Burying Your Dog at Home

99 CommentsFriday, 19 September 2014  |  D for Dog

The death of a beloved pet is an upsetting and emotional time. But because it is something we all know, as dog owners, that we will have to face at some stage, I wanted to do a series of bereavement articles discussing topics like when to say goodbye, euthanasia and pet burial. In this article we will discuss pet burial at home.

home pet burial

If you would like to bury your dog at home, you may be wondering if home pet burial is legal, how to be sure of death, how to prepare your dog's body, what specifications the grave should meet such as grave depth, what to bury your dog in (do you need a coffin?) and whether to show the body to your other pets? With so many important questions arising at this time, we hope this article helps answer some of those concerns.

Home pet burial vs cremation

Pet home burials are still popular despite an increase in pet cremations. Home burials are private, personal and less expensive than other alternatives.

Although the popularity of pet cremations has increased in recent years, it isn’t for everyone. Some recent stories in the media of people abusing the trust put in them must have put many people off pet cremation. Apart from the horror stories, pet cremation has other pitfalls that you need to be aware of such as individual versus communal cremation. Communal cremation is common. Always assume the cremation of your pet will be communal unless told otherwise.

Do you really get your own pet’s ashes back? Was your pet even cremated or simply dumped somewhere while the fee was pocketed? The intricacies and pitfalls of pet cremation are many. It is not like human cremation. It doesn’t seem to be regulated… but that is a whole other article.

Burying your dog at home

In this article and video we will discuss everything you need to know about preparing your dog's body after death, the legalities of pet home burial, digging the dog's grave and burying your pet at home.

Can you bury your pet at home? Is it legal to bury your dog in your garden? How can you be certain your pet has passed away? How should you prepare their body? What can you bury your pet in? Where should the grave site be? How deep should your pet's grave be? 

Let’s talk about performing a home burial for your dog. If you want to bury your dog at home, here are some things to be aware of.

The information given is applicable to UK pet home burials. Please check the legalities for your country if you are not based in the UK.

Can I bury my dog at home?

There are few laws or rules regarding UK home pet burial. As long as you own the property (not renting), it has a domestic use and your dog lived there (although quite frankly who is going to check that part), you can bury your pet at home. Please note that this information is correct for the UK. If you live elsewhere you may need to check the legalities for where you live.

The only exception to UK home burial would be if your pet’s remains are considered to be hazardous waste. This seems open to interpretation. If your vet did use this as a reason for your pet not to be allowed home for a burial, ask them for a written explanation.

Also, if you own the property but are worried about what will happen if you move, a home burial may not be your best option.

What do I do if my dog dies at home?

Holding a wake came from the very sensible need to know if a person was really deceased before burying them. The person would be laid out and literally left for a while to see if they would wake up. It sounds strange to us now, but if you are at home with a dying pet it is not necessarily immediately evident when they have passed away. A vet will listen to their heart with a stethoscope and will discreetly check for your pet’s vital signs. But as owners, how can we be sure?

Checking for death

I know it is another dreadful thing to have to think about but you do need to be sure of your pet’s passing before you bury or refrigerate the body. Even vets have been known to get it wrong. It is rare and not something to have nightmares about but here are some signs of death to check for:

  • Check for a pulse or heart beat - place two fingers (not your thumb) lightly on the dog’s chest between/behind the front legs or inside the back legs where the back leg joins the body.
  • Watch and listen for signs of breathing.
  • Check the colour of the gums, which are usually pink when the dog is alive.
  • Finally the start of rigor mortis, where the body becomes stiff, is a sure sign of death.

Don’t feel afraid of making sure of death. It is important. You may even want to call your vet and explain that you would like help determining the death of your pet. Don’t be afraid to do the checks above or to ask for help if you need it.

Preparing your dog's body after death

pet home burial

When your dog has passed away, get a plastic sheet or something else waterproof like a bin bag. This is because bodily fluids can come out of your pet’s body after death and possibly again when moved or handled. On top of that you can put a blanket or towel. Here you can lay your dog’s body on their side, slightly curled up in a sleeping position. This looks more pleasant, makes for easier handling later and positioning in the grave.

Your dog's eyes will probably be open. This is completely natural because all their muscles have relaxed. Please don't worry and there is no need to try to close their eyes.

Should I let my dog see my dead dog?

During this time, if you have any other pets, you may choose to show them the body of their doggie pal. I always feel this can help other dogs or pets in the household to understand that one of their pack has died, rather than wondering where they have gone. Let them see and smell the body and give them as much time as they need, which doesn’t tend to be more than a few sniffs.

How long can you wait to bury a dog?

It is a good idea to wait 2-3 hours after death before burying your pet, to be sure of their demise. Once rigor mortis has set in you can go ahead with the burial.

Sometimes the burial can’t take place right away. Maybe you are waiting for a family member to come home or for a coffin to arrive. If this is the case, it might be an idea to ask your vet if you can use space in their mortuary refrigerator. If this is not possible or if the wait is only for a little while, a cool dark basement or similar place will suffice. You can keep your pet in this way over night, depending on temperature, humidity etc.

How to dig a pet’s grave

Select the position of the grave carefully. It is nice to pick an area of your garden that is pretty or that your dog enjoyed in their lifetime but certain things need to be considered.

Choose a place that is unlikely to need to be excavated in the future (so flower beds are often best avoided unless you plan to put a tree or memorial stone on top) and don’t put a grave in a place that gets boggy or is at risk of flooding. Also, keep the grave site far away from water sources such as wells, ponds, streams etc… Also take care not to disrupt any underground pipes or cables.

