But just like when we lose human family members, we have to make decisions after our pet passes on.
When that time comes to say goodbye, no matter what the circumstances, we must determine what to do with their body.
Growing up, every time we lost a pet, we gathered our family around a circle, said some prayers, and buried our beloved pet in our backyard.
But is what we did legal?
A friend of mine and I were having this discussion recently. He just lost his dog and he was trying to decide what to do with his dog’s remains and home burial came up. Neither of us really knew if it was totally legal so I decided to do some research.
Can You Legally Bury Your Pet in Your Backyard?
This is actually pretty tricky because laws vary by state and for some, by county (or parish). However, in most states, it is legal to bury your pet in your backyard with certain restrictions and rules.
In Louisiana, pet burial at home is indeed allowed as long as the burial site is at least 6 feet deep, and the animal does not carry any infectious disease.
I’ll admit, I’ve never dug down that far to bury a pet. (Think about it, that’s like digging down deep as a person is tall…if that makes any sense.)
But I bet digging down a sensible depth is ok for most authorities, but that’s just my two cents.
Tips for Burying Your Pet at Home
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “If you choose to bury your pet at home, put the body in a heavy-duty plastic bag, encase it in a secure receptacle such as a wood or metal box, and bury it at least three feet deep. This helps prevent other animals From being attracted by the scent and digging at the gravesite. Home burials allow caregivers to be near their pet’s remains, but this option may not be suitable if you move frequently.”
Of course, check with your city or parish government to see whether there are any specific rules for your area.
Likewise, if you live within a community that is governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), you will want to read the rules to see if it is against the HOA rules to bury your pet in your backyard.
I hope this helps ease your mind the next time you have a furry friend pass away. But in the meantime, love on them and give them all the hugs and kisses they can stand while they’re here on earth.
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