It’s a sad fact that dogs don’t live forever! If that day has come for you and your family, it’s a sorrowful time, and I understand how you feel. I know this all so well. So let’s look at your options and how you can keep within the law.

Yes, in the UK, you can legally bury your dog on the grounds of the home where they lived. However, the land must be owned, not rented and not buried near a water source. The deceased dog must not be deemed hazardous to human health.

The Animal By-Products Regulations 2013 covers deceased pets in the UK.

What makes a dead dog hazardous to human health

  • Taking specific medication before death
  • Chemo
  • Disease

Please call your veterinarian for further details on whether or not your dog is deemed hazardous due to medication they were taking before their death.

Must Own The Land

If you don’t own your land, unfortunately, you are not supposed to bury your dog in the garden. However, there are other burials you can do, like a funeral. Call your vets for further information.

The Dog Must Of Live In The House

The dog that dies must have been living in the house to bury them in the garden. You’re not supposed to bury them in a friend or other member of the family’s garden.

Bast Practices when burying your dead dog

  • The grave must be at least two feet of earth above the dog in heavy soil and three feet in lighter soil.

If your dog lies down and is a foot tall laying on its side, you would need to dig a hole at least three feet and four feet down for lighter soil.

  • Wrap your dog in either a blanket, towel or something biodegradable. There are also biodegradable coffins you can use to bury your dog. Never wrap them in plastic.

Can I take my dog home with me if he dies at the veterinarian’s surgery

Yes, you can take them home with you, as long as the vet doesn’t deem your dog a health hazard. 

Other Options

If you cannot bury your beloved dog in your back garden for any of the above reasons and do not want your dog cremated, you can also consider a private pet cemetery. 

Pet Cemetery

A professional service that gives your dog the utmost respect and a wonderful send-off. They will do their very best to accommodate you at this difficult time. They also can collect your dog from their last resting place and take them to the onsite chapel, whether this is a veterinary surgery, at home or in the kennels.

Are you visiting us from the US? Wondering if you can bury your dog in the backyard? Check this article found here. Each state has their own rules and regulations on burying a pet that you should follow. Emergency Vet USA have the info on all 52 states.

Dog Grief

Many dog owners struggle to deal with the death of their beloved pet, and it can be just as difficult for them as losing a family member. Some people may not understand how deeply you feel sadness after your dog has passed away, but remember, many have that same experience and know what it feels like. I do! My Jack Russell, called Pippy, passed just over a year now, and he was my best friend. However, time is a healer, and things will get better.

Grieving an animal is natural. Please don’t worry or think of yourself as weak for feeling alone in this emotional time. Your dog will always hold a unique space within your heart.

There are plenty of support networks out there that can also help. I have listed below the very best ones around.


BlueCross provides free, confidential support for anyone struggling to cope with the death of their dog.

Pet Bereavement Support Service:

0800 096 6606

Open every day 8.30 am-8.30 pm

Email and they will reply within 48 hours.  

Remember to talk with your friends and family, and think about the happy times you had with your dog. 

Cherish those memories!

Good luck!

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