty tomes to become enlightened, or to wake up….

About the author:

Tim van der VlietTim is a Hay House author of Spiritual Awakening (the easy way), a 20-minute read, both a textual as well as a visual treat that is infinitely re-readable. Tim spent years trading stocks, futures and options in the financial markets, but bid goodbye to that world to write about the things that really matter to him… and his words are surprisingly different from what we might expect! His story is about how a forever traveller, a former financial trader, a husband and father of four, walks the spiritual path on a daily basis.

Tim lives in Amsterdam where he cultivated his light view on spirituality that he calls “Zen from Amsterdam”.

Connect with Tim at timvandervliet.com, or follow Tim on Twitter and Facebook


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  • What a wonderful article. I am a dog lover as well and I’ve learned so much from them over the years.

  • Laurie Brown

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article. It just proves what I have always known-dog is humans best friend!

  • I really enjoyed this article. I tend to take inspiration from my cat. Though I admit I don’t enact her wisdom as often as I should. I must say, i wish I had a warm lap to curl up in like she does, that seems to be her place of ultimate bliss.

  • Copa America 2015 Grupos

    Dogs are amazing, loyal, always ready to play no matter what.

  • Leontien Reedijk

    Interesting little article, but quite disappointing to read that a Dutch author makes such an Anglo-centered error: Yes, GOD is spelled DOG backwards, but only in English. In Dutch, beste Tim, GOD heet niet HOND achterstevoren gespeld……..there goes your argument…

    I’ve read more of these reasonings, where English/American writers find striking likenesses between their language and some spiritual or natural or primordial subject, using it as proof of whatever they are trying to convince their readers of, while that connection only exists in the ENGLISH language. Does that mean that these things are only true for English speakers?

  • Paula

    I say dog spelled backwards is god all the time, and less than an hour ago. I think the biggest lesson I have learned from dogs is unconditional love. I have been involved with rescue dogs for some time and no matter what people do to them (some pretty horrific stuff) they still love people. Some need training and need time to love again but 9 times out of 10 they will love you to death. If people were half as forgiving as dogs we would live in a totally different world!