This is certainly not a fun subject but something we all want to know. Is it legal to bury your deceased pet in your yard?

We have the answers and they might surprise you.

Photo credit: Shannon Holly
Photo credit: Shannon Holly
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Losing a pet is brutal. You just don’t want to let them go.  If we are being honest with ourselves, when we choose to bring our deceased home from the vet and we create a makeshift memorial it is more for us than them. 

However, that can go very wrong and there are some reasons why you really should not do it.  But is it legal?  

Here are some reasons why burying your pet can go really wrong:

It Can Be Dug Up By Wild Animals

You suffered the loss once, you don’t need to endure seeing your beloved fur baby’s remains dug up and around your yard because a wild animal or another pet dug him up. 

An animal's sense of smell is so strong this is a very real possibility if you do a home burial.  Also, if your pet passed away from parvovirus then they are highly contagious and it can spread to the animal or other pet digging him up. 

This is super-important, if your pet was put to sleep, that chemical is still in their body and will get the animal seriously sick that gets into those remains.    

Flooding Can Erode Your Memorial

Another reason not to do a home burial is the weather. Remains resurface during floods and heavy rains all the time.  No one needs that heartache.

You May Move

This one may be obvious, but what if you move?  Then you leave him behind and you cannot bring your beloved pet with you for re-burial. 

How much does it cost to bury your pet in a pet cemetery? 

It could be up to $5,000.  That’s insane if you ask me. The option my family always went with was cremation but leaving those ashes with the vet for their processing. We have a wall downstairs that has framed photos of our pets in their happy moments and we remember them that way. However, it is still a personal choice so I looked up the laws for New Jersey and surrounding states concerning at-home pet burial.

By the way, this is a photo of my dearly missed sweet Irish Setter Roxy. She slept next to me every time we snuck a nap.  I'll see you again one day, sweet girl.

Photo credit: Shannon Holly
Photo credit: Shannon Holly
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In New York, there are no rules concerning this whatsoever but you may want to look into your city ordinances just to be sure.  This goes beyond pets, this rule also goes for people.  That is right, you can bury a relative on your property in New York as long as it is as least 6 feet in depth. 

In Pennsylvania, you are allowed to bury your pet on your property but you have to do it within a 48-hour window for it to be legal. 

In New Jersey, home burial is allowed but you have to ensure your pet is buried at least 2 feet under (I would recommend more considering the reasons listed above).

They know how much we love them!  These are the smartest dog breeds ranked.

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Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

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