Guinea Pig Burial options: Can I bury my Guinea Pig in my garden?

:::Warning: sensitive content:::

Losing a pet is always sad but what follows can be confusing and worrying, especially for first time piggy owners. Today we begin our look at funeral options for Guinea Pigs.

Can I bury my Guinea Pig?

Quick Answer:

Yes, in the United Kingdom you may bury piggies (who are not deemed to be hazardous to human health) away from watercourses in your own garden.

Long answer:

Yes, you may bury your pet as long as you follow the rules…

Gov.uk defines a pet as:

“A pet animal is defined in the regulations as “any animal belonging to a species normally nourished and kept, but not consumed, by humans for purposes other than farming”.

This does not apply to farm animals such as sheep, cows, pigs, goats and poultry.” –Gov.uk

What is ‘Hazardous to human health’ ?:

This includes incidences of chemotherapy treatment, controlled drugs or dangerous zoonotic disease. (Ones that pass from animals to humans).

You can assume that if your vet has released your pet you are free to bury him or her.

The British Veterinary Association state:

“It is legal for you to bury your pet at home as long as you do not pay an organisation to do it for you. Your vet has judged it safe for your pet to be buried at home without causing a risk to you or other animals.” –BVA

  • You should avoid watercourses (streams, rivers, lakes, ponds etc) to reduce the risk of contaminating where other animals drink.
  • You cannot bury pets in land you do not own such as parks, forests, beaches etc.
  • You technically cannot bury pets in land you rent, however this is technically up to the discretion of the landlord. (See below for solutions).

How should I bury my pet?

  • You should wrap your pet in a biodegradable bag or paper.
  • You may feel like you want to ‘protect’ your pet by wrapping them in plastic but such wrapping interferes with the natural processes of the ground and could still damage wildlife many years after burial.
  • You should bury your pet at least three feet (around 3/4 of a metre) below the surface to avoid wild animals (and other pets) disturbing their graves.
  • We always place a large slab or rock upon the top to not only mark the grave but again to reduce the chances of anything digging there.
  • You could mark your pig’s grave with a memorial stone or even a statue.
  • A particularly lovely way to avoid disturbance and remember your pet is to plant flowers, a bush or tree above their grave. Perhaps one that flowers at the time of year your pet was born or died.
  • But I rent or do not have a garden how can I say goodbye to my pet?:
    • There are various pet cemeteries and crematoriums around the country, you could search for one local to you.
      An unusual way to remember your pet is taxidermy. Once common in Victorian England taxidermy has seen a resurgence in recent time. Best to research your options and see examples of the taxidermist’s work if this is an idea that interests you.
      If you are not wanting a physical reminder (grave or ashes) of your pet and/or you have no other option your local vet can dispose of their body (this is usually by incineration).
      An option that has become popular in recent times is plant pot burial…

    How does Plant Pot Burial work?:

    • As the name suggests you can bury a small pet like a Guinea Pig in a large planter.
    • The advantage with Plant Pot Burial is that you can take the pot with you if you move house.
    • As with garden burial you should bury your pet in decomposable wrappings.
    • You can bury your pet in any type of planter but you should ensure that the pot is of a sufficient size that the soil and insects inside the pot can do their natural thing without too much leakage or smell.
    • As with garden burial a flowering plant would be a lovely addition to your plant pot burial.

    There isn’t a right or wrong way to remember a much loved piggy. How have you said goodbye to your pets?

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