Companion dogs are the most painful to lose especially for kids. It’s even more painful when you lose them to disease than old age. Some people prefer donating the body of their dog for research, study and veterinary training, others prefer to cremate their dog.
I think burying your dog is the best option. Backyard dog burial is one of the most popular and easiest ways to show so love to your pet one last time. Here’s is step by step guide on how to bury a dog:
1. Prepare The Body
After you confirmed that your pal is gone, you should mourn him and get yourself ready to bury him. You can ask your vet to help you prepare your dog for burial. The best way your vet can help you is by placing your dog’s corpse in cold storage until you are ready to take him home for burial.
Perhaps there is no room in the clinic, there are still ways to preserve your dog’s body at home until you are ready for burial. If you have a spare fridge in your basement or attic, you can keep your dog in there for temporary cold storage if necropsy wasn’t performed on him.
You can store your dead dog’s corpse in a small fridge until you are ready to bury him. If you plan on preserving his body this way, wash his body and wrap him in a large bed sheet, towel or plastic bag and place his body inside the freezer.
The reason why you’re doing this is to keep his body fresh. If you don’t, it will start giving off a foul odor and attract flies, which makes the whole task more difficult. You must keep your dog in cold storage until you are ready to bury him.
Once you’ve completed this part, you should purchase a burial container. A pet coffin or small carton box will do just fine. If you prefer using a pet coffin, you can buy one on Amazon or ask a carpenter to make one for you.
2. Finding a Burial Ground
You must look for the “perfect” place to bury your dog. If you can’t make up your mind on where to bury your dog, pick a place that both of you had wonderful times and made memories.
When choosing a dog burial site, pick a place that is not likely to be excavated for construction, a place far away from water sources, and underground pipes or cables. Here’s a small checklist you should go with when picking a dog burial site:
- Pick an easily accessible location. Don’t bury him on somewhere like a mountain top and make visiting him seem like hard work.
- A place that is a bright and beautiful place that can make you smile, not a depressed dreary area.
- Bury your dog in a place that won’t be renovated or eroded for a long time. This will prevent his corpse from being dug up and you reburying him.
- Silence speaks better than words. If you don’t know what to say keep quiet and reflect on the memories you had. It’s ok to cry a little, just let your heart do the talking.
- Go with someone just in case you get to have a panic attack or feel numb.
- Do not bury your dog close to any water source or body.
- Finally, don’t let the grief overwhelm you.
3. Preparing The Grave
You are one step closer to preparing the perfect resting place for your dog. One of the most important things to note when burying your dog is to always dig deep.
Digging a grave for your dog is work but it’s worth it. When your dog starts decomposing, the smell and gases emitted from there body can be detected by wild animals. If you dig a shallow grave, these animals can easily locate and dig out the remains of your dog.
When the grave large enough to accommodate the dog’s body with at least 3 feet away from the top. This protects the remains of your dog from foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, other pets, wild animals, and other scavengers.
When preparing your dog’s grave, use his size/measurement to picture how deep you have to dig. The grave should be at least 4ft deep. This leaves plenty of room for sand and stones covering for extra protection.
You should also consider getting a professional 811 service so that you don’t hurt yourself by digging to close to gas pipes or electrical lines. Check your local laws & ordinances if it allows home burials. You can also use a pet cemetery if you are not allowed to bury your dog in your backyard or property.
4. Hold a Wake
Holding a wake for your dog isn’t a totally bad idea. This is one of the best ways to honor your dog and say your final goodbyes before he goes back into the earth and becomes one with nature.
In this stage, you should take his body from cold storage and place it in a pet coffin or any small box of your choice. Make sure that the burial container for the dog is biodegradable [Not plastic or nylon, but natural and perishable]. You can also choose to make it a private or a small open party.
It’s super helpful your kids gather around him to say their final goodbyes, hugs, and accept the loss of their dog. You can also bring other pets outside to sniff around the grave/corpse and understand the situation. The best place to hold a wake for your dog would be the backyard.
Finally, this is goodbye. Your dog has but up a good fight and deserves to rest properly. This is where you put all the pain, sorrows, and his body. You only have the power to hold onto the memories.
Like I said earlier, make sure you bury your dog in a biodegradable enclosure made of wood, paper bags, cardboard boxes, tissue paper or cotton. Avoid burying your dog in plastic bags and other non-biodegradable materials.
Once you place him in the ground, cover the grave properly with earth, rocks, and stones. It may have a little bump on top, but don’t worry, it would flatten over time. You can also make a concrete grave for him.
Finally, add a small landmark to your dog’s final resting place. You can plant an oak, acorn, lily, bush, flag or a small pet memorial stone.
After the burial, have a little funeral service. This helps the grieving children, friends, and family members to get a bit of a relief. You and the kids can place toys, poems, letters, drawings, flags or photos in/on the grave.