To prepare your dog’s grave, measure around your dog to get an idea of the size of grave you need to dig, width and length wise. Depth wise, the grave should be at least 3-4 feet deep. This is for health reasons and also to safeguard against scavengers, other pets from digging up the burial area, or even rain from washing away topsoil and uncovering the grave. Don’t forget a 3 foot deep grave allows for about 2 foot of soil to go back on top.

proper depth of a dog grave for pet home burial

Proper way to bury a dog

What to bury a dog in

Your dog should be buried in something that is breathable and biodegradable like a towel, blanket, wooden, wicker or cardboard coffin. Avoid making a casket out of anything plastic or that is sealed in an air-tight way. Do not bury your dog in a plastic bag or anything else that is non-breathable and non-biodegradable.

Once the grave is filled you will have a mound of earth that can be piled on top. It will eventually settle in time.

Let the whole family be part of the burial. Writing poems, saying a few words, letting children add letters, drawings and dog toys to the grave can all help.

Finally, to mark your pet’s final resting place you can plant a lovely bush or shrub and/or add a keepsake or pet memorial stone.

Plan ahead

Try to think in advance about what you want to happen to your pet’s body after their death. Facing their death is upsetting enough without having to suddenly decide what you want to do with their body. I have known people who hadn’t thought about it in advance and made a quick decision at the time of death that they later regretted.

If you know you would like a home burial for your pet, plan ahead. This is especially important if you want to purchase a coffin. The last thing you want to have to do when you are grieving, in shock and up against time is start a search for the perfect coffin for your dog.

I think home burial is a very personal way to deal with a pet’s passing. It is not expensive and you know exactly what has happened to your pet’s body during the entire process, rather than entrusting the handling to someone else.

Finally, many people feel that, once their pet has passed, the body is now simply an unused vehicle from their life on earth. Don’t feel you have to go to any great lengths to care for remains if you don’t want to. We all have different feelings about this. As long as everyone who loved the pet is in agreement with what should happen to the body, that is all that matters.

“The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master."
Ben Hur Lampman - 1925

By Jenny Prevel

© D for Dog www.dfordog.co.uk
This article belongs strictly to D for Dog and we do not authorise the copying of all or any part of it.

Useful product links

Caroline Chapman
Tuesday, 23 September 2014  |  22:15

Nice sensible, practical article.

My Sister Named Ninyah
Thursday, 14 June 2018  |  20:59

Today was a hard day. 14/06/18
We had to put down our little companion called Ninyah.
She was a great friend.
She was a great source of happiness.

After the doctor put her down at home, i burried her.
It was not as painful as knowing that cancer was getting the best of her.

She had a great soul and struggled hard to survive multiple operations and she survived all of them untill cancer finally won.

She was beautiful and full of joy and she never barked.
She fell asleep on my mothers lap and we loved her untill her last breath. And she will be in my heart untill the day we meet again.

Ninyah my best friend turned 12
Today she became one of the most precious memories in my life.

I loved my little friend and it feels terrible but also very peaceful knowing that she died at home and that we know how she got burried.
We gave her bags of treats and massaged her untill the doctor came to put her down.
And we burried her with all her favorite toys and in my blanket.

You know
When your best friend passes away, the one that was always there for you, it breaks your heart.
But the memories that she left behind are so great, these memories will be cherished forever.

Bye friend

Jeanette Tuffrey
Sunday, 23 September 2018  |  16:18

I lost mylovely jack russell yesterday so heart broken. He was 16 years old. I miss him so much.

Vicki Howard
Saturday, 26 January 2019  |  16:03

I just read your post and I know its been a few months since you lost your little Jack but my heart is breaking for you. I am very close to losing my little jack jack that is why I was on this site. I pray for you and ask that you for me because after 15 years with this little man I don't know what I will do without him.

Monday, 2 December 2019  |  7:12

Hi, I'm currently on this site in the middle of the night because I fear my dog is also coming close to passing. It's just as you said, I don't know what I would do without my dog Nugget.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020  |  12:33

you are so lucky to be able to spend 16 long years ! unlike most of us.

David T
Monday, 17 December 2018  |  18:56

I lost my best friend a German Shepard I got from the rescue 10 yrs ago. She passed away this morning in my arms at home. I donít know the cause but she was almost 12. She cried while sleeping and she never cries and so I went out to her and her breathing was labored till she stopped breathing. At least she died In my arms at the only home she knows. Iíll miss you Brooke my friend.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020  |  8:30

I too have a German Shepard that has been through a lot in the health department. He is now 12 and getting worse day by day. I care for him so much and I think it is time for us to say goodbye. We came to our cottage which he loves and spent many summers at and thinking that our garden here might be the best resting place for our buddy.

Dori Stephen
Sunday, 27 September 2020  |  6:07

I entirely understand how you are feeling. My girl is 13, her birthday was June 29th. Her hips are basically gone but her mind is still very intact. I am 43 years old and today I spent digging a 5 1/2' x 4 1/4' grave that is a tad over 4' deep. Now i am trying to find a good site to show me the best way to build a casket. She (Sahnya) was the last gift my husband gave me before he was killed at work on October 5, 2008. I am trying to keep her comfortable until October 5th as well so they can share their celebration of being together again on the same date. Sounds corny I know but I don't think I can handle anymore "dates". My husband died October 5th. I buried him on the 10th and his 34rd birthday would have been the following day, the 11th of October 💔

Tuesday, 19 June 2018  |  18:46

I feel so sorry for you

Jeffrey Smith
Thursday, 16 May 2019  |  11:19

I live in the United States, my lil pal was killed yesterday by a car that kept going. It's 3 o lock in the morning here and I'm alone burrying my pal. I wasn't sure exactly what to do, but your info helped me complete my ordeal. I just needed to thank you

Lee Skywalker
Sunday, 23 June 2019  |  10:31

First off, so sorry for your loss. I stumbled on this page after a google search cause I too live in the states & came home to what turned out to be my dogís last minutes alive. It was 4 in the morning & I also felt alone which made it even worse. But this page did help me too as far as what steps I can take. I hope it helps other people like it helped us, and if anyone else is stumbling on this because their companion has passed I wish you nothing but strength through your difficult times. Tell your pal to say hi to my babygirl Sue in doggy heaven.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019  |  9:40

So sorry you were alone x

Ranjan Srivastava
Sunday, 30 June 2019  |  9:51

It is very helpful,sencible,beautifully explained article.

