How long does it take for a buried dog to decompose

When it comes to how long it takes a buried dog to decompose, there is no straightforward answer to that. This is because several factors can affect decomposition. These include soil Ph, soil moisture, temperature, the period the dog was buried.

Another factor that can determine the decomposition time is the depth of the burial. When the burial is not at the surface, it’s going to take a longer time to decompose compared to when the dog is buried at the surface.

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So, we shall try and provide the answer based on these factors.

Decay and decomposition periods

For a better understanding of the period of complete decomposition, here are the various stages of decomposition.

The first decomposition stage begins from a few minutes to three days after the death of the dog. Generally, decay starts from the second day in most cases. Around 4 days after the first stage of decay, the body enters its second stage of decomposition. This period is known as putrefaction. After this period, active decay and decomposition often start around 3 weeks after the death of the dog. This is when the butyric fermentation starts.

After this period, the decomposition begins, which is also called dry decay. This stage can last throughout the year. After this period, all wet decays have already occurred. What would be left on the dog would be bones, hair, and dry skin.

Of course, the hair and dry skin would go over time, leaving only the bone for years.

So, in actual sense, the first decomposition starts from four days after the death of the dog. The body would continue in the decomposition process until three months to one year. As stated earlier, some factors can determine how long it takes for the body to start decomposing or decompose completely. 

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Other factors that determine decomposition time

Again, the decomposition time of the dog also depends on where it’s buried, considering the type of soil like swampy, rocky, clay, or sandy soil. It will also decay faster if the dog is buried without a coffin.

If the dog is not buried too deep, it should take around five weeks. But if it’s buried deeply, it may take about six months to 1 year before it completely decomposes.

However, the temperature is the major factor that determines how long a buried dog will decompose. That is because it affects the insects and bacteria that aid in the process. If the weather is too cold, the insects would not be very active, which will delay the decomposition process. On the other hand, hot weather can speed decomposition pretty fast because the insects and bacteria will be very active.


On the whole, no matter the temperature or soil content, one year is enough for the buried dog to get completely decomposed, leaving only the bones.

Though the decomposition process may be affected by the moisture, heat and other content sometime increasing the overall speed of decomposition of the body. As more favorable conditions may enhance the microorganisms to grow faster and eat the remains at a faster rate.

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