How To Keep Wild Animals From Digging Up Buried Pets: Losing a beloved pet is a heart-wrenching experience, and the pain can be compounded when wild animals start digging up their burial sites. It’s distressing to see the final resting place of your furry friend disturbed by wildlife seeking food or exhibiting natural instincts. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prevent wild animals from digging up buried pets and preserve the sanctity of their resting place.

One of the first steps is to choose an appropriate burial site for your pet. Select an area that is less likely to attract wildlife, preferably away from wooded or natural habitats. Additionally, ensure the burial site is deep enough, with a minimum of three feet, to deter animals from reaching it.

Another effective method is to create physical barriers. Use sturdy materials like hardware cloth or buried fencing to enclose the burial area. This will make it difficult for animals to access the site. Additionally, consider using deterrents such as motion-activated lights or sprinklers to scare away wildlife.

Incorporating natural repellents can also be helpful. Certain scents like ammonia, vinegar, or citrus can deter animals from digging. Apply these substances around the burial site or consider planting specific plants that repel wildlife.

How To Keep Wild Animals From Digging Up Buried Pets

What is the best way to bury a dead pet?

Your dog should be buried in something that is breathable and biodegradable like a towel, blanket, wooden, wicker or cardboard coffin. Avoid making a casket out of anything plastic or that is sealed in an air-tight way. Do not bury your dog in a plastic bag or anything else that is non-breathable and non-biodegradable.

When it comes to burying a dead pet, it is important to approach the process with care and respect. Here are some guidelines to consider:

Choose an appropriate location: Select a peaceful and private area, such as a backyard or garden, where you have permission to bury your pet.

Dig a proper grave: Dig a hole that is deep enough to prevent scavengers or other animals from accessing the remains. A general guideline is to make the grave at least three feet deep.

Wrap or place the pet appropriately: Wrap your pet’s body in a biodegradable material or place them in a suitable container, such as a casket or a favorite blanket, to ensure a respectful burial.

Lower the pet into the grave: Lower the wrapped body gently into the prepared grave. Take a moment for a final farewell or say any words of remembrance or prayer that you find meaningful.

Cover and mark the grave: Fill the grave with soil, tamping it down gently. Consider placing a marker or headstone to identify the burial site and honor your pet’s memory.

How do you bury a dog without it smelling?

It is recommended that the dead animal be covered with lime or similar material prior to being covered with soil. This will aid in decomposition and reduce the potential for odors. In areas of high groundwater, animals cannot be buried within three (3) feet of groundwater depth.

When burying a dog, it’s natural to be concerned about potential odors. While decomposition is a normal process, there are steps you can take to minimize any potential smells:

Choose a deep burial site: Dig a hole that is at least three feet deep. The depth helps contain the odor and prevents it from reaching the surface.

Wrap the dog’s body: Wrap the dog’s body in a biodegradable material, such as a burial shroud or a natural fiber cloth. This can help contain any odors during the decomposition process.

Use natural odor-absorbing materials: Consider placing a layer of natural materials, such as wood chips, sawdust, or hay, at the bottom and around the body. These materials can help absorb and neutralize odors.

Cover the grave adequately: After placing the dog’s body in the grave, ensure it is covered with enough soil to create a sufficient barrier. Tamp down the soil gently to minimize air pockets that may contribute to odors.

Monitor the burial site: Check the grave periodically for any signs of disturbance or potential odor. If necessary, additional soil or odor-absorbing materials can be added to address any concerns.

Is it safe to touch a dead pet?

All dead animals should be handled only while wearing gloves; this includes carrying of dead animals, during necropsy procedures, and the dressing out of carcasses. There are several types of gloves to choose from, including leather, rubber, and latex gloves.

In general, it is safe to touch a dead pet, but certain precautions should be taken to minimize any potential risks. Here are some important considerations:

Personal safety: Wear disposable gloves to protect yourself from any potential diseases or pathogens that may be present in the body.

Containment: If the pet passed away due to a contagious illness, it is advisable to wrap the body in a plastic bag or other appropriate material before handling to avoid direct contact.

Proper disposal: Follow local regulations and guidelines for the disposal of deceased animals. Some areas may require specific procedures, such as burial in designated pet cemeteries, cremation, or contacting animal control for proper handling.

Emotional readiness: It’s essential to consider your emotional state and be prepared for the process of handling a deceased pet. If you find it too distressing, seeking assistance from a veterinarian or a professional pet service provider may be beneficial.

How deep should you bury a dead animal?

3 feet

How deep should the hole be? The rule of thumb is to have at least 3 feet of dirt covering the top of the body. For a large dog, a 4 foot deep hole should suffice. Too shallow a grave will allow animals to dig up the remains and these remains are toxic to them.

When burying a dead animal, the depth of the burial will depend on several factors, including local regulations and the size of the animal. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

Follow local regulations: Different jurisdictions may have specific requirements regarding the depth of burial for dead animals. It is important to check with local authorities or animal control to ensure compliance with any applicable rules or guidelines.

Consider the size of the animal: As a general rule, larger animals require deeper burial depths. A depth of at least three to four feet is often recommended for larger animals, such as dogs or livestock, to prevent scavengers from accessing the remains.

Prevent exposure and odors: A deeper burial helps prevent exposure of the animal’s remains and minimizes the potential for odors or disturbances from wildlife.

Backfill and compact the soil: After placing the animal in the grave, fill the hole with soil, compacting it gently as you go to minimize air pockets and deter scavengers.

