Can You Bury a Dog That Died of Parvo? [+3 Alternatives]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

I once buried my dog and I thought that if I buried her deep enough, the parvovirus wouldn’t be able to survive in her body, and so she wouldn’t be able to spread it around. 

But after I buried her, I found out something really important: parvo can live in soil for up to a year. 

So even though my dog is at peace now, there’s still a chance that another dog could come across her remains and contract the virus (which would make them sick).

Which naturally leads to the question: Can you bury a dog that died of parvo?

Yes, you can bury a dog that died of parvo, but you must ensure that it has been wrapped properly and buried at least 8 feet below ground. You should also be sure there are no other dogs in the household that might dig up the remains and become infected.

Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of burying your dog and your alternatives in this post.

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Dear Dog Owner

Pros of Home Burial

I’ve been there. My dog had parvo when she was a puppy and I was devastated when she passed away. 

It’s still tough for me to think about, even though it happened years ago!

But one thing that really helped me get through it was knowing that my dog would be buried in our backyard, near her favorite tree.

Another benefit is that you can hold a proper memorial right in your backyard and erect a gravestone to memorialize your dog close by.

Best of all, this method is likely to be the most economical and stress-free.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog has parvo but is drinking water

Cons of Home Burial

Some people think that burying your dog in your backyard is the best way to send them off.

Well, it’s not always the case.

There are a few problems with this method. 

First, it’s illegal in many places. 

Second, if you do bury your dog at home, you’re risking spreading parvovirus to other animals.

These are the ones who may dig up the body, or even worse, be exposed to it if someone else digs it up and then brings the remains into their own yard or house.

Also, what if you want to move to another house in the future? How will you dig up your pet’s remains?

In such a situation, the best way to dispose of a pet is through a licensed pet crematorium. 

They’ll take care of everything for you and make sure that your dog’s body doesn’t come into contact with other pets or humans. 

They’ll also make sure that any remains are disposed of in an appropriate manner according to local laws.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Splayed Feet In Dogs [Guide]

What Are Your Local Rules?

I know that it’s not easy to let go of your dog, especially when they pass away.

One thing you’ve probably considered is burying them in your backyard.

But before you do that, you should know that it’s illegal to bury your pet in many states and cities.

Some places allow pets to be buried on private property, but there are rules around how deep you can bury your dog, how far away from the house you can bury them (it depends on how much rain falls in your area), and what kind of marker you need to put up after the burial. 

Some rules say that if you’re going to bury a beloved pet, it should be done in a way that doesn’t attract vermin or other pests—so no digging up the bodies of deceased dogs!

If you want to find out what local laws apply in your area, contact your city or county government offices.

They’ll be able to tell you what rules apply specifically to where you live and help guide you through this process if it seems difficult for any reason.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Is It Bad To Keep Dog Ashes At Home? [+ Alternatives]

How to Bury Your Dog at Home?

How to Bury Your Dog at Home?

If you’re like me, you’d rather bury your dog in your backyard than take them elsewhere for a standard burial.

But if you want to do this at home, it’s important to follow some simple rules.

First of all, make sure that you have permission from your landlord or homeowner’s association (if applicable). 

Second of all, make sure that the ground is soft enough that you won’t have an extremely hard time digging a hole deep enough.

This means digging a hole that’s at least 8 feet deep.

Third, choose a location that has sufficient drainage and never has standing water because this can cause resurfacing.

It should ideally be in a garden that is walled off so that other animals, such as other dogs who live there, can’t dig there.

Finally—and most importantly—make sure that you cover up your pet’s body completely with dirt so that no animals can dig them up and eat them (or worse).

I suggest burying your fur buddy at least 8-10 feet below the ground.

This will help minimize the risk of parvovirus making its way up to the surface.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Cough After Dental Cleaning [Solutions]

How Long Does Parvo Infect the Ground?

In general, parvovirus can live in the ground for up to 1 year.

Some forms of parvovirus that are extremely resilient can live in the ground and soil for up to 9 years, meaning that if you’re cleaning up an infected area and not getting rid of it properly, you’re at risk of contracting the virus.

How Can I Clean My House After My Dog Died of Parvo?

Although it’s not easy to clean your house after your dog dies of parvo, it is important to get it done.

