State By State Laws Of Burying Pets In The Backyard

General Rules On Burying Your Dog

Before we discuss the pet burial rules by state, let’s first dive into the tools you will need to bury your beloved companion.

Though we often have an idea in mind of what the burial process entails, we will go into each step below.

First, it is important to be aware of the best options of burial boxes for your pet once they pass.

Since your furry friends will be buried in the ground, it’s up to us to find the best biodegradable option.

Plastic bins and bags can take years to decompose, making wood or cardboard your best option.

Another factor to consider is how deep your furry friend will need to be buried.

If your pet is not buried deep enough in the ground, you run the risk of their grave being disturbed by other animals or environmental factors.

To ensure the safety of your pet’s resting place, their burial spot should be at least 3-5 feet deep.

Most state burial laws will give you an idea of how deep you must go.

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico allows pet burial in your backyard as long as you are the owner of the home or land. It is also recommended to avoid water lines and to bury the animals 2-3 feet underground. For more information, please visit this resource page or contact local authorities.

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Arkansas

Arkansas won’t allow pet burials in your backyard or any public property. The pet owner is responsible for removing the animal outside of the city limits to burn or bury. For more information, please visit this resource page or contact local authorities

Can You Bury A Dead Dog In Your Backyard?

Is it illegal to bury pets in your backyard? In most states, it is legal to bury your pets in your backyard. While it is legal, several things must be met, such as different rules and regulations in each state.

Burying dogs in backyard is for those who have the time and space that can bury their dogs. So the dog can rest in peace and not feel pain and stress.

For those of us with smaller backyards, the idea of burying our pets can be a touchy subject. Not everyone has space or time to bury their dog, and having the right tools can be challenging.

Tools such as pet caskets are available that fit our needs. These can vary in size depending on how many pets we have and the situation we find ourselves in.

If you decide to bury your dog, have it picked up from the local vet. Have it cremated. You may want to consider pet burial services if you are not comfortable burying pet in backyard. These services will remove your pet from their facility and then send you the remains.

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How to Safely Bury Your Cat in the Backyard

Just because there are environmental concerns, doesn’t mean there isn’t a safe way to bury your cat. If you follow the steps below, the remains will no longer pose a risk to other animals.

You’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that your pet isn’t getting tampered with by other scavenging animals that come through your backyard.

Choose a Spot

First, choose a spot in your backyard that you want to bury your cat. Choosing a symbolic spot, such as a place your cat spent a lot of time at, is a good place to start.

You’ll also want to think of a spot that doesn’t get frequented too often so that the site doesn’t get disturbed. If there is a spot you frequently walk through or kids play in, it may be best to choose a better location.

Select a Coffin

As mentioned, in some states, it isn’t completely against the law as long as you have a safe vessel to place your pet in. Either way, choosing a container is important to keep the environment (and your cat) safe.

For a more formal option, you can purchase a pet coffin online, though it can be a bit pricey. However, you can also bury your cat inside of a cardboard box.

If your cat has a bed it always slept in or favorite toys, you can include those inside the burial container.

Choose a Grave Marker

If you like, you can get a personalized pet grave marker online. This will look more official, though it will cost more than other methods. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can use a pile of rocks or a large stone as a marker.

If you would like the name and dates on it, use paint to put all of your writing onto a large stone.

To keep the spirit of your cat alive, you can plant something your cat enjoyed, flowers, or a tree near the site. This is another option you can use to identify the burial plot without using a headstone.

Make sure you at least choose something to identify the location so that the grave doesn’t get disturbed.

Burying Your Cat

Choose a good time to bury your cat, ideally within a couple of days after the death. Otherwise, the body may start to decompose and become unpleasant, to say the least.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • A small shovel or spade
  • Rope to tie around the container

Always use gloves when handling your deceased pet. Gently place your cat into the container along with any items you’d like to include.

If you want, you could also wrap your cat in its favorite blanket. Once finished, make sure to tie a rope around the container to keep it sealed.

Use a spade or shovel to dig a hole at least three feet in order to keep predators out. If you notice any electrical wiring, fill the hole, and find a new spot.

Completing the Process

Having a small memorial service for your pet may help you and your family through the grieving process. Say a few words, sing a song, or recite a poem before the burial.

After saying a few words, gently lower the container into the hole and refill it with the dug-up soil. Firmly press on the soil afterward to keep it in place and harder for other animals to dig out.

Place the marker and decorate the gravesite if you like. Add any plants, photos, or other items you’d like to use to commemorate your pet.

How long can you keep a dead dog body?

If you wish to keep your dead dog in the house, generally this should be no more than 24 hours. This timeframe will depend on where your dog is placed. If you place your dog in a cool room, decomposition is slowed down at least. Alternatively, in a warm environment, the decomposition rate increases.

