burying pets in the backyard

Burying Pets in the Backyard: Why This Option is Not Safe

June 19, 2023 10:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When most pet owners experience the death of a cat, dog, or another pet, many immediately bury the deceased animal in their backyard without a second thought. It is certainly understandable because not only is burying your pet in the backyard a free way to dispose of its body, but it is also quick and easy. It allows easy access to sit near the gravesite and speak to or spend time with your pet. While this might seem like the easiest and most comforting way to memorialize a pet, it’s not always the safest. Here is an overview of why burying a dog in the backyard isn’t always safe and some great alternatives to burying a dog (or any other pet) in your backyard.

Safety Hazards to Consider When Burying a Pet in the Backyard

Despite the conveniences of burying a pet in your backyard, there are various safety hazards to consider. First of all, since dogs enjoy digging in the dirt and have a strong sense of smell, if you have other dogs, they could catch a whiff of the decaying remains of your deceased pet and possibly dig up its body. It would be pretty disturbing to be presented with your pet’s mangled and decaying body after another animal has exhumed it. This is not a way to overcome your grief and will only reignite and intensify your pain. 

Another potential safety hazard that you could experience if you bury a pet in the backyard is bacterial contamination. It takes longer than many people are aware for an animal’s body to completely decompose, as it could take several months or even years. During decomposition, dangerous fumes and bacteria are released from the body, which might contaminate your soil. This bacterium releases putrid gases like:

  • Methane
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Cadaverine
  • Putrescine

This contaminated soil could possibly make you and your family very ill, so you shouldn’t take any chances if you don’t have any experience properly burying an animal.

Additional Possible Safety Issues of Backyard Burials

There are additional safety hazards to consider if you plan to bury Fido in your backyard. If your pet was taking toxic medications before its death, other pets that come into contact with the soil surrounding your pet’s body could possibly be poisoned. Also, if your pet died from a contagious disease, that disease could be transmitted to other pets or wild animals through the soil. 

Other Considerations

Pet owners decide to bury their deceased pets in their backyards because having their pet’s body nearby can be comforting. However, what if you move one day? It certainly wouldn’t be practical to exhume your pet’s body and re-bury it at your new place, so you will be forced to leave Fido’s final home behind. Since a home is private, unless you know the person moving in after you, you can’t simply stop by anytime you like and visit your pet’s grave.

Another aspect of a backyard burial process that you must consider is where you plan to dig. If you aren’t aware of where utility lines and sewage pipes are located, it’s best not to take any chances. You should consider other options and refrain from allowing your grief to force you to make a potentially dangerous decision. 

How Deep to Bury a Dog

If you are determined to bury your dog in your backyard and it’s legal to do so in your area, you can avoid any potential safety risks as long as you go about things the right way. First, you must ensure that you bury your dog, cat, or other pet about three or four feet into the ground. This depth is safest, as it significantly decreases the chances of the animal being exhumed by wild animals or other pets. It also reduces the risk of the animal’s body being washed up during an especially severe storm. 

Alternatives to Backyard Burials

If you’re unsure what to do with your pet’s body after its death, the sky is the limit regarding alternatives to burying your cat or dog in your backyard. Here are just some of the many ideas:

  1. Cremation – your pet’s remains can be placed in an urn that you can keep in your home, or you could even sprinkle your pet’s ashes in a special place. There are cremation options for every budget, whether you want a private cremation or are open to cremating your pet’s remains with other deceased pets.
  2. Taxidermy – this is the process of carefully preserving your pet’s body so that it appears lifelike. The internal organs are removed, and a specially trained taxidermist performs this process, which is more like an art. Many grieving pet owners find great comfort in having their pets undergo a taxidermy process, as it can feel as if the pet is still around since many taxidermists can preserve the bodies of animals in some very creative positions. 
  3. Pet Cemetery – there are some communal pet cemeteries available where your pet can be safely buried. You can then purchase or make a headstone and even build a shrine to memorialize your pet. You should research to find the most conveniently located pet cemetery. 

So, if you’ve decided to cremate your pet’s body or are interested in another post-mortem preservation process, contact Animal Family Pet Preservation to discuss your options with an experienced specialist. Our specialists can easily guide you through the entire process, so you can make the absolute best decision regarding what to do with your pet after its death. Animal Family Pet Preservation has been assisting families with the loss of their pets since the 1990s, and we’re prepared to help you.

Categorised in:

This post was written by mmaier

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Updates!