5 Signs of Dog Dementia You Should Observe


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The fact that cognitive dysfunction only occurs in humans is a myth. Your senior pooch is equally susceptible to the condition. If your dog forgets the route you take every day from the neighborhood park to your house, or does not enjoy the things it used to, then your dog may be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) or the doggy form of dementia.Dogs suffer from dementia for a number of reasons such as accumulation of excessive proteins in the brain, a situation which builds up plague and damages nerves. Such destruction of nerves in the brain causes your dog to suffer from brain malfunctioning, which affects its memory, behaviors and motor functions. Behavior Clinic at the University of California at Davis showed that it an age-related disorder, affecting 28 percent and 68 percent of dogs in the age bracket of 11-12 and 15-16 years respectively.

Knowing your dog has dementia

Dr. Denise Petryk, a former veterinarian working with Trupanion pet insurance, founded the DISHA acronym for helping dog owners understand the symptoms of canine cognitive dysfunction, which are as follows:

  • DisorientationDespite being in its familiar or normal environment, dogs with dementia feel disoriented. If your dog uses a wrong door or wrong side of the door to get back into the house from your backyard, then it is a sign of disorientation. Lack of spacial awareness and loss of their much-known sense of timing is a sign of disorientation in dogs.
  • InteractionsLack of social interaction in dogs is yet another symptom of dementia. Your once sociable and popular pooch may start growling at other people. Social withdrawal is an early sign that something is wrong with your dog and requires your attention. Instead of barking and growling, it may also show lack of interest in greeting visitors or running out on unleashing it.
  • Sleep-wake cycle changesYour dog that slept soundly before may pace the living room all night. Many dogs with CCD reverse their routine by sleeping all through the day. It may irritate and tire you all night to be let out in the backyard.
  • House soilingHouse-trained dogs with dementia may urinate and defecate in the house. With seniority, your dog loses the ability to control expulsion voluntarily or even let you know that they want to go out. Dementia causes them to lose the understanding that they need to poop outside.
  • Activity levelA decreased desire to explore and participate in activities is a sign of dementia in dogs. They may also show repetitive and restless motions. They may become sedentary and show no interest in playing as it used to before.
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