Is it Against the Law to Bury a Dog in Your Yard?

Written by steve johnson
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Is it Against the Law to Bury a Dog in Your Yard?
Saying goodbye (dog image by jeancliclac from

Burying a pet can be an emotionally disturbing occurrence for any owner. It is common for pet owners to want to bury their pet near their home or within their yard. After all, that is where there are so many fond memories. It is a good idea to know the facts before burying your pet in order to avoid any legal issues.

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Common Practice

It is a common occurrence for owners to bury their pet in their yard, especially for those that live in a rural setting--normally without regard for the legalities involved.


The legality of burying a pet varies from location to location and is based on jurisdictions. For some areas, it is legal to bury a pet--assuming the owner is using his own personal property. For other areas, as well as for people renting property, it is illegal to bury a pet.

Variable Laws

Environmental laws require that owners bury their pets (in places that it's legal) in a specific manner. Graves must be dug to specific depths, marked and must be at a variable distance from all water supplies--depending on your jurisdiction. Your pet must also be buried in an environmentally friendly manner.


Although the laws for pet burial exist, they are rarely enforced by law officials. States generally have vague rules regarding laws on burying pets and also maintain little focus on the matter.

Alternative Options

If burying your pet is banned in your area, other options include taking the pet to a veterinarian's office, where pets are disposed of in an environmentally friendly method. If burial is preferred, it is common practice to take dogs to a pet cemetery.

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