Monday, 6 October 2014  |  19:05

Thanks for addressing this emotive subject in such a sensible way.

Cynthia Madrigal
Sunday, 29 March 2015  |  22:12


Mary Rollinson
Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  15:15

This article was a great help at this really stressful time. Thank you.

Monday, 1 June 2015  |  12:29

This is such a helpful article especially as I have never had to deal with this before - Thank you

Wednesday, 19 October 2016  |  14:26

I am 13, and this is my first time to. It is heart breaking

Ana Leah Salazar
Sunday, 27 August 2017  |  18:50

Sweetheart, it is very heartbreaking. Think about your pet who is now in Heaven, no more pain.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015  |  12:35

Very helpful and practical article. Thank you.

Friday, 26 June 2015  |  21:12


Carol A. Pickup
Monday, 13 July 2015  |  20:08

Thank you so much for this article. It is most helpful as I face this very difficult time.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015  |  13:55

Thank you for confirming that it is still ok to bury your dog privately and with dignity..

Saturday, 8 August 2015  |  6:44

thank you so much.

Saturday, 8 August 2015  |  18:58

Thank you for the confirmation we were OK to bury our wee guy at home....

Debra Freeman
Thursday, 27 August 2015  |  13:40

Thank you very much for this article. I needed this to get through this extremely difficult process. I had no idea, what to do before. Thanks again. Very much appreciated.

Roy Wathen
Tuesday, 29 September 2015  |  1:20

Thank you! I was beside myself, and calmed quite a bit, after this article. This was just what I needed to know!

Sunday, 25 October 2015  |  17:37

Buried my puppy this morning and wanted some incite. It was a shock to find my 2 month old mastiff puppy on my couch, sleeping till I needed to take him out to go. Unresponsive and lifeless, after being playful hrs prior. Felt he's been sick since receiving him. Tried everything we could, Weekly checkups and changes in diets. It was a big blow to the family, he got lots of love but we buried him with one of his fav toys. Thanks for the inciteful article.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015  |  22:35

Thankyou for letting me know i did the correct thing. She was run over and it is nice to know she will be happy where she has gone. It is terrable lossing one of the family.

Saturday, 21 November 2015  |  14:58

when cremation of a dog is it alone or with other dog all cremated at once

D for Dog
Saturday, 21 November 2015  |  15:26

Hi Donna, it can vary from crematorium to crematorium. Most do mass pet cremations i.e. many animals all together but some do them individually or divide them off. So it is definitely a question to ask the crematorium you plan to use. Mass cremations (the most common type) is not something they will necessarily tell you they do unless you specifically ask.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019  |  22:07

Depending on the euthanasia service you use, you can have you can get a private single cremation. And you can even be there at the cremation. If you ask for a Private creamation you can even be there. But at least you Know you get just Your Dogs asses back. With what they call a Group cremation, that is supposedly where no ashes are returned.

Devon Bird
Sunday, 20 December 2015  |  18:31

Me and my family thank you so, as our dog died on Christmas eve

Michael Kennedy
Monday, 4 January 2016  |  1:09

Hard to keep a dry eye to read but need to no very good thanks.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016  |  15:37

I so thank you for your insight my dog died this morning he was only 2 years old I didn't know what to do until I googled this article I'm so thankful for you for making me feel a little at ease for bury my dog in the backyard thank you so much and God bless you

Wednesday, 6 January 2016  |  16:49

Our Jack Russell passed away on 2nd Jan.2016, one day after her 20th birthday. She is at rest along with our other two mates who went 3& 5 years ago. Despite the age it is sad that she has gone,but is still with us in the garden ( if you understand what I'm getting at.). I was tempted to have her cremated but, after reading that it is not individual, I am glad that she was buried now. Thank you for the advice. It helps with the grieving

Saturday, 23 January 2016  |  18:34

Our little Jack Rusell Toby had help to go to sleep at his home 2 days ago (21st Jan)Arranged with vet for cremation and no ashes returned, as I was in such a state of crying etc etc etc I found it hard to talk without sobbing. I had wanted a garden burial as this is his home but ended up not doing it. After all these years together the thought and actual loss was too much for me and didn't quite think clearly. Just found out today that it's mass cremation and ashes put in a hole in the ground. That thought is too unbearable so I've contacted the vet to arrange singular cremation and the return of Toby to his rightful place, his home. I was informed that this is an extra £70-where has the compassion and love gone, it's all big money now and seemingly little regard for the hurting. I can't stop crying and still unable to move little 'furrybutts' bed or bowls and coming home to an empty house is gut wrenching. I feel sorry for you Murphy as I know how it hurts so deeply.

Sunday, 24 January 2016  |  23:52

I meant to say Toby was 21years....long life for a little dog and your one too. My heart is aching!

Monday, 25 January 2016  |  0:04

Was informed at 11am today by the vet that Toby was already 'done' on Friday evening after being told he definitely wouldn't be cremated until Monday 25th January or possibly later. I have been feeling sick all day because of all this conflicting information. I was also told it was mass cremation and I can have no ashes and that he's already totally gone. They did said as a 'good will gesture' the crematorium is giving me his cremation certificate with his personal number on it. How heartless is that 'a good will gesture' when your little furrybutt has died. I'm just so beside myself with it all. All I can say is it's a blessing that they don't 'do' people, what a nightmare!

