Dog Dementia is a real, diagnosable disease. It’s more proper name, Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), is used by veterinarians to refer to the pathological changes in the brain related to aging.
CCD presents in dogs a lot like Alzheimer’s or general dementia in humans. Over time, the protein beta-amyloid accumulates in the brain creating plaque deposits. Nerve cells inevitably die off as dogs age as well. Dogs over 10 years of age are increasingly likely to exhibit the symptoms of dog dementia.
The good news is, there are some things that can help slow the effects of CCD including supplements, dietary changes, and even prescription medications. How do you know when it’s time to talk to your veterinarian? Take a look at our canine cognitive dysfunction DISHA checklist.
Your Doggy Dementia Checklist
My dog gets stuck often
My dog sometimes gets lost or confused inside the house
My dog walks into doors or walls
My dog stares blankly into space or “zones out”
My dog drops food and has trouble finding it
My dog sometimes can’t recognize familiar people
My dog no longer enjoys petting or interacting with family members
My dog is very clingy and over-attached
My dog is far less playful than they used to be
My dog is restless during the night and/or can’t seem to sleep
My dog sleeps a lot more during the day than ever
My dog has been defecating indoors
My dog has been urinating indoors
My dog no longer reliably indicates when they need to go outside
ACTIVITY & ANXIETY
My dog is more fearful and unsettled than usual
My dog is showing more signs of separation anxiety
My dog is more afraid than in times past of new things and places
My dog is more vocal than usual
My dog has lost interest in exercise and/or walks
My dog does more aimless wandering than usual
My dog is doing a lot of repetitive behaviors (licking, circling, etc.)
There is no magic number of “checks” that indicates your dog is suffering from cognitive dysfunction. Obviously, the more items you check off, the more likely it is your pet is experiencing mental decline.
Need a CCD evaluation for your dog?