Can I Dig Up My Dead Dog? [Is It A Good Idea?]

You can dig up your dead dog if you intend to move the body to a different place or preserve your beloved friend’s body via taxidermy. Some people would dig their dead dogs years later to collect their pets’ bones and keep them home for generations.

digging up dead dog
Can I Dig Up My Dead Dog?

People who never owned a pet will never understand the pain of losing one. A few years back, I lost one of my fur buddies, which shook my world. On top of that, my family and I would move to our new home in less than 6 months. 

Losing him and the thought of leaving him behind was so traumatic that I went around asking, can I dig up my dead dog?

Did I dig up my dog in the end? I can’t tell you that yet. But today’s article is about more than digging up your dead dog. So I urge you to go through all of it to find out.

Related Reading: Stages of Dog Decomposition & What To Expect

Can I Dig Up My Dead Dog? What Should I Expect?

Separation from a pet dog is heartbreaking. Yet, sometimes, you have no choice but to do that, whether to move the body to a different place or for other purposes.

But before you dig up your dog, you must know that it can take 6 months to 18 years to decompose entirely based on how deep the grave is. And if you are still eager to dig out the dog, here are a few things you need to consider before doing that.

Be Prepared Mentally

As soon as you lose your pet, it becomes difficult to cope without them. So deciding to dig them up on impulse is pretty natural.

So you never know what you will see once you dig deep enough since it takes months to years to decompose entirely. That’s why you need to be mentally prepared to expect the unexpected.

The Rotten Smell

You probably forgot about this one, but the smell does not go away just like that. The stench from a buried but decomposed body can last years before it starts fading. So if you dig earlier, take my word, for it will not be a pleasant experience.

It’s No Longer Your Dog

I know it is hard to hear this, and I will not be surprised if it makes you angry. But that bones and dust down in the grave is no longer the loving dog you used to have.

The living and loving pet of yours is no longer physically present. And even if you preserve them via taxidermy, will it make you happy to see that forever stiff body? So it is up to you to decide if it is the right thing to do.

Pet cemetery

Why Shouldn’t You Bury Your Dog In The Backyard?

Giving your loving dog a final resting place where he spent his life is the most respectful thing to do. But there are reasons why burying your dog in the property or backyard is not an ideal decision.

Animals Can Dig Them Out

You may not smell the dead pet’s decomposing body, but other animals can. Sometimes, wild dogs, foxes, and wolves dig up dead animals and feast on them. You would not want that to happen to the pet you just lost and buried.

It Is Traumatizing

You are probably not the only one mourning the loss of a dog. If there are other cats and dogs in the house, they are mourning too. And if they see you burying their friend, they will be more traumatized and may try to dig up the dead dog.

Risky For Other Pets At Home

If your dog dies suffering from an illness like flu or other contagious diseases, it is best to avoid burying them in the backyard for the sake of other pets in your house. The germs and viruses from the dead pet can still be a threat to the ones alive.

Moreover, if you bury an euthanized dog and if, unfortunately, other dogs dig out and eat the dead dog, they can be critically ill, and it can even cause death.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the best place to bury a dog?

If you can afford the arrangement costs, burying your dog in a pet cemetery seems like a good idea. It is also okay to want closure and bury them in your property.

But before you do that, make sure to select a place at a good distance from water lines and wires. Choose a place that will not require digging anytime soon or ever.

Q. Will a buried dog smell?

It depends on how deep the dog is buried. As the dead animal decomposes, it begins to release a strong gas and stench, which other animals can smell pretty easily. And if the grave is not deep enough, soon the smell will be all over the place.

That’s why it is best to bury any animal at least 2-3 feet below the ground. And you can wrap them with a blanket and or put them in a box before burying them to ensure the smell does not spread much after burying.

Q. Is it better to cremate or bury a dog?

It is entirely up to the owner to choose whether to cremate or bury their dogs. However, many owners, especially those living in the apartments, choose cremation as they do not have the space to bury the dogs. 

Others choose cremation to let go of their precious friend like that rather than leaving the dog’s body behind if they need to move out of the house they are living in.

digging up dead dog
Digging up a dead dog

Final Words

Once a loving person in our life dies, we bury them in their permanent resting place and move on. I believe it is better to do the same with your dead dog unless there is a particular reason for that.

After death, they become a thing of our past. And the thing with pasts is that the more you dig into them, the more it hurts you. So, it is best to let our buddies rest where they are buried and move on with our lives.

Related Reading: A Guide On Euthanizing A Dog At Home

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.