Cameron Diamond
Friday, 22 January 2016  |  16:06

Reading all your messages helped a lot. I used to find it very odd when people cried about pets. After losing my first ever dog last night i now understand. My dog, Shaggy, was such a happy dog and we could not help but love him. Im still very beaten up by the fact that I dont know why he died since he was his usual cheerfull self the whole. Wish dogs knew how to call for help.

Monday, 25 January 2016  |  0:24

Our Labrador Coco died in my arms today while my children were playing and my husband out working. She was 11yrs old. She was unwell for a couple of months and getting weaker but I still didn't expect what happened today. We're all very traumatised by her death but I found comfort in knowing we can bury her in our garden. The thought of going into our kitchen every morning and she's not there is harrowing fir me as its only the two of us every day when everyone else is in work/school. Thank you again for this insightful article. Yvonne

Saturday, 21 April 2018  |  0:17

My dog has died today. She is a golden retriever. She also was sick for 2 months went to the vet but still not responding that much to the treatment. Itīs heartbreaking because i have always seen my dogs as members of my family not as simple pets. Itīs just life...

Lorna Boyd
Monday, 8 February 2016  |  15:56

Thank you so much for this useful and helpful article. The laws may be different here in California, but your info and considerations are very helpful nonetheless.

Pammie Henderson
Tuesday, 9 February 2016  |  16:53

Your article helped me so much. It showed me that you understood how important pets are in our lives and I appreciate the information and I'm better equipped on how to lay my precious Shebba to rest. Thank you so much.

Monday, 18 April 2016  |  20:01

Thanks for your article. My dog Nakky just died, I never knew I will cry or miss her not until now.

Friday, 22 April 2016  |  7:50

Many thanks for the article and the lovely words by all of these kind people. Our beautifual Staffie has passed in our arms and is now laid to rest in her own part of the garden that she loved so much. Still undecided as to the long term memorial but love the idea of the rose named BEST FRIEND. Thanks everyone.

Diane Meyer
Wednesday, 4 May 2016  |  7:37

This article was so helpful and informative. Our 11 year old Great Pyrenees, Angel Rose, left us today for the Rainbow Bridge, and we are heartbroken, but happy that we could peacefully bury her on our lovely wooded acreage that she so lovingly protected for us. Angel Rose had been declining for the last 18 months due to hip dysplasia, but pain meds kept her with us until she developed a very aggressive cancer very recently. She died in our arms early this evening, and we buried her at sunset, with many tears. Before she left us, she trained our new Great Pyrenees, Mirabelle, to take over watching our Japanese Chin dogs in the Texas countryside. Thanks for helping us know what to do, as we usually cremate the Japanese Chin, but we felt like she would want to be buried in her favorite woods. It gives us peace that she is no longer in pain, and that she has been gently laid to rest. We will keep her in our heart always.

Carol M Ward
Sunday, 8 May 2016  |  21:45

thank you we buried our two nippers at home very tough to do but once over
felt a calmness. tomorrow we have the
awful decision again our rescue rottie
so sudden yet hope she finds the
peace and painfree life in spirit.

Saturday, 21 May 2016  |  2:27

Thank you so much so helpful just had to deal with this

Monday, 18 July 2016  |  23:00

Thank you so much for the article it help me after losing my dog after 16 years he was suffering and had to be put down and I wanted him to be close to us in our house

Maggie Hussuung
Tuesday, 16 August 2016  |  1:01

Our pup Jake was hit and killed in middle of a busy street. A neighbor came by to tell my husband our dog was dead. My husband had to walk down to pick him up and walk back home carrying him. Jake was the happiest, funniest, scrawniest dog you'd ever see. He looked like the Grinch with the way his hair grew. He was the light of our life.
We buried him among the flowers and trees in back. Unfortunately, we didn't dig deep enough and now have to remove him and rebury. We are devastated. Once was difficult enough but to go through it again is overwhelming. He was only 2.
Wish I had read your article sooner.
It will help others do the correct thing.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016  |  18:31

This has been very helpful to me. I have always kept my babies at my side after saying goodbye. They will always be with me, in my garden. I have another difficult goodbye to say to my 13 1/2 year old lab. I will miss her dearly, though I can't even think of it without crying. You feel "maybe she'll be better tomorrow". Though I know that is not the case. Friday will be my final farewell to my friend, my baby, my life, my little Nevaeh. I know that she will be happy in the heavens above for sure. She will be her true self, running, playing and jumping. My dad will take very good care of her. She will not be alone when she leaves us. I know that she will have loved ones waiting to meet this wonderful beautiful girl. I will truly miss my baby girl.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016  |  2:13

Thank you so much. My Cocker Spaniel just passed today. This was helpful. Definitely putting a drawing I did of 1 of her pups.

Monday, 19 September 2016  |  2:22

Thank you. You've put my mind at rest. We're saying goodbye to our beautiful Molly tomorrow and want to keep her at so home, so decided to bury her in the back garden.

Your article has reassured me that what we're doing is okay.

Thank you for that.

Deborah Whitton
Tuesday, 27 September 2016  |  16:13

Thankyou for this comforting advice-we used it to bury Holly in the back garden this morning-she was an old doggy and when I go over I will go straight to Rainbow bridge and get her back!

Nalina Nagessur
Thursday, 13 October 2016  |  15:38

i just put my beloved baby lion a tiny kitty to rest now I have so much guilt of where I buried her and wanna dig her up and bring her a lay her to rest in our back yard is this a good idea

Saturday, 15 October 2016  |  19:21

We have just buried our beloved cat 4 years old, he is now resting in the garden with our other two cats, we wrapped them up in towels, we still have his brother who misses him terribly but he gives us a great deal of comfort

Friday, 2 December 2016  |  15:57

Thank you for this article. My little girl passed early this morning. She's now in the garden she loved exploring, underneath an apple tree.

