Wondering how long does it take for a buried dog to decompose?
In this article, i have compiled some of the information you need to know about a dead dog and the duration of decomposition.
Maybe your dog has passed, or you found a dead dog lying on your compound, and you want to bury them in the yard.
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Whatever reason you are looking for information on dog decomposition, i hope this article will be useful.
How Long Will A Dead Dog Take To Decompose?
Once you find out that your dog has passed, you have to plan how you’ll bury them in your property.
You’ve to be careful about the area you choose since it takes 6 months up to 18 years for a dog to decompose when buried fully.
When the dog’s body is left above the ground, decomposition occurs faster than when buried underground.
However, some factors determine the time taken to decompose.
The factors include the area’s climate, whether the body is wrapped before burying and how deep the body is buried.
They all affect the dog’s decomposition in some way.
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How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Decompose When Left Above The Ground
Once a dog is dead, its body starts decomposing immediately, even though the changes may not be visible.
As mentioned earlier, decomposition will be faster compared to when buried underground.
Dog’s digestive enzymes also play a role in decomposition by breaking down the body tissues through a process known as autolysis.
Scavengers around the area pick away some of the body parts, leaving less for decomposition.
Maggots and flies speed up decomposition, too, and even weather factors.
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When the temperature is not too hot or too cold, a month will be enough for complete decomposition for a smaller dog.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Decompose When Buried Underground
The dog’s body decomposition speed will depend on some factors such as;
- Is the body wrapped?
- The size of the dog.
- The depth the body has been buried.
- Is the body buried in a coffin?
- The climate of the area you are burying.
- Type of soil the body has been buried and its PH levels.
If you bury a dog in a coffin deep into the ground, complete decomposition will take up to 18 years.
A larger body will take a longer time than a small one.
A wrapped body takes longer to decompose than an unwrapped one.
Stages of Decomposition for a Dead Dog’s Body
There are stages of decomposition on a dead dog’s body when left above the ground.
1. Fresh Stage
This is the first stage which starts immediately after the dog dies.(source)
It occurs within the initial 3-6 hours, where the body starts cooling down, and rigor mortis begins occurring.
Blood flows to the bottom part of the body, which touches the surface it is lying on.
At this point, flies will start coming and find a place to feed and lay eggs.
2. Bloat stage
Bloat is the second stage where gases start accumulating in the dead body.
The gases make the body have a bloated appearance.
The buildups push fluids out of the body through the openings.
It’s at this stage you start smelling a decomposing body.
3. Active Decay
At this stage, your dog’s body will start reducing in size since the body fluids will have left the body due to the gas pressure.
The scavengers and maggots will also have eaten some of the body parts.
When the active decay stage is over, the maggots leave the dead body.
4. Advanced Decay Stage
There is less left to decompose at this stage since much has happened in the active decay stage.
The dog’s bones and hair will make the largest percentage of the remaining body parts.
The grass around and beneath the dead body also will be looking dead.
5. Dry Remains Stage
This is the last stage of a dead dog’s decomposition.
At this stage, there is less left and what you can notice quickly is bones, dried skin, and cartilage.
How Long Can You Store A Dead Dog?
Once a dog has passed away and wants to delay the burial or cremation, storing the dead body is essential.
One of the common ways to store a dead dog is placing it in a freezer since cool temperatures slow down the decomposition process.
Ensure you’ve carefully wrapped the body to slow down the decomposition further.
How To Dispose of A Dead Dog’s Body
Since you are not planning to keep the dead pet in your, you have to decide how to dispose of the body.
There are some ways you can dispose of your pet.
It’s the commonly used method in most homes.
However, if you decide to bury the body in your yard, first, you’ve to check whether your area’s regulations allow it.
Ensure you bury the body deep to avoid unearthing during heavy rains.
Also, look for raised areas to avoid water contamination.
You can also opt to bury your dead dog in an animal’s cemetery instead of burying it in your yard.
Cremation is the most expensive but convenient method to dispose the body of your pet.
The best thing about this method is that you can keep your pet’s ashes in an urn if you like.
You can also bury or spread the ashes on your property.
Another best thing is that you don’t have to deal with the smell of a decomposing body in your yard.
· Dead Animal Removal Services
In most states, you’ll find people and organizations that provide dead animal removal services.
You can contact them if you find an animal that does not belong to you dead on your property.
This way, you will not have to deal with the dead dog yourself.
· Donation For Research
Donating a dead dog’s body for research is also another ideal option.
This way, you allow the veterinary researchers or students to learn more about anatomy and diseases.
It will help in promoting the welfare of the pets in the long run.
Final Thought On How Long Does It Take For A Buried Dog To Decompose
Now you’ve some of the information you need to know on how long does it takes for a buried dog to decompose.
If your dog has died, the best way is to bury them in a good grave in a pet cemetery so that you will not have to deal with the decomposition smell.
Bury it deep enough where other animals cannot dig up the body.
If you decide to bury the body in your yard, do it somewhere where there will be no issues in the future.
Also, be careful not to damage pipes that are passing underground.
Call the relevant authorities to assess the area for you before you start digging.
Hello, I’m Tanya, the voice and passion behind Smart Yard Guide. With a lifelong love for nature and a keen eye for design, I embarked on this journey to share my expertise and experiences in landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. As a dedicated homeowner myself, I understand the joys and challenges of curating a space that seamlessly blends nature with human creativity.
My background in horticulture and landscape architecture has given me a solid foundation to explore innovative ideas while respecting the time-tested principles of outdoor design. From selecting the perfect plants for your climate to mastering the art of harmonious hardscaping, I’m here to guide you every step of the way.