Your pet was a loyal and loving member of the family, so it is only right that you want to give him a proper burial. Animal burial is not a strange or distasteful concept. Many pet owners choose to lay their dog or cat to rest with dignity.
The First Step
If you want to give your pet a proper burial, then you will need several days or more to plan it out. You need to preserve your pet's body in a safe and whole state by placing it in a very cold environment, a freezer or refrigerator is ideal, until you are ready to put him in the ground. Prepare a hard container, like a sturdy cardboard box, to place his body in. Wrap the box securely with several trash bags or thick plastic wrap. Place the secured box in a chest freezer if possible. Consult a veterinarian about the best option for preserving your pet's body if you don't have room in a freezer. You can dump ice between the plastic bags surrounding the box to keep it cool for a short time.
Home Burial Regulations
Legal regulations probably are the last thing on your mind after losing your furry friend, but don't ignore them. If you want to bury your pet at your house, you must check your property's unique regulations as well as local laws. Many states and counties have strict laws that define an appropriate animal burial. For example, residents of Indiana can bury their pet, but the body must be at least 4 feet below the ground's natural surface, according to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. Ask your landlord and check local property regulations as well, especially if you live in a highly developed area.
There's a good chance that burying your pet at home won't be a viable option. If you aren't the owner of the property, you may not want to leave your pet underneath a stranger's lawn if you decide to move out. Fortunately, pet cemeteries provide an alternate way for you to lay your friend to rest without violating any rules. Look for local pet cemeteries online or ask a local animal shelter or veterinarian about nearby sites. Some cemeteries even offer special caskets designed for pets, as well as headstones and other funeral services to send your pet off in style.
While some pet owners may not be able to bear the idea of burning their pet's body, cremation offers a way for you to keep your pet's remains as a memory without an official burial. Pet cemeteries as well as some veterinary establishments can cremate your pet and store his ashes in an urn for you. You can keep the urn in a secure location in your home or place it with a memorial elsewhere. This can be a preferable alternative to home burial if you live in an area with wild animals, to avoid the possibility of a scavenger exhuming your deceased pet's body.
- Flowers on a Grave image by pmstephens from Fotolia.com