Aging changes in Dogs

Aging changes in Dogs

As our canine companions age we often notice a change in their behavior.  Canine cognitive dysfunction is a real thing and there is things we can do to make it easier for them and us.

What are the symptoms of Cognitive Dysfunction

Dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction are often compared to the changes in people suffering from senility such as :

  • Difficulty with sense of direction – moving around
  • Forgetting training including housetraining
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Wandering, pacing, or getting stuck in corners
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal sleeping patterns

This list is not all inclusive and dogs may have symptoms different than noted above.

What can be done about it?

First always consult your veterinary team if you notice any changes with your pet that may signify developing health problems.  There have been a number of studies about cognitive dysfunction and there are a few things that can be done.

  1. Never stop the learning –  work with your pet and teach things that can continue to benefit them like hand signals.  Also play with your pet, continue engaging with them, pets that are mentally active have been shown in studies to be more capable of task learning.
  2. Diet – The pet food market has taken note of the problems plaguing our senior dogs and used research to modify diets to feed the brain.  Hills and Purina offer a diet that are specially formulated for senior dogs showing cognitive dysfunction.
  3. Supplements and Medications –  In serious cases there are a few options that can be prescribed by your veterinarian to lessen the symptoms of this issue.  Not all dogs are good candidates for medications and you must discuss the symptoms and concerns with your veterinary team to ensure they are not symptoms of another underlying illness

Purina has recently shared a short video with us to show the benefits of their diet on one senior dog, the video is quite remarkable.

We encourage everyone with a senior dog to watch for subtle changes in their pet and contact your veterinary team with any questions.  As always feel free to comment with any questions and our team will be happy to answer them.

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