Can I Bury My Dog in My Garden? Goodbye Grief

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Author: Jacob Kay

Goodbyes are not easy, especially to those who are a part of our family. The death of our loved ones flashes back all the memories with them. The same goes for your lovely pet. Without your dog, the stars seem dim. Still, goodbye is necessary. You feel like having your Fido close to you and burying him in your garden. But, can you bury your dog in your garden?

can I bury my dog in my garden

Why not! You can keep your dog 🐢 close to you even after his death. But wait, it’s not that simple. You need to abide by some laws framed by the government, then only you can bury your dog in the garden. Let us together pray for your dog and learn about the burial process.

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Can I Bury My Dog in My Garden?

Dogs are the most playful animals to have. They are capable of filling your life with love and joy. The average lifespan of a dog is 10-13 years. But, their loss reminds you of the first day you met, the time you were trying to understand each other, the happy days spent together till the last moments with your companion. The death hits hard and even harder is to let the dog blend in the soil.

But, you want him close to you in your garden. Is it possible to bury a dog in your garden? Yes, you can bury your dog in your garden only if you own it. If your place is rented then you can’t!

Laws on Burying Dogs at Home in the UK

If you want to bury your dog in your garden or in your backyard, there are certain laws in the UK by which you must abide.[1] These laws are:

  1. The dog must not be buried near a water source like a river, pond or well.
  2. They can only be buried in the grounds of the house in which they lived. Moreover, you must own it, not rented.
  3. The body must be placed at a depth of at least two feet in heavy soils. For lighter soils, it must be three feet.
  4. The body must not be hazardous to human health. For example, if the dog 🐢 should not be treated with controlled drugs such as chemotherapy medications πŸ’Š.

If you are going to bury your dog, place them in a curled-up sleeping position. Cover them with a blanket until you are ready. However, if there is likely a delay even for a day then you must store the body below 🌑 4℃. This is because a dog’s body may start to decay very soon.

It is advisable to bury the dog in a coffin ⚰ made of cardboard or wood. Also, place heavy objects such as paving slabs over the grave to prevent any disturbance. 

How to Bury a Dog in the Garden?

Firstly, it is important to choose the right spot where you are gonna bury your dog. As mentioned, the spot should be away from a water source. Moreover, there shouldn’t be any buried utility lines, which could cause problems. Moreover, try to pick a place that is not shallow to the bedrock below, as when the pet is decomposing, it can flow into the water.

how to bury a dog in the garden

1) Cover Your Pet

First, cover your pet with a cloth or your favourite T-shirt. You can also use a sheet or blanket. Apart from wrapping the body in the cloth, you should use a box to place the body. Avoid using plastic. Place the wrapped body in a wooden or cardboard box. A dog casket works well too.[2]

2) Dig the Hole

It is better to dig the hole after wrapping your dog’s body as it makes the task far easier without having to stare at your dog’s remains. Once you choose the spot, dig a hole with a shovel or similar tool. The hole should be three feet deeper in general, though the rules may vary depending upon the areas you live in.

3) Place the Body in the Hole

You can place your dog’s favourite toy or any memorial in the coffin. Generally, pet owners wrap a chew toy 🧸 with the dog itself but that’s up to you. Gently place the coffin into the hole while wishing him the last goodbye. You can place flowers πŸ’ or sing prayers for your dog before refilling the hole.

4) Filling the Hole

Once you are done, start filling the hole with a heavy heart of yours. Halfway through refilling, you can spread a thin layer of cat litter to block any decomposition odours that will attract the attention of other animals and refill the remaining part. After completing the refilling, you may walk over it to ensure that there aren’t any empty spaces left and no traces of disturbed soil.

5) Add a Memorial Stone

Many paw owners add a memorial stone or a headstone on top of the grave. This is done in honour of their Fido as well as a mark of the spot βœ… where their dog has been buried. Some people opt to decorate the grave with flowers, too. Simply, you can also plant something 🌼 such as a rosebush, in your pet’s memory.

Why You Must Follow the Laws While Burying a Dog in the Garden?

The rules and regulations made by the government about the burial process of a dog 🐢 in your garden concern certain issues. When the dog’s body is not buried properly or without concerning the rules then it can be hazardous to other animals and people as well as the environment.

dog buried in a garden

Some of the risks of burying your dog in the garden are as follows:

  • Transmission of diseases to humans and animals:

Home burial is a quick and straightforward approach to handle your pet’s deceased body. Consider the fact that it might take anywhere from 6 months to 18 years for a dog’s body to completely decompose after it has been buried. If your dog 🐢 has been ill before death, after it passes away its illness can spread to other animals or even people.

Additionally, if an animal is given antibiotics before death or even euthanized, the chemicals in the animal’s corpse will be transported to the roots of trees and plants in our yard and may potentially contaminate the groundwater as the dead body decomposes. Thus, you should ask your vet πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ before burying the boy.

  • Strong odours

If a dead body is not preserved in some way, the odour should appear within a few days. Dead tissue emits a powerful odour because it is extremely poisonous and unpleasant to the senses. The quality of life for those who live close to the burial place would undoubtedly be impacted by the smell if an animal is not properly buried.

  • Home to germs and insects

After an animal dies, its body starts to deteriorate. In addition to being exceptionally offensive, the strong smell attracts numerous insects that use the dead body as a source of food. These insects are very likely to carry diseases and germs after passing over a dead body. This may be transmitted to food if they come in contact with it.


Should you bury your dog in the garden?

Home burial is a simple and easy way to take care of your pet’s dead body. If your pet dies of a disease, burying it in your garden can spread the disease to other animals or even humans. Thus, it is better to ask your vet before burying your dog in your garden. Moreover, you should also abide by the laws of the local government.

How do you bury a dog without it smelling?

The general rule of thumb is to bury your dog at a depth of at least three feet or 1 meter below the ground, which helps prevent scavengers from digging up the grave and also helps prevent the odour from reaching the surface.

What is the best way to bury a dog?

Your dog should be buried in something that is breathable and biodegradable like a towel, blanket, wooden, wicker or cardboard coffin. Avoid making a casket out of anything plastic or that is sealed in an air-tight way. Do not bury your dog in a plastic bag or anything else that is non-breathable and non-biodegradable.

How soon should a dog be buried?

The body will start to decompose quickly, usually within a day, so you may want to bury the body as soon as possible. If you need to keep the body in your home, you can wrap the body and put it in the refrigerator, though you still need to take action within a day.

Final Goodbye

The death of a pet is a tragic incident and it is important to cope with the loss and pain. At this moment you may also want to keep the pet close to you and bury him in your garden. but, remember it is not always possible. Your vet πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ may guide you through the process.

It is crucial that you think wisely and decide about what to do with the pet’s body. if you can’t bury the dog in your garden, there are other options to consider too. You spend a great time together and your dog has left pawprints on your heart! Now it’s time for a goodbye! πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸΆ


  1. Animal burials: prevent groundwater pollution. (2022, April 1). GOV.UK.
  2. Animal carcass disposal. (n.d.). American Veterinary Medical Association. AVMA.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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