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What If Burying Pets Is Illegal in Your State?

If burying your beloved pets is illegal in your states, you have to follow alternative methods to say goodbye to your pets. You can also talk to your local veterinarian about what to do in this regard. Here we’re going to discuss a few alternatives to burying pets.

Image Source: pixabay.com
Image Source: pixabay.com

#Cremation: When it comes to alternatives to burying pets, cremation comes first. It’s one of the eco-friendly ways to say goodbye to our feathered friends. However, it costs around 100 to 200 bucks. The most essential thing after the cremation is putting the ashes in an urn.

Urns mainly come in two types: biodegradable and non-biodegradable. In order to keep our surrounding ecosystem okay, we should use biodegradable urns. The KIRI Biodegradable Urn for Pet Cremation Ashes is on Amazon highly recommended.

#Cemetery: If your state doesn’t allow you to bury your pet, you can bury your pet in a local pet cemetery, which is created for pets only to rest in peace. Once your pet is buried there, you can visit your pet whenever you would like.

#Remembrance Stone: Another wonderful way to tie your pet’s memory is by placing a remembrance stone in your backyard. The stone will be made with your pet cremation ashes infused into the stone. Talk to your veterinarian about creating remembrance stones.

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Hi, I am Carolina, and this is my story… On Wednesday 25 April 2018, my family's life changed when we lost our beloved springador, Pancho. In a matter of 3 days, Pancho had gone from a playful and cheeky healthy 3-year-old dog to being paralyzed and eventually having a seizure which he never recovered from. The diagnosis, meningitis. Saying goodbye to Pancho was difficult, but the days, weeks and months that followed were even more difficult, as we navigated grief, adjusted to living without an important member of the family and made decisions regarding his ashes. This is why I have created this blog, to provide practical advice and emotional comfort for those dealing with pet loss.

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Is It Illegal To Bury A Pet In Your Yard?

No, if you follow the rules of local authorities. Burying pet in backyard has its own rules in each state. Some allow it on private property, and some are quite strict with some conditions even though it is on private property.

Can I bury my dog? Of course, local authorities will not forbid you to burying a dog, and it’s just the place and conditions that you need to know. Not all states are in the same condition because they are close to water, rice fields, residences, or other important places.

Burial Laws By State

Below is a list of general pet burial laws in each state.

While these are the burial rules we have collected, it’s important to check the burial laws for your individual city to be sure.

Disclaimer: We try to provide the most accurate and factual information on state burial laws.

These laws can change or get updated throughout the year.

For your specific location, please either ask your local veterinarian or search for your city/county/state law regarding their requirements as well as if this is something you are allowed to do.

Likewise, if you live within a community that is governed by a Homeowners Associations (HOA), you will want to read their rules or contact them to see if its against their HOA rules to bury your pet in your backyard.

Alabama

Alabama does allow pet owners to bury their pets in their backyard, as long as they are buried a minimum of 2 feet underground.

Alaska

Alaska does allow pet owners to bury their pets on their property, but mentions how this can be challenging due to frozen grounds.

If you are unable to bury your pet properly due to ground conditions, they recommend following through with cremation.

Arizona

Most cities in Arizona do not allow home burial of pets on your property, but do allow public pet cemeteries.

If you live in Arizona, it’s best to discuss your county’s laws with your veterinarian.

Arkansas

Arkansas does not allow home burial of pets on an owner’s property.

Their laws state that the owners must cremate or dispose of their pet’s body within 12 hours of their death.

California

California law does not allow a pet to be buried on a pet owner’s property.

They do note, however, that these rules are not often enforced in rural areas.

Colorado

Colorado states that pets can be buried on their owner’s property as long as they are not contaminated with infectious disease.

There are also in depth rules in terms of burial regulations, so it’s best to speak with your vet about these specific rules if you live in Colorado.

Connecticut

Burying your pet on your property is allowed in Connecticut, as long as you bury them deep enough to avoid scavengers.

Delaware

Burying your pet in your backyard is allowed in Delaware, but they advise against burying them near any water source.

Florida

Florida does allow your pet to be buried on your property, but recommends cremation if the pet is contaminated with an infectious disease.

Georgia

Pet burial is allowed on your property in Georgia as long as you bury them deep enough to avoid scavengers.

Hawaii

Hawaii does allow home burial, but advises you to check with your individual homeowners association beforehand.

Idaho

Burying your pet in Idaho is allowed as long as they are buried a minimum of 3 feet underground.

Illinois

Illinois does allow pet burial on your property as long as the pet is not contaminated with an infectious disease.