Shauna Griffin
Friday, 13 January 2017  |  2:10

Thank you for the insight.
One of my dogs is about to be 17 and we know the time is approaching. I have been trying to give some thought to it now when I can think clearly rather then when it happens and I an devastated.
I have another dog , specifically a beagle with an incredible nose on her . She loves the dog in question very much , so I am curious , if we bury him in our backyard , will she sense him and try to dig him up? I would rather avoid something like this happening so I thought I should ask. Thankyou again!

D for Dog
Friday, 13 January 2017  |  9:25

Hi Shauna, Well done for giving this some thought and getting prepared. I would definitely make sure your beagle gets to see her pal for the last time after he has passed. Dogs do understand death. Seeing the body will definitely help. Also let her attend the burial so she can see where her pal has been laid to rest. Let her investigate things as much as you can at this point. If she wants to jump in and have a sniff even, that's fine. As I say, dog's understand death and she won't do any harm to her pal's body. My dogs have always just wandered off at this point but if they want, I always let my dogs see and join in on the burial. I also bury deeper than the 3-4 feet recommendation. Most of my dogs have been terriers and they have never then tried to dig up or even investigate the finished burial site afterwards. I hope that helps.

Thursday, 16 March 2017  |  19:15

saddest thing is the vet wants to keep treating my 16yr old yorkie costing me fortunes, then to put him to sleep and dispose of his body is another money spinner, our local rspca & pdsa (wirral) r closed due to lack of funding so i cant get an honest appraisal for him i.e. not the best money spinner, poor love, deaf, nearly blind, lost most of his teeth yet on good days he's as spritely as a dog half his age full of energy, it's all so sad

Wednesday, 19 April 2017  |  23:15

This was a very helpful artical, all the information I was looking for. I want to thank you for posting it. This has been a dreadful day, and it was much needed info. We lost a big part of our family today, he was 17 years old. I didn't want to take him away from home to die. Thanks again

Jack W
Thursday, 4 May 2017  |  20:55

Thx for the useful site. Am getting ready in one hour to do the hardest thing we have had do in long time, put our precious 7 year old yellow lab to sleep.
After diagnosed with pancreatitis 2 years ago we almost lost her twice, this time its doing her in we cant see her in pain anymore. We love this dog more then life it self, she has made life much more enjoyable and its killing us to have put her down.
Everyone here knows how much you can love a dog thats why your here, godless you all for losing a wonderful friend that we all only get to experience in such a short time in our lives.

Elsie Rowe
Friday, 19 May 2017  |  21:24

Today we are putting our Bordeaux to sleep at our Vet...Have had her for 8yrs now. She is a Tripod 3 legged due to an accident. Was diagnosed with cancer in the breast. She has had 2 lots of beautiful litter in her lifetime. Just lately her cancer has grown..weight loss can be seen ..very heart wrenching to see her carry herself on 3 legs..Im bringing her home to be buried..Dug her place last week..as this shudve been done then..due to a crisis it was put on hold..She is a lovely dog and will be dearly missed..Thanks for the tips, as i was not sure what to do..We have one of her pups who is 8mths old..so will let her sniff her mum before burial. once again thank you

Patricia Venner
Sunday, 11 June 2017  |  14:14

Thank you for information, had to put my dear little 14 year old jack Russell Ben to sleep today, going to bury him in his wicket basket wrapped up in a wool blanket

Trish Stubbs
Monday, 12 June 2017  |  18:04

This was so helpful, we are planning for the death of our lovely pet Meg, we know its coming and want to make sure we do the right thing for her. the info about what to wrap her in and that we can bring her home was so helpful.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017  |  7:50

Rest in Peace to all of your animals. Thank you for writing this article as it seems to have helped many people. My Scottish Terrier passed away after 12 years. She was the most loving creature. She left me with so many amazing memories. God bless.

Thursday, 13 July 2017  |  6:28

I just put my 15 year old Lhasa Apso to sleep today. he was the best companion anyone could have wished for. He knew his time had come and welcomed it in the end. He passed very peacefuly at my home. I slept with him for two hours on the floor. tonight will be the last time he sleeps by my bed and i will bury him in the morning in my garden in his favorite spot. he was special in many ways and know that we will meet again on the other side. My life has been left with a huge void in his absence. RIP Wee Roscoe ..wait at the rainbow bridge and I will come and get you my faithful friend..You will be missed every day xxxx

D for Dog
Thursday, 13 July 2017  |  8:54

Run free Roscoe xxx

John D Denton Uk
Sunday, 20 August 2017  |  14:25

many thanks for your info knowing im doing things right

Saturday, 14 October 2017  |  22:42

My dog died today and it's raining outside, should I dig the hole and bury him now or how long until we should dig the hole/will he last in the basement?

D for Dog
Sunday, 15 October 2017  |  11:24

I'm sorry for your loss John. With regards your question, there is no harm either way, so it is entirely up to you. I have buried a dog when it is raining, so if you don't mind a bit of rain then go ahead. Alternatively, laying him in a cool place like the basement for a day or maybe even two would be OK too. I wouldn't advise any longer than that and you may like to lay him on a waterproof mat or plastic sheet. If it is really pouring with rain and you feel it may rush or spoil the burial I would put him in the cool basement and wait until tomorrow. One day will not make much of a difference, in a cool environment protected from wild animals like foxes and rats.

Monday, 20 November 2017  |  5:02

Thank you for this article, my first dog (Lucky) died Nov 18, 2017, 6 1/2 years old, as I type this I am crying so hard to take, as he was hit by a car.

Thursday, 29 March 2018  |  16:40

We are taking our beautiful Elsie to the vets in an hour and a half to be put to sleep. I will miss her so much, but this article is a comfort. Itís such a terrible decision to make - I donít think I can ever have another dog as itís so heartbreaking to say goodbye. 💔

Sunday, 29 April 2018  |  14:56

We said goodbye to our beloved nearly 17 year old dog 23 hours ago. The ache in my heart is so real but the love that remained will gain a foothold again.

