It’s an awkward conversation that no pet owner wants to have. While unfortunate, it’s inevitable – one day your pet will die. Sorry, I know that’s morbid but there’s a point to all of this! A lot of parents will encounter this and most recently, I had my own experience with my 4-year-old daughter and her first fish “Dorothy”. We came home from a family outing just a bit ago and there was old Dorothy floating in her tank.

Now, I was prepared for my daughter to be a wreck but oddly enough, she seemed to understand that for a betta fish, it was perfectly normal.

“It’s gonna be okay, daddy. We’ll get a NEW Dorothy!” she announced to my fiancée and me.

Kids… what are you going to do, am I right? Now, we flushed the fish down the toilet which we later learned is a terrible idea but I figured it was a quick solution; at least quicker than digging a grave for a fish into the rich soil of Boise. Plus, you can’t just bury your pet anywhere, it can get you in trouble… right? Not exactly.

In the aftermath of bidding farewell to the family betta, I began to research what the state law is on digging your pet a grave. According to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, “approved methods for disposal” include scheduling a pick-up and taking your animal’s body to an “approved landfill.” However, if you plan on digging a grave for your pet, you have to meet certain parameters.

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