Can You Bury Your Pet In Your Yard In Minnesota?

Can You Bury Your Pet In Your Yard In Minnesota

Losing your beloved pet can be upsetting and fill you with extreme sorrow. Furthermore, you might be unaware about what has to be done with your pet remains- do you bury the remains or not, and if yes, then where? There can be many concerns in your mind, along with the grief you are bound to deal with after losing a pet.

If you’re a citizen of Minnesota and you have lost your pet recently, we can resolve, if not persistent, grief, but your temporary concern of “what has to be done with the pet remains” and “if I can bury it in my lawn, or garden?”

Burials at home are personal and comparatively less costly than other ways of bidding a farewell to your pet. Different states have different rules and regulations regarding the safe disposal of your pet.

In most states, it is allowed to bury pets in backyards. However, there are different regulations and steps laid down that need to be followed. Let’s find out whether or not it is legal to bury your pet in your yard in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, it is legal to bury one’s pet in the backyard, as long as it is buried at a particular depth, to prevent scavenging done by other animals. Other than a burial, various methods can be employed as long as they are in harmony with state laws. The guidelines that are laid are to ensure the safety of public health and to prevent any diseases that can be a result of the decaying of carcasses.

So yes, if you live in Minnesota, you can bury your pet in the backyard. 

However, what steps have to be followed while burying your pet, and what should you potentially consider while doing so?

Most often, it is hard to decide how to go about with your pet’s remains. It is not only difficult to decide but also unknown to a lot of people on what to follow next.

Read further and find out.


How long can you keep your pet’s body before burying it?

It has been suggested that burial should take place as soon as possible.

It is a period of mourning and great sorrow whenever you lose your beloved family members or friends. Death is considered shocking and tragic for everyone, and losing a pet is no different because it can be equally unsettling and disturbing. Having a pet and watching over them every day until one day they are no more asking you for pets and treats is awful to experience.

We understand you might not be ready, just yet, to bury your pet. However, most states allow a limited period of 24 to 48 hours to dispose of the carcass safely.

Only if you are burying your pet in a pet cemetery, local authorities can allow you to delay the burial, considering that the arrangement might require some time.


What are the things to know before deciding on a burial?

It is important to note that you can bury a pet in your backyard, as long as they are not in abundance. The more the number of carcasses, the more the problem of typically burying them in a backyard.

Burial has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, in case of a disaster, the only viable option is to, but at the same time, if the burial is not done properly, it can cause harm to the environment and, worst still, the public health.



What steps should be followed in a burial?

Let’s talk about the basic things first. It can be the case that you have already planned a burial for your beloved pet, or you know that this sad but real phase will approach sooner or later.

While no pet owner and pet lover would like to think of such sad scenarios, knowing that your pet is aging or is sick will automatically make you think of their death.

We understand it’s saddening and if you find yourself unable to deal with the loss, consider talking to your friends and family about your emotions. It is never too late to ask for help.

Now, a proper burial is essential and has to be done in a manner. According to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health’s guide on Livestock Carcass Disposal, one must ideally take care of these things:

Firstly, Check with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service regarding the water table depths, and in case the water table is low, you can proceed with the burial.

It’s necessary to check the water table depths with the authorities.

Secondly, Once you have found out about the water table and if the place is suitable, then you should dig a deep hole, to avoid scavenging by other animals.

However, it is important to know that the hole should not be too deep since it will make the carcass hard to decompose and stay intact for years. It can greatly impact the quality of groundwater and as well, make the land futile for another such carcass.

Third, take ultimate care of maintaining a distance and not disturbing the water level. Also, try to stay away from the above groundwater while burying your pet friend.

Fourth, the hole you dig for burying should be at least, if not less than, 5 feet above the high water table, which is seasonal.

You can check the following link to know about it:

Last but not least, one way to check that you are above the water table is by digging five feet down, in addition to the depth that has to be used for burying.


What to use to wrap your departed pet before burial?

The simple answer is anything that decomposes itself, say wood or cardboard.

The most important thing to know is that you make sure not to use plastic to wrap your pet. Plastic is not easily degradable and can take years before it finally decomposes. Also, it can affect the quality of water as well as soil.

You can wrap your pet in a wooden box, or a cardboard box, or even a biodegradable cloth, literally anything that doesn’t harm the environment in any way and decomposes easily.

It also depends on the size of your pet. For example, it is relatively easier to bury a fish or a cat than any other comparatively huge pet.


What are the other methods to bid farewell to your pet?

Different people prefer different methods, depending on the type of pets, their sizes, and sometimes, preference. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health lists a few other options for carcass disposal. These are Incineration, Rendering, Composting, etc.

Incineration is beneficial when used properly but is not available everywhere. Additionally, it requires permission from the Pollution control agency. It’s most commonly used for poultry.

Rendering, if understood in simpler terms, is recycling. The service is provided by particular companies and is done while taking into consideration the practices of biosecurity.

Composting is not only one of the cleanest and safest methods to follow but also practical and beneficial, ONLY if done correctly. You can contact the Animal’s Health board to understand how to make compost and apply it.

Microbes present in a compost do their job of composting best since they are provided with carbon and nitrogen, and a ratio of these two can be found in the carcass. The humus created by them acts as a fertilizer for the soil, which can be good for the health of the soil.



It takes a strong heart to say goodbye to your pet and get used to not seeing them hopping around you. But as much as it’s disheartening, it’s also important to know what to do once your pet has stopped breathing.

If you’re a resident of Minnesota, you can bury your pet’s carcass in your backyard. Would you please follow the guidelines laid down by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health?

Burial is indeed considered to be an effective and practical method. It gives you the space to gather yourself and finally say goodbye to your pet. Again, dig a hole deep enough to avoid screening by other animals that might prey upon carcasses. At the same time, take care that you do not affect the groundwater table.

In case your pet was suffering from some disease or if it doesn’t look like a normal passing away of your pet, then first, consider a vet and cross-check if your pet’s body is safe to be buried and doesn’t have any harmful effects on humans and the environment.

While you are grappling with the hard reality of losing your pet, please do not avoid giving your pet a safe burial while ensuring that the environment around you does not bear any consequences of such a burial. You can always ask for directions from the Board of Animal Health.