Anyone who has lost a dog knows the grief it can cause - because they are family after all.
But unlike family, they die and then we have the choice to either let the vet manage their remains, or to bring them home.
For those of us who want to bring them home, we have the choice of keeping their ashes in the house, or laying them to rest elsewhere, but there are legal requirements to follow when burying our dogs.
The burying of dogs is covered under The Animal By-Products Regulations, last updated in 2013.
The burial of dogs must meet the criteria covered in this legislation, otherwise owners could face a fine or imprisonment.
The criteria are as follows:
- It must not be buried near a water source.
- It must be beneath two feet of soil in heavier soils, and three feet in lighter soils.
- You must own, not rent, the land where the animal is buried.
- The animal must not be hazardous to bury (this can be from treatment previous to their death, such as chemotherapy. If you are unsure, your vet will advise if your animal falls under this category).
Should you bury your dog without meeting these requirements, you can face a maximum fine of £5,000 (the statutory maximum fine in the UK), or three months’ imprisonment.
If your pet/dog can be safely buried at home, then there are certain precautions you can take to ensure your animal rests peacefully.
If you have another pet at home, it is important to let them have a few sniffs of your pet so they understand what has happened.
It is also recommended you bury your dog either in a plastic bag, a metal box, or a wooden box. This, paired with the deep burial, means your animal’s remains are less likely to be disturbed by other animals.
Additionally, it is advisable to cover the burial spot with stones, a slab, or a paving stone to again ensure the spot cannot be disturbed.
You can also add a memorial stone to this spot should you wish.