How Deep to Bury a Dog


Pet Memorial Surrounded by Brown Fall Leaves

While pet cremations have become more popular in recent years, many people prefer a home burial for their pets, because it is more personal, you have full control over what happens to your pet’s remains, and a home grave is a nice way to remember you your pet.

It is very upsetting when a much-loved pet dies, but there are certain things that you should know if you are going to bury your pet in your backyard, such as how deep you should bury a dog. Here are the main things that need to be aware of when you are planning on burying your dog at home.

Are you allowed to bury a dog at home?

The rules with regard to the home burial of pets differ in different countries and different regions. In the UK, for example, there are very few rules with regard to home pet burials, but in the USA, the rules that apply to pet burials will depend on local and county regulations. In most cases, it is fine to bury a dog if you live in a rural or suburban area, but it is prohibited in some urban areas. It is advisable, therefore, to check with your local animal welfare officer, or a veterinarian, before you carry put a home pet burial.

What to do immediately after the death of a dog

While it is a horrible thing to mention, you do have to make sure that your pet is dead before you bury it. Watch and listen for any signs of breathing and check for the dog’s heartbeat and pulse by placing the tips of your fingers on the dog’s chest, between its front legs. After a while, if the dog is dead, rigour mortis will set in and the body will become stiff. Don’t be afraid to contact your vet and ask them to confirm the death if you are unsure. It is harder than you might think, and you certainly won’t be alone in asking your vet to do this for you.

Dealing with the body

If your dog has died, place your pet’s body on a plastic sheet or on a large plastic bag, because bodily fluids can emerge immediately after death and when you move the body. You can cover the dog with a towel or blanket.  For the reason that we mentioned above, it is advisable to wait two to three hours before the burial of a pet dog, to be sure that your dog has passed away. If the burial can’t take place straight away after that, ask your vet to keep the remains in their mortuary refrigerator.

Choosing the site for your pet’s grave

Choosing a suitable site for your dog’s grave is important. It would be nice to choose a location that is pretty or one that your dog particularly liked. On the practical side, it is also important to choose a site that will not be excavated in the future, does not get wet and boggy, and one that is not near to any water, such as streams or ponds.

How deep to bury a dog

The grave of a dog should be at least 3-4 feet deep. This is to ensure that other animals will not dig up the grave and to stop the grave becoming uncovered by the weather.

When you bury your dog, use a biodegradable material to cover your pet, such as a towel or a blanket. If you are going to bury your pet in a coffin, use a wood or cardboard coffin. You should avoid wrapping your dog in anything made of plastic or any other material that isn’t biodegradable.

When you fill in the grave, leave a small mound of earth on the top and that will eventually settle. It is nice to mark the grave too, either with a small headstone, or perhaps a tree or a bush.  That way, there will always be a little reminder of your much-loved pet for you and the rest of the family.

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