Proven Strategies to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Your Dog

Unfortunately, senior dogs will behave in a different manner than they did when they were younger. There are many reasons for this – one that includes cognitive decline. If you want to prevent cognitive decline in your dog, there are some proven strategies that can help with this.

Cognitive Decline Due to Old Age

There are numerous ways that cognitive decline due to age can affect your dog’s behavior. For instance, it might take your dog longer to learn something new, due to their short-term memory loss. You should watch your dog for any signs of personality change, as well. If you notice your dog is aggressive or grouchy or they forget what way to turn when you open the door, they could be experiencing cognitive decline due to old age.

With this all being said, it is important to notice if your dog’s behaviors or memory changes are due to something more than just their age. They could have cognitive dysfunction syndrome which is basically Alzheimer’s disease in a dog. With this, you might notice disorientation, altered interactions, sleep changes, soiling accidents, changes in their activity level, and anxiety in your dog.

Mental and Physical Exercises

If your dog has cognitive dysfunction syndrome or even if they just have age-related memory loss, there are some proven strategies for preventing further cognitive decline in your dog. Two of the best things you can do for your dog is to make sure they are partaking in mental and physical exercises.

Every dog, no matter how old or young they are, should be partaking in mental and physical exercises. Exercising will enrich your dog’s overall experiences in life. It will be good for their brain and their body. With this note, you should know that the exercises your dog will need to do will vary based on their current cognitive functions, health, and age. To enhance your dog’s brain health, you should have them doing games, playtime, and various types of puzzles. There are puzzles and games you can buy specifically for dogs.

In addition, you should take your dog on walks to different places to keep their mind active. You can even have them start in a new training program to work out skills they haven’t used in a while.

Proper Nutrition

Another way to prevent cognitive decline in your dog is through proper nutrition. For instance, research shows that if a dog’s diet is higher in antioxidants this will reduce their cognitive decline. However, you should always talk to your dog’s veterinarian to see what food they should be eating. These are some of the proven strategies to prevent cognitive decline in your dog. No matter what type of dog you have, it is important to make sure they are exercising their mind and body. You should also make sure they are getting the proper nutrition and partaking in playtime often, too.

What is cognitive dysfunction in dogs?

Cognitive dysfunction in dogs or Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is a behavioral syndrome that alters or affects a dog's interactions with its owners, environment, other pets, and activities.

Are dogs cognitive?

Yes. Dogs are intelligent and show social cognition similar to that of humans. They react to body language and can understand some human words and commands.

How smart are dogs compared to humans?

Smart dogs can understand up to 250 human words. They're also able to understand signs and gestures the way a 2 to 2.5 year old human would.

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Written by Leo Roux

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