SEATTLE — Knowing when to say goodbye to your pet is a difficult decision for any family. However, Professional Dog Trainer Joey Iversen had some helpful information that can help you decide when it's the right time to let go. 

"Animals are very cautious about expressing pain so it's much more difficult to know if our dogs or cats, or any other our animals, are actually in pain and what degree of pain," Iverson said.

It's important to pay close attention to your pet so you will be able to know what behavior changes could signify that your pet is in pain. Some signs include changes in eating and sleeping habits, and if they're still able to do activities they once enjoyed. 

She advised people to make end-of-life care and burial plans before a pet dies so those decisions do not have to be made during a highly emotional time. That way, you'll have a better idea of what to expect before the situation happens. Research euthanasia options like whether or not your veterinarian offers at-home procedures, and cremation options. 

It's also important for many people to go through the grieving process after the loss of a pet.

"Animal grieving and pet loss is a very important thing to acknowledge. Us as a human society are not that good at it yet. We're getting there. But there's certainly a lot of organization that are there for support," she said. 

Two books Iverson recommended for those going through the grieving process for a beloved pet:

  • "Facing Farewell" by Julie Reck
  • "Goodbye Friend" by Gary Kowalski

Hear more of Iversen's animal advice on her podcast "It's Raining Cats and Dogs" on Kiro Radio.

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