Indiana

Pet burial is allowed in Indiana as long as the pet is buried at least 4 feet deep underground.

Iowa

Iowa does allow pet burial on your property, but encourages you to check with your individual homeowner association.

Kansas

Burying your pet on your property is allowed as long as the pet does not pose a risk to the surrounding environment or ecosystem.

Kentucky

Pet burial is allowed on your property as long as the burial site is not within 100ft of a water source, and is buried at least 4 feet underground.

Louisiana

Pet burial is allowed in Louisiana as long as the burial site is at least 6 feet deep, and the animal does not carry any infectious disease.

Maine

Maine does allow pet burial on your property as long as it is not near a water source, or the pet is not carrying any infectious disease.

Maryland

Pet burial is allowed in Maryland as long as the pet is buried at least 4 feet underground.

Massachusetts

While the rules vary from town to town, it appears that pet burial is generally allowed on your property.

Just be sure to contact your veterinarian to be sure.

Michigan

Pet burial on your property is allowed in Michigan as long as the site does not interfere with a body of water.

Minnesota

Pet burial is legal in Minnesota as long as the pet is buried sufficiently and away from any body of water.

Mississippi

Burying your pet on your property is legal in Mississippi as long as the pet is buried at least 2 feet underground.

Missouri

Pet burial is allowed on your property in Missouri as long as the pet is buried 300ft away from your neighbor, and away from any bodies of water.

Montana

Pet burial is allowed on your property as long as the pet is buried 2 feet underground.

Nebraska

Pet burial is allowed on your property in Nebraska as long as the pet is buried 5 feet underground and at least 500ft away from any water wells.

Nevada

You are allowed to bury your pet on your property in Nevada as long as the pet is buried at least 3 feet underground.

New Hampshire

You are allowed to bury your pet in your yard in New Hampshire as long as it is at least 75 feet from any water source.

New Jersey

Pet burial is allowed on your property in New Jersey as long as the pet is buried at least 2 feet under.

New Mexico

You are allowed to bury your pet in your yard in New Mexico as long as you have approval from your homeowner association.

New York

There are no state laws involving burying pets on private land in New York, so it’s recommended to speak with your veterinarian about your city’s rules.

North Carolina

North Carolina does allow pet burial on your property as long as they are buried 3 feet underground, and within 24 hours of knowledge of their passing.

North Dakota

Pet burial on your property is allowed in North Dakota as long as they are buried 3 feet underground and are free of any infectious disease.

Ohio

Ohio does allow pet burial on your property, but urges you to contact your city for specific details on regulations.

Oklahoma

Burying your pet in your backyard is legal in Oklahoma as long as the pet is buried at least 3 feet underground.

Oregon

You are allowed to bury your pet on your property in Oregon as long as they are buried at least 3 feet under.

Pennsylvania

Pet burial is allowed on your property in Pennsylvania as long as they are buried within 48 hours of their passing.

Rhode Island

There are no set regulations on pet burial in Rhode Island, so it’s best to seek advice from your local veterinarian.

South Carolina

Pet burial on your property is allowed in South Carolina as long as the pet is buried at least 1 foot underground.

South Dakota

You are allowed to bury your pet on your property in South Dakota as long as you bury the pet within 36 hours, and they are buried at least 3 feet underground.

Tennessee

Pet burial on your property is allowed in Tennessee as long as the pet is buried away from a water source, and buried at least 3 feet underground.

Texas

Pet burial on your property is allowed In Texas as long as the pet is buried at least 3 feet underground.

Utah

You are allowed to bury your pet on your property in Utah as long as you do so within 48 hours of their passing.

Vermont

There are no set regulations in Vermont, so it’s best to seek advice from your local veterinarian.

Virginia

Burying your pet on your property in Virginia is allowed as long as you do so within 48 hours of your animal passing.

Washington

There are no set pet burial rules, so it’s best to seek advice from your local veterinarian.

West Virginia

Burying your pet on your property is allowed in West Virginia as long as they are buried at least 3 feet underground.

Wisconsin

Pet burial is not allowed in some counties of Wisconsin, so it’s best to seek advice from your local veterinarian on your city’s rules.

Wyoming

Some parts of Wyoming require approval before burying a pet on your property, so it’s best to contact your local veterinarian for further advice.

Contact Agape Pet Services for Respectful Pet Cremation

For assistance in saying goodbye to your pet, contact Agape Pet Services. Our pet cremation services help you give your pet a safe, caring farewell. We’ll pick up your pet from your home, and you can choose a communal or private cremation. Afterward, keep your pet close in an urn or a treasured keepsake or return your beloved companion to the earth with love.

Contact us today to learn more.

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