Mental Health Concerns for Senior Dogs
There is nothing we as pet parents want more than to watch our canine companions grow old. However, we do not only want them to reach their golden years, we also want them to enjoy their time as a senior dog. As pet parents, we must keep our furry friends safe from all possible dangers. Some of these dangers may be unavoidable, but others, such as diseases, may be avoided.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), a severe mental decline in both senior dogs and cats, may affect your elder pets. Some common symptoms of CDS include disorientation, restlessness, increased agitation or sleep, separation anxiety, and loss of appetite or exploration. While these may also be symptoms of aging, it is important to contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about your four-legged friends health.
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In the meantime, there are a few tricks up our sleeve to help you avoid watching your furry friend disappear before your eyes.
- Old dogs can learn new tricks. Just like humans, as dogs age it is important to keep them mentally stimulated. Whether that be a new toy, trick, or command, keeping your barking buddy’s brain stimulated is important to avoid those dementia-like symptoms.
- Feed your pet properly. A dog’s diet is important in keeping their mental facilities in tact. Be sure to include vitamin C and E, as well as selenium, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids, in your aging pup’s diet. These vitamins may even be able to improve your pet’s brain function. Before any dietary changes are made, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
- Find supplements that work for your dog. Think of supplements as vitamins for your dog. Every supplement poses a different benefit for your furry friend, but if you are worried about CDS in your pet consult your veterinarian. Not only will they be able to assuage your fears, but they can also give you the name of supplements that will help slow down the mental decline caused by CDS.
While it is never easy watching our pets age and suffer, it may be the sign of a long and happy life. Be sure to keep your pet’s golden years happy and healthy with these tips.
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