Debadutta Mohanty
Monday, 7 May 2018  |  9:15


Richard Striegel
Sunday, 3 June 2018  |  18:20

One of are family dogs passed away wedesday night may 24th 3.40 am.it was terrible watching her go there that pain.i loved that little dog her name is sweepea 4.12 year old toy poodle.it was heart breaking seeing her take those last breaths.i tryed to help everyway i could talking to her many times will she was fighting for her life.but it njust happened she passed.i yelled her name and cryed.i layed out back on the table on the pouch so her little spirit could be free.she liked going on the back pouch and down in the yard.we buried her out back.i know she liked being let out to play back there

Wednesday, 20 June 2018  |  19:27

Hi my 4 yr old Burmese cat was run over a few days ago and I buried him under the willow tree next to his friend. I will miss him dreadfully. Far too soon to go - my other cat was 21.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018  |  23:34

This was a good article. My cat is 14 & has mouth cancer. I wanted to keep her with me until she passed (if possible) but my life circumstances are forcing me to euthanize her in the next few days. I know sheís not feeling well but .. Anyway, it has to be done. Iím going to take her to the vet. The charge is $60. I wanted to cremate, which is an additional $215!!! I canít afford that and now that Iíve read these stories Iím not sure I like they way they handle our loved pets. However, I donít have a nice place to bury her. Well I do have one; itís at the cemetery where my son is buried. I own the lot next to him where I will be buried when I go. There is a bench that sits on my lot with a 12x12 cement block & white gravel under it. Iím digging the spot there. Itís 10Ē deep now. I have 2 more early evenings so I will continue to dig as deep as I can. I will place her there, wrapped in a soft cloth and cover it with the flat block. When I leave this world her body will already be a part of the earth but I just know sheíll be waiting on Rainbow Bridge to join me. At least, I hope so. I want to believe I will see all of those Iíve loved & lost: people and pets alike. Good bye Ramona, youíve been a wonderful companion and I will miss you.

Neal M
Friday, 29 June 2018  |  7:17

My sweet dog died today, naturally after about 48 hours of going through the dying process. I wrote this to help and after reading this nice article and caring comments I thought I would share it in case it helps anyone else in the future.


12/3/2004 - 6:40pm PST 6/28/2018
Little sweetie died in my arms after I lifted her up to move her back onto her bedding for comfort as she lay breathing rapidly with the end clearly near, as if she was waiting for me to hold her one last time to finally release herself from her suffering. Her breathing simply stopped while she was in my arms and after a moment her head rolled forward onto my arm. Her eyes remained open, and after a few minutes of holding her I tried to close them, but they would not stay shut.
I think it was a final gift of love that she gave me to wait for me to hold her, and perhaps she needed it as well to know that I was there with her and that she was safe for her transition.

She was the sweetest and gentlest creature Ė a pure joy bringer. I will always love her and will not forget her and her silly ways.
I had prayed for her suffering to end and offered to take her pain upon myself when my time came to die, as I she did not deserve it. If I suffer in the end I need to remember this bargain I made and know it is worth it.

If I failed her in any way I hope she can forgive me. I did the best I could in my condition and always erred on the side of protecting her. I know she would have loved to be around more people as her main joy was giving love and making new friends. I am sure I failed her in that regard. She was full of love and never harmed another living creature, including insects which she would curiously sniff and then walk gently around. I am sure she would have loved to have had puppies when she was younger, and she would have been a wonderful mother.

I am thankful for the gift that she was to my life, and will always be grateful for her.

I buried her body out back in the sandy desert under a tree. I had dug a hole large enough so she would have room and not be scrunched up in anyway. Her body was still wamr and limber as I lay her on her side. I fluffed the sheets thicker under her head so it was like it was on a small pillow. she looked like she was in a peaceful sleeping position with her legs bent in the natural position.. I put a sheet over her and after saying some loving words of gratitude, all of which she had heard before in the final few months of her life, I covered her with the dirt. I wish I had wrapped her body better in the sheets before hand as one of her rear legs became exposed as the dirt was laid upon her. but I didnít like the manhandling of her body that required. I figure though in the long run it doesnít really matter as the sheets will rot and she will return to the earth with only her bones remaining. May her body rest in peace undisturbed, and her spirit be eternally free.

Her favorite treats were bananas, sour kombucha scoby, and bread. I wish I had given her more of them.

She suffered more than I wish she had the final year or so of her life as she had a large tumor on her hind near her anus, but she still found joy and peace being with Finn and I, and in the small routines of the day. She was definitely a creature of habit and I was always amused by her predictability in small ways.

The day before her final decline began I found her and Finn laying together, which I hadnít seen in a while. She was laying on her side and Finn had his head laying gently across her body. I took a photo of it. The next 48 hours as it was clear that she was dying Finn did not bother her and at first it bothered me that he never seemed to visit her as she lay slowly drifting towards death in the dark bathroom where she had retreated to be by herself. But I think they had already said their goodbyes when they laid together that final time and he let her go off alone to be released from her suffering, and honored her by not bothering her.
He did come over and sniff her for a while after she had died, and then retreated from the room.

It has been a few hours now and bed time nears. The apartment feels lonely and I find myself almost heading off to the other rooms to look for her in her usual places when I see she is not out here with Finn and I. Tonight will be hard not hearing her gentle breathing and occasional light snoring, but it will be a relief to now hear her labored death rattles like I heard last night.

I love you Fallon and always will. Goodbye sweet girl. Hopefully you are with Mommy Mina now, your kindred spirit who loved you.

As I find sadness for the loss of her coming into my heart, I am trying to remember her suffering towards the end, and be happy it is over for her. It is not always easy to do, but it helps.