Tools & Items You Need To Bury a Dog
Most people prefer to bury their dogs by themselves and privately, you’ll need some tools for the digging, burying, land-marking and much more if you wish to perform all of your dog’s burial rites on your own. These are the tools you’ll need to bury your dog:
1. Hand Gloves
Since your going to be handling the body of your dog, you’ll need a hand glove to protect yourselves from contagious germs, diseases and other parasites that may be on his body,
2. Pet Casket
Pet casket is one of the most essential items for a successful dog burial process. You can get one for as low as $28 or make one yourself out of a small carton box. It doesn’t have to be fancy, decorated with gold and jewels, any simple casket that suits your taste is just fine.
You’re also going to need a shovel. You can get 2 or 3 shovels so that your friends can help you dig. If you plan on digging alone, make sure that you dig a grave in places where the earth is not hard and rocky.
A pet headstone is also great for dog burials. You can purchase it online, order one from a sculptor or use a medium-sized rock. The best approach is to make one yourself [with your kids, if you have any]. This would help ease the grief & pain.
Why Dog Burials Are Important
Burying your dog is the best thing to do after you lost your pal. In most cultures, burial signifies rest/sleep. And a proper burial is like good sleep, the best you can give to your dog after he’s gone. These are some of the reason why you should bury your dog:
1. You get inner peace
The relief that you get when you say your final goodbyes before you put your sleeping beauty in the ground is… I can’t describe it, no words can, burying your dog takes that pain off your chest. Anyways, you virtually put your pain into the casket and 4 feet under the earth instead of your dog.
Though those moments are very painful you’d feel better after the burial has been completed. The moment you say goodbye, all the pain, hysterical thoughts, strong emotions, and guilt would subside.
2. Its goodbye for now
In most cultures and beliefs worldwide, a burial ceremony doesn’t just mean placing a corpse in a casket, tomb or grave and placing him deep into the earth.
Burials are sacred traditions and rites performed by the loved ones of the deceased, to ensure that his spirit passes safely through the underworld and he rests in peace as he continues to exist in the afterlife.
Burying your dog is your way of saying “goodbye, till next, we meet”. This is probably the best gift you can give to your life long pal. Burying your dog is better than cremating him, leaving him or decay.
3. It brings closure
Standing alone with your dog in his grave and you looking at him and seeing through the dirt, casket, and the cold hands of death bring more closure than you can imagine.
You can stand there for hours looking, speaking and listening to him and seeing past everything. If he was your best friend, you’d understand what he was saying and speak back to him with more certainty.
Cost Of Burying A Dog
Burying your dog is much cheaper than cremating him. If you want to cremate your dog, it will cost you $200-400, and you may even get the remains of other people or dogs mixed up in there. You can bury your dog for as low as $130.
Where to Bury Your Dog
If you finally made up your mind to bury your dog, you can easily bury your dog at home, in the park, woods, countryside or any cemetery or graveyard close to you.
The best place to hold a dog burial is at home. If you’ve got a garden, you can buy a big garden plot, but him inside and plant beautiful lilies on top. Each time you see those lilies and tend to them, you’ll surely remember your beautiful best friend.
If you’ve got a small backyard or lawn, you can still place them to rest close to you. An article on the conversation believed that burying dogs and other pets in the backyard is wrong.
It also stated that home burial is dangerous because other pets or predators that can easily dig up & consume the remains along with other harmful chemicals. It’s a pretty decent argument. So, If you bury your dog in your backyard, cover the top with concrete or rocks.
If you’re not violating any laws, the park is another excellent place to bury your dog. You can bury him close to a nice oak tree facing the west and come witness a beautiful sunset with him anytime you need the best pal to talk to.
Burying dogs in parks and other public areas is illegal in some parts of the state. Make sure you contact the parks office before you do anything.
Is It Illegal To Bury Your Dog In Your Backyard
Depending on where you stay, you’ll have to find out if it is is it illegal to bury your dog in your backyard or not. The laws concerning pet home burial differ by state, county or municipality.
Don’t bury your pet in your backyard unless stated, even if the property legally belongs to you. Some laws and policies prevent owners from burying their dogs close to their homes.
You can contact an attorney, local authorities, or county sanitarian for more information.
For example, In the UK, burying your dog in your backyard is illegal, if you don’t own the place. This is because your dog’s remains are considered by the state to be hazardous waste.
A dog that was euthanized or given chemotherapy should not be buried close to your house for the safety of other pets. Places like Michigan, Washinton, and Missouri also forbid backyard pet burial.
If your dog died in a veterinary clinic, and the body withheld the body from you, you have the right to ask for a written explanation if you plan to take your dog home for burial.
But if you own the property, I’d advise you to bury your dog at home. But if it is not yours and you plan on moving soon, burying the dog in your backyard is not the best option. There are few laws or rules regarding home pet burial
There are few laws or rules regarding home pet burial. You should take him to a cemetery or graveyard to rest. This way, your dog can rest and his grave won’t be renovated to a garbage dump and you can easily visit him when you feel like.