While it’s a loving way to say goodbye, burying your pet in the backyard can be a bad idea. You shouldn’t do this for many reasons, from health to legal concerns.
According to Animal Family Pet Preservation, digging a grave for your pet isn’t easy, and watching your dog’s body begin to decompose can be emotionally devastating.
It can be dangerous for other animals
Backyard burials have traditionally honored pets, but they can be dangerous for other animals. When a pet dies, its body breaks down and releases chemicals that can be dangerous to other animals and humans.
These chemicals can cause illnesses and infections, so keeping them out of the environment is important. If other animals come in contact with the decomposing remains, they can contract diseases like salmonellosis and gastrointestinal problems.
Also, if you bury your pet’s body in the backyard, other insects could come into contact with it and carry the bacteria on their legs. This could contaminate the soil or water around your home and make other people sick.
This may happen even if the remains are buried deep enough in the ground to keep most animals from reaching them. They can still be disturbed by the wildlife and other creatures wanting to look at them.
Aside from causing bacterial contamination in the soil and water, a buried pet can also create an unpleasant smell as it decomposes. This smell is called the ‘smell of death’ and can be toxic to sensitive animals.
You should consider several things when it comes to burying your pet in the backyard, such as property ownership and digging deep enough so that the body doesn’t come in contact with trees or utilities. Additionally, putting a layer of stones or other protective covering over the grave is a good idea.
If you’re unsure what to do when it comes to burying your pet, you can talk to your veterinarian or your state’s animal control agency about the laws in your area. They can help you decide if it’s legal to bury your pet in the backyard and where to bury them.
Many states have specific laws about burying dogs, so make sure you check yours. You can do so by visiting the website of your state’s animal control agency or calling them directly.
Most states allow a pet to be buried on its owner’s property, as long as it’s buried deep enough and away from any areas that are high in water. However, some of them are stricter than others and require the body to be buried at least two feet underground.
It can pose health risks
Many pet owners mourn the loss of a beloved companion, and when their beloved dies they want to give it a respectful burial. This heart-wrenching practice can be difficult to undertake, especially when other pets are still living in the home.
Burying your pet in the backyard is often considered a common option, but it’s not always the safest or most reliable one. It poses health risks to other animals and can even leave you vulnerable to a second loss later on if you move or a natural disaster strikes.
1. Other Animals and Wild Wildlife Can Dig It Up
When your pet decomposes, it emits gases that other animals can smell. These scents can trigger a response in other animals, including dogs and foxes. Those animals can then dig up your pet’s remains, potentially causing damage to the environment.
2. Medications Can Linger in Your Dead Pet’s Remains
If your pet died of a contagious disease or underwent euthanasia, medications may remain in the body for up to a year after its death. These drugs, such as pentobarbital, can pose serious threats to other animals if they come into contact with your pet’s contaminated remains.
3. Flooding Can Resurface Your Pet’s Remains
Another issue with burying your pet in the backyard is that it may resurface after heavy rains. This can cause flooding and lead to other damage in the community. It can also cause your loved one’s remains to contaminate the soil and water around the property, which could be dangerous for other animals and humans in the area.
4. It Can Contain Viruses
As the body decomposes, bacteria can enter the soil and groundwater. This can be dangerous to other animals and humans in the area and spread deadly diseases.
Depending on local laws, your pet’s burial may be prohibited in certain areas. In some states, for example, pets must be buried at least three feet deep and should not be buried near wells, springs, or streams.
Some townships have outright banned backyard pet burials; in others, getting permission from the property owner is a complicated process. But if you are sure that your pet’s remains will not be a threat to other animals or the environment, it may be worth the effort.
It can be a distraction
If you’ve recently lost a beloved pet, it’s natural to want to bury them in your backyard. But it’s not always the best option. It can be harmful to your health and the health of your family members as well as other animals.
First and foremost, a backyard burial isn’t legally allowed in most places, even in states that allow it. This is especially true if you’re planning to bury your dog after it’s been euthanized or died of a contagious disease.
In addition, if you bury your pet in the backyard, other neighborhood pets and wild animals may find the grave and dig it up. This is because when a dog dies, it emits gases that other animals can smell and detect.
These animals might then decide to dig up your dog’s body, which can cause a lot of pain for you and your family. It can be particularly traumatic if the animal you’ve buried in your yard is a beloved dog you know and love.
Additionally, if your dog died of a contagious disease, you might end up with a whole lot of other pet owners contacting the vet about their own pets’ deaths. This could lead to an outbreak, which isn’t something you want to deal with.
Additionally, the soil in your backyard may be permanently harmed if you decide to bury your pet there. This is particularly problematic if you live in earthquake-prone regions.
Besides this, if you move away or the property gets redeveloped, your dog’s burial spot could be eroded and destroyed. The land around it might also be contaminated by water and chemicals that could affect your pet’s health.
Another problem is that your pet’s remains could become a distraction to other people in the area, including neighbors who might be mourning their own loss. This can make it difficult for them to focus on the funeral and other important activities.
In the end, it’s just not worth the risk. You’re better off spending that money on a professional cemetery where you can be assured that your pet’s body will remain safe and secure.
It can be a second loss
When a pet dies, it’s understandable that you want to honor their memory by burying their remains. It can be a nice tribute to the dog or cat and show off your love and affection for them.
But a backyard burial may not be the best option for all situations. This is especially true if you’re planning to move on to a new home or are in the middle of a natural disaster. In any case, it’s always a good idea to take precautions before you start digging up your yard for the funeral home.
First of all, it’s important to check the regulations in your state. Most municipalities have specific guidelines when it comes to burying your pet, particularly the location of their grave. This is because you need to ensure it is not too close to water sources or gas lines.
Next, you need to ensure the site is large enough to hold your pet’s ashes without disturbing other plants and animals in your backyard. Finally, you should consider a memorial marker or a headstone to commemorate your furry friend’s passing.
While a backyard burial is the sexiest thing you can do for your beloved pet, it’s not the smartest choice for many reasons. It can be hazardous to the community, environment, and your pet’s well-being. And it can be a second loss to you if you ever decide to move or experience a natural disaster. That’s why it’s wise to ask your veterinarian for advice before committing to any kind of dig.