Ruthi Rae
Friday, 6 July 2018  |  23:14

My beautiful little boy Batley went to sleep yesterday; after 16 years of love, fun, memories & friendship. I knew that it was time to let him go with dignity. I live alone; so after a night trip to the emergency vet hospital I cried all night and finally came to the decision that in the morning we would go back and ease his suffering. I explained all of this to him & he seemed to understand - Bonkers I know; but he seemed so tired and hated the indignity he was suffering; it was like he gave me permission to set him free.
He couldn't stand to pee or get food from his bowl; so I fed him his favourite treats from a plate before we left for our last journey together.
Early in the morning; I dug his grave myself in my garden (almost 4 foot deep), close to grooves in the lawn that he had worn a pathway in over years of walking around the same little route umpteen times a day. I can also see this sunny spot from the conservatory and felt that it would be special for both of us.
I drove him to the vets; stroked and petted him for over half an hour in a private room while we waited and then finally held his little head until he slipped peacefully away. The vet helped me to wrap him in a puppy pad to absorb any leaks; and then snuggled him up in his blankets. We drove home and I laid him to rest a little while on his bed.
Once I had composed myself; I then placed his cushioned bed into the grave along with a selection of his favourite toys before gently lowering him in.
I felt awful shovelling soil onto my best friend; so I just kept my eyes averted. Once complete I knelt and said a prayer for God to keep him safe until we can be together again.
I then came into the house and completely fell apart and sobbed for hours.
This has been the hardest most traumatic thing I have ever had to do; but i knew I owed my little man a dignified end and a comfortable place to rest.
I wish that I'd had someone to help me physically & emotionally; but alas their is nobody and so i just did what had to be done.
The house now feels empty & bare so I sit in the garden where I feel close to him.
I've ordered a little slate headstone and tomorrow will go to get a couple of bags of decorative stones / slate to cover the bare earth that encloses my precious little dog. I'm glad that I have done everything for him myself - I know that he knows I have cared for him untill the absolute end & it has given me closure.
I return to work on Monday & have been able to have 2 days off & a weekend to mourn the loss of my special friend.
He was my favourite hello & the hardest goodbye ever - rest In peace Batley. You are no longer by my side but you will forever have your paw prints in my heart.

I hope that this story helps anyone in the same dreadful position who is not sure which way to go with either euthanasia or burial at home.

Jackie Phillips
Thursday, 2 August 2018  |  3:45

Barried a puppy three weeks ago and now are notiacing a odor what can i do to get rid of the odor

Monday, 6 August 2018  |  9:06

I do think this article is helpful, but there is one aspect of this subject that was not covered, which I think is hard to talk about, but SO important.... and that is just HOW deep you really need to dig down to ensure that the grave is not disturbed by foxes or other animals. The hole needs to be 2 or 3 feet deep! That is a lot of work but is completely necessary. I have recently been called to help a friend who had buried her beloved dog too shallow and it had been dug up and the body badly disturbed... It was not pleasant... PLEASE DIG DEEP!!!

D for Dog
Monday, 6 August 2018  |  9:23

That is awful :-( Yes, it is mentioned. From the article above:

Depth wise, the grave should be at least 3-4 feet deep. This is for health reasons and also to safeguard against scavengers, other pets from digging up the burial area, or even rain from washing away topsoil and uncovering the grave. Donít forget a 3 foot deep grave allows for about 2 foot of soil to go back on top.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018  |  0:42

Two comments : one good one very bad: best way to bury an animal at home is to double/triple wrap him in heavy gauge shower curtin liner and seal with heavy roofing tape, the kind that has one shiny side. smell will not penetrate material will not bio degrade good for a life time. Burial will not have to be deep BUT unless you live in an arid area you pet will not stay in the place where buried. Heavy rains will turn the ground to mud and the pet will move many feet from original place of burial. I have many animals buried in the back yard and I just discovered that the wrappings are not where I buried them, I'm trying to determine in what direction they moved. I'm upset that this happened but they are still close by which is important. Don't know if deep burial in some sort of wieghted container will resist movement but if you have buried your guy at home years ago don't think he/she is where you put him her. My animals had about six inches of soil on top of them and in as little as four years the bodies have moved more than four feet.

D for Dog
Wednesday, 24 October 2018  |  10:00

Dear Stephen, thank you for your comments. I am afraid that, while your burial method is not illegal, it is not to be advised. Depth wise, the grave should be at least 3-4 feet deep. This is for health reasons and also to safeguard against scavengers digging up the burial area or even rain from washing away topsoil and uncovering the grave. Six inches of topsoil is definitely not a deep enough burial. I'm not sure but that may also be the reason why your pets bodies have moved. Wrapping the pet in waterproof or other non-biodegradable material is also not advised. Fluids and gasses need to escape. If you are going to wrap your pet up, it is best to use a blanket or something else that is biodegradable to allow for natural decomposition. If you do use a plastic bag you should perforate the bag.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018  |  3:14

Hardest thing Iíve ever gone thru - seeing my 12 yr old yellow lab slowly deteriorate due to an illness. Only to have his life abruptly cut short due to sudden and painful stomach bloat. Seemed so unfair. As a family we decided to bury him in the back of the yard behind the playscape. We made a headstone for him with a clay paw print I was able to make after he passed. The only concerns Iím thinking of are length from house. He is about 150 feet away. We do not have a well. I have a vegetable garden about 30 feet away. I hadnít even thought of health risks until I see it mentioned in articles. Should I be worried that heís too close to where kids play and I plant summer food ? It was as far away as I could go. Though we felt much more closer with a home burial, being that he is such I large dog I hope I made the best choice. Thank you for the article. Iím still in a bit of shock - perhaps Iím overthinking things.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019  |  22:18

I buried my furbaby of 20yrs only 10 ft from the foundation of my home in the back yard. I have never had any problem with my garden or flowers around that area.

