But if your furry best friend is showing signs of canine cognitive decline, or CCD, there’s no reason to despair.
“Too often, pet owners think their dogs are just slowing down, and there are things they can do to slow, slow, or reverse the age-related cognitive decline in their dogs. “We didn’t realize it,” Varble said.
“Research shows that just like humans, mental activity and exercise are important for mental health in dogs. It’s easy to do,” she said.
A food puzzle is a toy in which the owner hides a treat, and it is up to the dog to push, rock, or jog the treat. Activities like this help keep both dogs’ and cats’ brains active, experts say.
Additionally, “dietary supplements have been shown to improve symptoms and slow the decline of CCD. There are also special foods for aging dogs,” says Varble.
Age and activity level are key
Based on age alone, the odds of a dog developing CCD increased by 68% each year after the first decade of life. However, when other factors such as dog breed, pre-existing health problems, sterilization, and physical activity were taken into account, the risk dropped to 52% per year of life expectancy.
Inactive dogs of the same breed, health status, age and sterility were nearly seven times more likely to develop canine dementia than comparably active dogs. It’s unclear if the opposite is true, say the study authors.
Additionally, dogs with a history of neurological, eye or ear disorders were at increased risk of cognitive decline. the study.
There was also good news. The study found little cognitive decline in dogs under the age of 10.
what to look for
Veterinarians have been studying the signs and symptoms of dementia in dogs for years, seeking to better understand and assist in pet care. I have:
Disorientation: Dogs with cognitive problems may have difficulty getting around the house or may wander as if they are lost. They get stuck behind furniture, don’t know how to get out, stare aimlessly at floors and walls, and get out into space. They may not even recognize family members.
sleep cycle changes: Dementia in Dogs Day and night, and confuse your pet They may wake up in the middle of the night and walk around the house barking or whining. Insomnia at night can lead to excessive sleep during the day.
House training: Some dogs forget years of home training and start lounging indoors and can become anxious. They may forget to warn you when they need to go out, forget to do their work while they are out, or even leave the house dirty when they return.
Changes in social behavior: Your interactions with others can change. Dogs can become overly clingy, frightened, or embarrassed. Alternatively, the dog may become antisocial, withdraw from interactions and spend time alone.
Changes in physical activity: Dogs with cognitive decline may lose interest A favorite toy, another dog or person, or unable to calm down, starts rambling.
If you see any of these signs, take your dog to the veterinarian. “Early intervention can prolong and improve a pet’s quality of life,” she said.
Your vet will also give your dog a brain-healthy diet, encourage more physical activity, socialization, brain stimulation with food puzzles, teach new tricks, and encourage sniffing on walks. maybe.