How To Keep Wild Animals From Digging Up Buried Pets

What are the most effective methods for choosing an appropriate burial site to deter wild animals from digging up buried pets?

When choosing an appropriate burial site to deter wild animals from digging up buried pets, there are several effective methods you can consider:

Location: Select a burial site that is away from natural habitats, wooded areas, or places where wildlife activity is high. Choosing a location in a more open or urbanized area can help reduce the chances of wild animals coming near the burial site.

Depth: Ensure the burial site is deep enough to discourage animals from reaching it. Experts recommend a minimum depth of three feet. This depth makes it more challenging for animals to detect and access the buried pet.

Covering: Use a sturdy covering over the burial site, such as heavy rocks, large stones, or concrete slabs. This adds an extra layer of protection and makes it more difficult for animals to dig through and access the remains.

Enclosure: Consider creating an enclosed area around the burial site using buried fencing or hardware cloth. This physical barrier can prevent animals from directly reaching the burial site and act as a deterrent.

Secure the edges: Ensure the edges of the burial site are firmly packed or reinforced to make it harder for animals to start digging around it.

How can physical barriers be created and utilized to prevent wild animals from accessing the burial site of a pet?

To create and utilize physical barriers effectively in order to prevent wild animals from accessing the burial site of a pet, consider the following steps:

Choose sturdy materials: Select durable materials such as buried fencing, hardware cloth, or heavy-gauge wire mesh that can withstand the attempts of wild animals to dig or push through.

Determine the size and shape: Measure the area around the burial site and plan the dimensions of the barrier accordingly. Ensure the barrier extends sufficiently around the site to prevent animals from circumventing it.

Dig a trench: Excavate a shallow trench around the burial site, deep enough to accommodate the height of the chosen barrier material. The trench should be sloped away from the burial site to deter animals from trying to climb over it.

Install the barrier: Place the chosen material into the trench, ensuring it is secured firmly and tightly. If using wire mesh or hardware cloth, bury it a few inches deep to discourage animals from burrowing underneath.

Reinforce the barrier: Consider reinforcing the barrier by using stakes or posts along the length to provide additional stability and support.

Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the barrier to address any signs of wear or damage. Repair or replace any sections that may have become compromised over time.

Monitor and adapt: Keep an eye on the burial site and observe any attempts by wild animals to breach the barrier. Make adjustments or improvements as necessary to ensure its effectiveness.

What are some recommended natural repellents or scents that can be used to discourage wild animals from digging up buried pets?

There are several natural repellents or scents that can help discourage wild animals from digging up buried pets. Here are some recommended options:

Ammonia: Soaking rags or cotton balls in ammonia and placing them around the burial site can create a strong odor that deters many animals.

Vinegar: Spray or sprinkle white vinegar around the burial site. The strong smell can act as a deterrent for some animals.

Citrus peels or sprays: The scent of citrus, such as orange or lemon peels, can repel certain animals. Scatter peels or use citrus-scented sprays around the area.

Cayenne pepper: Sprinkling cayenne pepper powder around the burial site can discourage animals due to its strong scent and taste.

Predator urine: Commercially available predator urine, such as fox or coyote urine, can be applied around the area to mimic the presence of a natural predator and deter some animals.

Eucalyptus or peppermint oil: These essential oils have strong scents that many animals find unpleasant. Dilute the oil with water and spray it around the burial site.

Lavender: Planting lavender near the burial site or using lavender-scented products can help repel certain animals.

Are there any specific plants or vegetation that can be planted around the burial site to repel wildlife and protect the resting place of a pet?

Yes, there are certain plants and vegetation that can help repel wildlife and protect the resting place of a pet. While no plant is guaranteed to completely deter all animals, these options have properties that may help discourage wildlife:

Marigolds: Marigolds have a strong scent that many animals find unpleasant. Planting marigolds around the burial site can act as a natural deterrent.

Rue: Rue is a plant known for its pungent aroma. It is believed to repel some animals, including cats and dogs. However, exercise caution as rue can be toxic to pets if ingested.

Lavender: Lavender has a calming fragrance that is generally disliked by many animals, including some rodents and insects. Planting lavender near the burial site may help deter them.

Rosemary: The strong scent of rosemary can deter certain animals. Consider planting rosemary bushes or using rosemary sprigs around the area.

Thorny plants: Certain plants with thorns or prickly foliage, such as roses, blackberries, or holly bushes, can create a physical deterrent and make the area less appealing for animals to approach.

Lemongrass: Lemongrass has a strong citrus scent that can help repel some animals. Planting lemongrass or using lemongrass essential oil around the burial site may be effective.

Mint: The strong scent of mint can be unpleasant to many animals. Planting mint or using mint essential oil around the area can help deter wildlife.

How To Keep Wild Animals From Digging Up Buried Pets


Taking proactive measures to prevent wild animals from digging up buried pets can help preserve the sanctity of their final resting place and provide comfort to grieving pet owners. By following the recommended strategies, such as choosing an appropriate burial site, creating physical barriers, utilizing natural repellents or scents, and considering specific plants or vegetation, you can significantly reduce the risk of disturbance by wildlife.

It is crucial to remember that no method is foolproof, as different animals may have varying behaviors and levels of persistence. Therefore, it is advisable to employ a combination of techniques and remain vigilant in maintaining the protective measures over time.

Furthermore, staying informed about local wildlife populations and regulations can provide valuable insights and ensure that your efforts align with the specific needs and guidelines of your region. Seeking guidance from local animal control authorities or wildlife experts can also offer valuable advice tailored to your specific circumstances.