With the help of medicine, our pet friends as people are reaching an older age. Nowadays we put more value on a pet’s life and tend to take better care of senior pets. Almost half of the dogs over the age of 10 suffer from cognitive dysfunction or dog dementia. Dementia in dogs manifests by disorientation, social interaction and sleep-wake disturbances, house soiling, increased anxiety and activity disturbances – apathy or aimless pacing.
Consult with your veterinary doctor if you notice any of these signs. It is important to note that cognitive dysfunction or dog dementia is not a normal part of aging, and should not be ignored. If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your senior dog, it is crucial to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Your vet may recommend various treatment options, including medication, supplements, and lifestyle changes. In addition, they may also recommend regular check-ups to monitor your dog’s cognitive health and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.
There are various nutritional supplements or drugs that support your dog’s neurone function and prevent brain oxidative damage. However, a few studies have proven that combining medicine with physical exercise and environmental enrichment results in better cognitive scores. Physical and mental activity increases brain perfusion and improves synapse plasticity that both contribute to an overall better mental health.
Exercise is not only good for physical health, but also plays a vital role in mental health. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in both humans and dogs. In addition, it can also improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain and promoting the growth of new brain cells. Therefore, it is essential to incorporate regular physical and mental exercise into your senior dog’s daily routine. This can be achieved through various activities, such as regular walks, playtime, puzzle games, and trick training. By keeping your senior dog physically and mentally active, you can help to delay the onset of cognitive dysfunction and ensure that they live a happy and healthy life.
Dogo App enriches your senior dog’s life with different puzzle games or training. Reward-based trick training is a great method for mental stimulation, especially in less mobile animals.
Other helpful activities are food puzzles, new toys, DIY tasks tailored to your dog, playtime with your dog. Taking a dog to a new environment that provides sensory exposure.
Research suggests that environmental enrichment may delay dementia in dogs. Especially if dogs aged between 6 and 10 get more stimulation. Do not forget that our senior friends, although less physically active, still need mental stimulation to stay sharp for a longer time. Environmental enrichment refers to providing animals with an environment that encourages physical and mental stimulation. This can include various activities, such as puzzle games, new toys, and sensory exposure. Therefore, it is important to start providing your dog with environmental enrichment from an early age, and continue throughout their life. This can be achieved through various means, such as providing different textures and smells, introducing new toys, and taking your dog to new environments.