This will prevent the accidental spread to parts of the house where the virus can live for a long time, possibly till the time when you get a new dog.

So, follow these steps that I took when cleaning out my place.

First, get a trash bag and start collecting all the things that are covered in poop or vomit—they’re going straight into the trash bag. 

Next, you need to disinfect everything: counters, sinks, furniture—everything!

You can use a bleach solution for non-porous surfaces using 1 part bleach and 30 parts water.

For porous surfaces and carpets, use AHP or potassium peroxymonosulfate disinfectants.

And then? Just wait until next time when life feels normal again.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Ingrown Dog Whisker [Evereything You Need To Know]

Can a Dog Get Parvo From One That Died of It?

Yes, a dog can get parvo from one that died of it.

In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dogs are at risk of developing parvovirus if they come into contact with any infected dogs or their feces. 

This can happen when a dog eats food or water that has been contaminated with infected dog feces, and it can also happen when a puppy comes into contact with an infected dog’s saliva or urine.

Parvo is highly contagious and can be deadly for puppies if not treated immediately.

Although some dogs can recover from parvo on their own, others will need to be hospitalized for treatment and care.

What Happens When a Dog Is Dying From Parvo?

When a dog is dying from parvo, it can experience a lot of symptoms.

Especially common in the final 24-48 hours is lots of vomiting (at times bloody) and diarrhea.

They might have a fever, see their body temperature dropping, lose their appetite, and become extremely lethargic.

Alternative to Burying Your Dog

I know it’s tempting to bury your dog in the backyard, but in general, I really recommend against it for a few reasons. 

For one thing, if you do it incorrectly, your dog may end up contaminating your entire backyard and making it unsafe for any future fur babies you want to welcome into the family.

Plus, burying them can cause smells and attracts rats and other animals that will dig them up.

Instead of burying your pet, consider cremating them instead.

This is actually a really good option for you because it’s environmentally friendly! 

It also means that you won’t have to worry about scavengers digging up your dog’s body later on and disturbing the area around it—you can just leave it there!

Alternatively, you can send your dog to a dog cemetery to get buried by professionals, where it will also be well maintained throughout the year.

Another alternative is to donate your pet’s body to science or veterinary medicine programs. 

This way, others can learn from their death and use their bodies to help other animals live longer lives!

A Few Tips on Grieving for a Lost Pet

The death of a beloved pet can be one of the most devastating experiences in your life.

It is important to grieve for your pet, as this will help you heal from the loss and move on with your life.

Here are a few tips on how you can cope with the grieving process:

  • Allow yourself to feel sad: Do not try to avoid the sadness or push it away. Allow yourself to feel the pain and let it run its course so that you can begin to heal.
  • Talk about it: You may not want to talk about it at first, but talking about your pet and their life with others is one of the best ways to get through this difficult time.
  • Write about it: Writing down your feelings about losing your pet can help you work through them more effectively than if you were just thinking about them in your head alone all day long!
  • Be gentle with yourself: Take time off from work/school if needed; don’t push yourself too hard while trying to get back into normal routines right away because it will only make things worse later on down the line when you start feeling worse than ever before!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will the medicine used for euthanasia affect the soil?

No, the medicine used for euthanasia will not affect the soil. When pets are euthanized with the help of a veterinarian, the drug that is used is not harmful to the soil.

Do I need to wrap the body up or place it in a box before burying it?

Yes, you need to wrap your dog’s body up or place it in a box before burying it. It’s important to make sure that you do this because if you don’t, your dog might end up getting dug up by other animals who will eat it.

Can I donate my dog’s body to research organizations?

Yes! You can donate your dog’s body to research organizations, and it’s a great way to honor your pet.

Can the Parvovirus pass from dog to human?

The answer is no. Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that affects dogs, but it cannot be passed to humans, so you don’t need to worry about getting sick from your dog.

In Conclusion: Can You Bury a Dog That Died of Parvo?

Getting over the loss of a pet is extremely difficult and takes time to recover from.

While burying your favorite dog out in your backyard might sound like a good idea, consider if this is the best long-term plan and if you are truly confident in ensuring it is done safely.

If not, a cremation or pet cemetery might be a sound idea too.

Check out other dog care tips such as does crating a dog stunt growth, puppy getting giardia from breeder, how to keep a dog beard from smelling, and many more in our blog!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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