It’s always a sad time when a pet hamster dies, especially if its death is unexpected. You spent time with your hamster bonding, caring for it, and watching it play.
Whether it died from old age, sickness, or injury, it can be hard to accept that your hamster is dead.
A hamster’s average life span is only 2 to 4 years, so it may feel like it has been taken from you too soon, making mourning its loss even harder.
Giving your hamster a proper burial can make you feel better and give you a chance to say goodbye.
How Long Should You Wait To Bury A Hamster?
Once a hamster has died, rigor mortis will occur within 15 to 30 minutes, and its body will begin to decompose after about 24 hours.
If you’re going to bury your hamster, you should do so within the first 24 hours.
If you can’t bury your dead hamster in that time, you can place it in a Ziplock bag and freeze it to keep it from decomposing until you can bury it.
Opting to freeze a hamster allows you to figure out the burial arrangements. You’ll have time to decide how to bury your hamster and where the best place would be to bury it.
How Deep Does A Hole Need To Be To Bury a Hamster?
When digging the hole to bury your hamster, remember that you’ll want to keep other animals from digging it up once it’s buried.
You’ll also need to consider what will happen during heavy rain. You don’t want rainwater to wash away the dirt and uncover your hamster’s grave.
To ensure your hamster’s grave will be undisturbed by other animals or the forces of nature, you should dig a hole at least 3 feet deep.
Although, you may need to check the laws where you live, as many places have specific requirements on how deep to bury deceased pets or animals.
How To Bury A Pet Hamster
Burying your pet hamster may be hard for you to deal with, but putting all your love for it into a special burial may make it easier to get through.
Make A Casket
It’s best to use a biodegradable box if you’re burying your hamster in the ground.
You can decorate the makeshift casket any way you’d like. Some pet owners like to write messages to their pets on the box.
When you’ve decorated the casket, place a couple of layers of paper towels or tissue paper in the bottom of the box to give it some cushion.
Place Hamster in Casket
Wrap your pet hamster in a cloth and lay it on the cushion you created in the casket. You can put some mementos in the casket with your dead hamster.
You can also write notes that express your love for your hamster and put those in the casket.
If you’re burying your dead hamster in the ground, you’ll need a hole at least 3 feet deep.
You’ll want the hole to be deep enough that other animals can’t dig it up or that rainwater isn’t going to wash away the dirt and expose your hamster’s grave.
Some people bury their dead hamsters in a pot, not the ground. There are a few reasons why:
- Local laws prevent burying animals in the ground.
- They rent their home and can’t bury their pet in the ground.
- If they ever move, they want to be able to take their dead pet’s grave with them.
Ensure the pot is deep enough to adequately cover the casket with dirt so that animals won’t scavenge and uncover the casket.
Some people treat their dead hamster’s burial like they’d treat a family member’s burial, and they decide to say a few kind words about their hamster during the burial process.
This is when you can say goodbye to your beloved pet hamster.
Mark the Grave
Once you have covered the casket with soil, place a marker on the grave to signify where your hamster is buried.
This will also allow you to return to your hamster’s grave and visit it occasionally.
You can use rocks, create a cross with sticks, or place a large stone on the grave to mark it.
Where Can I Bury My Hamster?
You have several options when deciding where to bury your hamster. However, you’ll need to check the laws and regulations in your area to find out what they say about burying pets.
Some areas don’t allow it or have rules you need to follow to do so. Otherwise, here are a few places where you can bury your hamster, providing the laws allow it:
Most people choose to bury their dead hamsters in their backyard. This option lets you choose any spot and visit your hamster’s grave.
Burying your dead hamster in your garden will allow you to plant pretty flowers or plants over your hamster’s grave as a marker.
If you want to take your dead hamster’s grave with you if you ever move, you can bury it in a large pot.
A pet cemetery is an excellent choice for a burial spot for your hamster as it would be buried surrounded by other people’s beloved pets, many of whom are hamsters.
Anthrozoos states that pet cemeteries are starting to look like human burial grounds.
Like human cemeteries, pet cemeteries are a place for memorialization, communication with the dead, expressing hope for immortality, and beliefs about their afterlife.
Where Can I Bury My Hamster During Winter?
If you live in an area where the ground freezes in the winter, you probably won’t be able to bury your hamster in the ground right away. You have three options you can choose from in the winter:
Cremate Your Hamster
If an in-ground burial isn’t an option, you can cremate your hamster and keep its ashes in an urn in your home or spread its ashes somewhere special.
Temporarily Bury It in a Pot
You can temporarily bury your hamster in a pot and keep it in your home until the ground thaws. Then, you can then transfer it into the ground.
You can freeze your dead hamster and wait until the weather warms up to bury it in the ground.
Can I Bury My Hamster in a Park?
Whether or not you can bury your hamster in a park will depend on the park and the rules and laws of the area where you live.
Some areas will allow you to bury your dead pet hamster in a park, others won’t disallow it but will frown upon it, and more areas are against it entirely.
Check local laws and regulations to determine if a park is an appropriate burial spot for a hamster. If it’s not an option, here are other hamster disposal options.