Margie Williams
Saturday, 19 January 2019  |  2:30

About 6 weeks ago I had to make the decision to let my dog go to heaven he was only 5 years old diabetes it was the hardest thing I have ever done I stood by his side til his last breathe let him know and tell him mama here love ya little guy then brought him home wrap him in a blanket put him in a coffin box and then a trash bag over it tied up buried him in the yard still to this day since he past I go to his grave every morning tell him mama going to work be back later love ya then when i come home from work let him know mama home and every night before I go to bed I go out there and tell him goodnight mama loves ya call me crazy by it I love and miss that little guy

Stanley Melvin
Thursday, 2 May 2019  |  0:47

I just buried my shelter dog of 16 years. I had planned to take her be cremated but the place was 86 miles away. The local landfill said they could bury her and me not wanting her to begin to decay, thought that was the right track. When I got there the place was closed. I roomer her back home and laid her to rest in her home soil. I let her sister say goodbye after I dug the grave and then after a prayer of thanks to God for letting enjoy my baby for 16 years. I covered softly with the ground she has claimed as her home. Other peopleís stories on this site compelled me to share and vent my sorrow for my loss. I never had children and Sheba was one of my two fur babies. God rest her soul

Friday, 1 November 2019  |  16:37

My darling boy is being put to sleep at home on Monday. My heart is broken. I only lost my Dad a few months ago, how do I cope with this?

Thursday, 5 December 2019  |  7:38

Just lost our chihuahua Vogue early hours of this morning to chronic heart disease. I had such a bad feel from the service at Mandeville Hospital in Northolt. Initially when Vogue collapsed, naturally, we rushed her to the hosp on an emergency basis. Cost was not an issue for us but apart from the very first locum who assessed her all other interactions seemed to be pushing us to put her down. The Costs spiralled upwards very quickly and there is little transparency about the costs of treatment, the costs associated with medication the costs associated and charged each time the vet prescribes medication the list just goes on but Vogie's health rallied and we were able to bring her home and happy to pay the thousand charged. Had a second emergency visit more aware of costs this time but you aren't shown the medication your pet is out of sight and if you question...the response from some staff was impatient again the costs spiralled..It was more stressful for Vogue to be left with and handled by strangers this time Vogue suffered brain damage can never be sure if the increased stress to her heart occurred because we left her or because of the CHD. There should be opportunities to stay with your pet... but when you are already fearful of your pets health deteriorating you go with the 'professional's recommendations. It would be nice to get the feel from the professionals involved that they will work to keep your pet alive not be subtly promoting the option for you to put them to sleep and I strongly believe also that you should be allowed to be with your pet. I wouldn't leave a family member alone in a hospital when their health is compromised. 16 years on Vogie is a member of our family. This whole cycle has been stressful so I am pleased she has passed safely at home ... she deteriorated quickly in her house surrounded by everything and everyone that is familiar to her and equally pleased to know that it is okay to bury her in the garden. Have all the details and costs for The hosp to put her down, cremate her, etc etc I would have been mortified if I had found out post cremation that Vogie had been cremated with other animals. So I'm now going to happily pick a spot in our garden and follow the steps to dig a very deep hole wrap her safely and lay her body to rest, blessed to have had her with us have lots of photos.

Thursday, 12 December 2019  |  17:18

Buried my best friend and companion of 13 years today. I had his mum then he came along. The only one of the litter i couldnt bear to part with. Best decision i ever made. I took a break during the grave dig to make a sandwich, still turned round to give him some cheese. Broke me he wasnt sat there patiently waiting.

Friday, 22 May 2020  |  13:10

Our 16yo Pomeranian passed away in his sleep last night, we're going to bury him under our apple tree that he loved.

Cintia Laurencio
Thursday, 17 September 2020  |  20:31

Thank you for this reading. My dog passed away this morning after suffering so much. He was 15 years old.

Archie Gallo
Saturday, 26 September 2020  |  8:21

I have lived in my home for about 30 years, I have buried so many animals on my property I canít even count, once upon a time I had two male rotties my neighbor had a female, beighn ignorant we got them together,it just took one time and female got preagnant, time passed and she went into labor the night of the championship fight between Holyfield and mike Tyson me and my wife stayed with her while she was giving birth, it was heartbreaking to hear her wine, anyway she gave birth to 9 puppies we were up all night after she was finished she cleaned them up, we started noticing that one of the pups wasnít moving,omg we panicked,it was 3:30 in the morning on a Sunday closest 24 hr vet was 30 miles away,we panicked more when the second one stopped moving,omg then they all started diying we didnít know what to do and the mother was freezing out we thought she would bite us,long story short only one was moving, I ran in house and warmed some milk and blanket and started fires feeding this little guy, anyway out of 9 only one survived that night, so I named him Tyson he lived with us for 12 years till I had to put him down, bad hip problems he was in pain and I knew it,I tell this story because people should know owning a pet is a huge responsibility and heartache,I buried all the little ones in my yard, thru the years Iím guessing I buried at least 15 doggies, Iím still living in my pet cemetery, one day I made a cement slab and engraved all their names on it.its so sad that they only last so long, heartbreaking when u have to part.

Friday, 23 October 2020  |  8:33

Hi My name is Irene. Just lost a puppy called Teddy. I feel very sad. I have burried him in a box 2ft under. Then put hip of soil on top.
I agree with you that every family is different and has different attachments to pets.

Thursday, 5 November 2020  |  2:59

Iíve just found this article because my Yorkie passed away and I didnít know what to do. Lisa was truly a bad ass dog. Literally her street name in Brooklyn was ďchicken boneĒ. An original Bushwick Yorkshire. We recently moved to Florida and I have a house Iíll be able to lay her to rest. Reading this entire thread has help me focus on getting through this terrible night. I do find comfort that I was here with her and I was able to hold her as she passed. Rip CHICKENBONE

D for Dog Online Dog Products and Accessories