How to Bury a Pet at Home

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Things You'll Need

  • Shovel

  • Disposable gloves

  • Protective face mask

  • Sheet or towel

  • String

  • Burial container


Never dig in an area where live power lines may be present.

Never dig where the sprinkler system is situated underground.

Avoid waiting more than three days to bury your pet.


Avoid touching your face when handling remains.

Wash your clothes immediately after the burial to remove any stains that may be from your pet's bodily fluids.

Place rocks on top of the grave site to deter pests from digging up the grave.

Small pet grave in backyard.
Image Credit: Ines Wiehle/iStock/Getty Images

Home pet burial requires pet owners to adhere to a few rules when finding a resting place in the yard of your home. Burial rules include the materials used, depth of the grave, the vicinity of the grave to water sources and how the grave is marked. While each locality has specific regulations, pet owners will want to follow a safe method when burying their pet at home.

Burying Your Pet

Step 1

Wrap your pet in a cotton sheet or towel and secure it using string. Tie the string together using knots so that the towel or sheet does not become unraveled during the burying process. Use caution when handling your pet's remains by wearing a protective mask and disposable gloves.

Step 2

Choose a container to bury your pet in. Depending on the size of your pet, you may want to choose burial containers such as a hat box, wicker basket, trunk, wooden chest, wooden crate, sardine tin, cigar box or shoe box. Make sure your pet fits easily into the container of your choice.

Step 3

Choose a burial site in your yard. You will want to stay away from natural water sources and far away from herb and vegetable gardens. Your chosen spot should also be in an area of your yard that you don't plan to use in the future. Common places to bury pets are near trees and along the edges of the yard.

Step 4

Use a shovel to dig the grave site. Place the burial container on the chosen site and make an outline using the tip of the shovel. Use the container as a guide for the size of the hole and add 10 inches surrounding the entire container. This will allow you to place the container in the ground and avoid a snug fit. Remove the container from the top of the grave site and set it to the side while you dig the hole at least 24 inches deep. Place the container in the hole and cover it with the remaining soil that was set to the side when digging the hole. Pack the soil using the shovel until the hole is filled with soil.

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