When a pet is buried in your yard, how long does it take to decompose?

Sorry for the very morbid question, but it's to hopefully put someone's mind at ease: Friends recently had an older dog die suddenly without warning. They had to decide to bury the pet in the yard, and the wife is having a very hard time dealing with what she thinks is the knowledge the pet is still "intact", under the ground, out in the weather, etc etc. Oddly she would be more at ease if she knew the dog were already bones by now instead of possibly "still all there" (if that makes sense). The dog passed 5 1/2 months ago. I have NO idea how long it would take a dog (buried in a sheet) to decompose when buried, but if anyone truly knows the answer I'd share it with her.


Here is an answer by stages for you.

The fresh stage is the first phase of decomposition that begins approximately four minutes after death and lasts around three days until putrefaction. Following initial decay, approximately 4 to 10 days after death, the body begins the second stage of decay called putrefaction. Than black putrefaction, also known as active decay begins about 10 to 25 days after death. The fourth stage called butyric fermentation begins around 20–25 days after death. The final stage in animal decomposition is dry decay. Dry decay begins between 25 and 50 days after death and can last up to a year. The only remnants of the body are dry skin, hair, and bones.

I would say at 5+ months it's safe to say the animal is bones.


5 months