As pet owners, our furry friends often become part of our family. Unfortunately, there always comes a time when we have to say goodbye, and it can be devastating. Suppose you have a sick or dying rabbit. In that case, there are plenty of ways to make them feel more comfortable before passing over the rainbow bridge.
Many rabbit owners want to bury their family members close to home, in the garden, or somewhere special. In certain places around the world, there are rules both for and against this. For example, in the UK, you can legally bury your rabbit in your garden, but it’s not allowed in certain states in the USA.
What should I do when my rabbit passes away?
Safety is paramount when dealing with an animal that has passed on. You have some options to consider when it comes to handling their remains. Suppose your rabbit was euthanized at the vet. In that case, they typically have options for them to deal with the remains, including cremation.
Many vets provide cremation services, or there are likely pet crematorium services in your area. You can also purchase biodegradable urns that you can bury as well.
If your rabbit was suffering from an illness, it’s highly advised to let the vet deal with the remains, as it could cause issues to your health if you bury them in your garden.
If you opt for burying, you should know whether or not it’s legal where you live and consider your property before doing so.
Can I bury my rabbit in the backyard in the USA?
Burying your rabbit in the backyard of your home can be a unique way to remember them. Especially if they were a big part of your family, and your children loved them. Keeping them in the backyard allows you to have a memorial for them and perhaps a family gathering to reminisce about the times you had. You’ll always have a special memory of your beloved pet.
In most states, you are allowed to bury your rabbit in the backyard, but double-check that it’s permitted in your area. You can find this information through the local animal control or the local Board of Health. Most states allow for the burial of a smaller pet, but always ask a professional because you don’t want to be tasked with moving their remains after the fact.
If you’re a renter, of course, you don’t want to bury your animal on someone else’s property without permission. It could even be included in your lease agreement that you’re not permitted to bury animal remains, which could result in your eviction.
As mentioned, if your animal passed away from disease or illness, opting for another method is best for the health and safety of your family, other pets, and local wildlife. There aren’t many diseases that can be passed from rabbits to humans, but they can impact your other pets.
You’ll want to put your pet into a biodegradable box for burial. It should also be at least 50 feet from your home or any body of water. Picking a spot far enough away helps prevent your animal’s remains from ending up in the water supply.
Watch for utility lines or underground pipes, as you don’t want to dig and hit them. You can determine where the lines are by calling your local authority.
You’ll want to dig a hole big enough, so other wildlife or your other pets don’t dig it up, typically around three to four feet deep. Topping off the site with some rocks or large stones can also help prevent this and mark the spot where you can go to remember your beloved friend. Once you’ve done this, your rabbit is finally at peace.
Can I bury my rabbit in the garden in the UK?
In the UK, the law is very clear about burying your rabbit in your garden. Legally, you are allowed to bury your rabbit in the garden or on the grounds of the home they lived in. As long as you own the property and are not a renter, it is allowed. It also states that the animal can not be a harm to human health.
Under these clear laws, you are prohibited from burying your pet in the garden of a friend if you don’t have one, and you can’t bury it on public property, like a park or near a water source.
Like the USA, any animal that has been euthanized or had chemotherapy treatments is not suitable to be buried in the garden. Many vets who euthanize rabbits will refuse to give their remains back to their owners for this reason, and owners should opt for the vet to handle them. Cremation services are typically an option, which could be a solution to keeping your pet close to home.
When burying your rabbit in your garden, you’ll want to put it in a biodegradable box or wrap it in a newspaper. Bury it several feet deep, so other animals can’t smell it and immediately try to dig it up. You can put rocks, large stones, or other memorial items on top of the grave to mark the spot and help deter animals.
When your furry loved one passes away from old age, disease, or illness, it’s only natural to want to have a burial to celebrate their life. Especially if they were a large part of your family or they were your children’s pet, you may want to have a funeral and bury them in your backyard or garden.
While this is typically allowed in the US and the UK, some US states prohibit this, and there are strict rules around UK burials. As long as your rabbit wasn’t euthanized or treated with chemotherapy, you have double-checked with local authorities, and you’re a landowner at least 50 feet from any major water supply, you should be in the clear to have an at-home burial site.