Can dogs become demented?  

Yes, dogs can get dementia. CCD (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) is a general term for the cognitive changes we see in our dogs. There are many symptoms of dementia in dogs. 

demens hund

Dementia in dogs  

With an increasing life expectancy and general good health in dogs, symptoms like human dementia have been noted. It is estimated that 14-35% of all family dogs are affected, and about 50% of dogs over 14 years old. 

Previously, these behavioral changes were simply attributed to old age, but a clear pattern has now been identified in this group. Dog dementia, also known as cognitive dysfunction, involves a gradual degradation of brain tissue, which impairs the dog’s ability to perceive and interact with the outside world. 

Hvad kan jeg gøre ved min demente hund?

What can I do for my demented dog?  

Early diagnosis and treatment are important! Some age-related changes are obvious, while others develop slowly over time and are therefore difficult to detect. A senior pet should have health checks at the vet. This can ensure a longer and better life. 

 

Your senior dog needs help with daily life. This can include:

  1. Dietary supplements 
  2. Changes in diet 
  3. Exercise – physical movement 
  4. Mental stimulation 
  5. Medication 

 

Talk to your dog’s veterinarian  

There are products and medications with several positive effects on circulation, heart, organs, and joints. 

Including the supply of oxygen to organs, heart, muscles, and brain. 

What can I do about my dog’s dementia?  

Dietary supplements 

There are many supplements on the market that can help with your dog’s joints. Talk to your vet clinic about the options for your dog. 

Demens hos hunde

Regular exercise 

Make sure your dog’s mobility and coordination are challenged with regular exercise and play. 

Contact a specialist if necessary! 

For example, hydrotherapy treadmills, laser therapy, electrostimulation, and acupuncture can be efficient to ease dementia. 

Aids 

Help your dog so it can easily get into the car, avoid slippery floors, and remove obstacles that the dog has difficulty handling. 

Hvad gør man med en dement hund?

Provide a diet tailored to the senior dog. 

Talk to your clinic about the right food and any dietary supplements – e.g., antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids (oils). 

demente hund kan have et godt liv

Stimulate your dog through play. 

You could use toys that require activity, such as balls with treats or a feeding board with obstacles. 

Dementia in dogs stimulate muscles and nervous system. 

For example, passive movement of legs and other light exercises at home on the living room floor. 

Symptomer på demens hos hunde

Support your dog’s movements. 

There are many aids that can prevent injuries from jumps, stairs, and slippery surfaces. 

Source:
Dewey, C. W., Davies, E. S., Xie, H., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2019). Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice, 49(3), 477–499. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2019.01.013