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How deep should a pet grave be?

Updated April 13, 2018

The question of what to do when a pet dies at home is tough to answer. A few considerations should be made when choosing to bury a pet, including geography, wildlife, and local laws.

Geography

Standard pet graves are 3 to 5 feet below the surface. If the burial site floods, 6 to 8 feet is preferred. An aboveground burial casket may also be a solution. Do not choose an area on a hill due to erosion.

Wildlife

If your area has an abundance of wildlife, creating a pile of rocks atop the grave should deter it. Paving slabs are an excellent alternative to a cairn, but both work equally well.

Pet Cemeteries

Approximately 600 pet cemeteries in the United States offer options for an animal's final resting place. Mass burials and private plots are available from these businesses, where you do not have to worry about the depth or safety of your pet's remains.

Alternatives to Burial

Cremation is a popular alternative to burial. Many local animal control centres offer this service. Ask first whether they allow you to keep the remains. Private companies also offer this service to bereaved pet owners.

Laws

Contact local authorities to ensure that local laws do not prohibit burial in your area.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.