Table of Contents
- Dog Dementia Diet: What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome?
- How Diet Affects Your Dog's Cognition
- Foods & Supplements For Dogs With Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Dementia Diet
- Dog Dementia Diet: Final Thoughts
Puppies need a lot of stimulation and attention. As they age, maintaining their cognitive health is just as or more important than ever. And nutrition can be a great aid when it comes to their health.
In this blog, we'll tackle the best dog dementia diet.
Just like humans, dogs' cognitive health can decline over the years. You'll notice your senior dog to be more lethargic and not getting excited anymore.
All dogs tend to slow down during their senior years. But as dog parents, we should help them and try ways to prevent cognitive problems such as dog dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS).
Proper diet and supplements can play a huge part in helping canine cognitive functioning and aiding with a dog's aging brain.
Nutrition is one of the most essential factors a pet owner should look into. Foods for dogs with dementia are easy to find, but they can be a bit costly.
But together with exercise and training, the proper diet holds a big picture on a dog's overall health.
In this blog, we'll talk about foods and supplements that are best suited for dogs with CDS. These are foods not only for dogs that have dementia but also to prevent CDS in their senior years.
But first, let's discuss what is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or Dementia in dogs.
Dog Dementia Diet: What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome?
Dog Dementia also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is a cognitive issue in dogs that is equivalent to Alzheimer's disease in humans.
This disorder is related to the dog's brain causing behavioral changes and greatly affecting their memory, learning, and comprehension.
According to research, dogs' risk of dementia increases by 50% every year! By the age of 15, about 68% of dogs get CDS.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of dementia in dogs is still currently unknown. But it is often caused by physical and chemical changes that happen with the aging process, predisposed by brain tumors and injuries, or simply inherited from those developing the disease.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome Symptoms
The acronym “DISHAAL” is often used to describe the symptoms of dog dementia. DISHAAL stands for:
- Interaction changes
- Sleep/Wake Cycle Disturbances
- House soiling
- Activity changes
- Learning/Memory changes
But that's not all, other signs of CDS can be:
- Unable to recognize familiar people or other pets
- Staring blankly at nothing
- Lack of self-grooming
- Excessive licking
- Loss of appetite
- Night walking
- Night vocalization
How Diet Affects Your Dog's Cognition
Nutrition plays a big factor to keep our bodies healthy. And that's the same with dogs.
In this day and age, there are now foods that are primarily aimed at managing heart problems, diabetes, inflammation, and other health issues.
Also, there are now supplements and dietary additions for dogs that can help improve their physical and mental condition.
So how does food affects a dog's cognition? Well, studies show that compounds such as alpha-lipoic acid and L-carnitine can help maintain cognitive function that's connected to aging.
There are also antioxidants like vitamins E and vitamins C that helps shield cells from radical damage.
If you want to prevent your dog from experiencing CDS, try switching its diet to foods rich in cognition-boosting compounds.
So what are other cognition-boosting foods and supplements? Scroll down and let's find out!
Foods & Supplements For Dogs With Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
If you're planning to change your diet because you want to prevent dog dementia or your senior dog is suffering from CDS, we recommend buying any of these dog foods or trying these supplements.
However, it's still best advised to talk to your vet first. Your vet will know what's best for your dog.
Dog Dementia Diet: Food for Dogs with CDS
First, we have Purina Pro Plan NC NeuroCare. This dog food is usually recommended for idiopathic epilepsy.
But is specially formulated to help support cognitive function in senior dogs.
It is a unique blend of different nutrients such as arginine, antioxidants, B vitamins, and more. This therapeutic diet also has EPA + DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, to help support brain health.
This is a ketogenic diet that serves as a great alternative source of energy for the brain.
With all these benefits, Fido will love this diet as it tastes great too!
Next, we have Hill's Prescription Diet b/d Brain Aging Care. It is formulated to help dogs with signs of cognitive dysfunction.
This excellent dog food has been clinically tested to help senior dogs' memory and learning ability.
It will also provide vitamins E and C for your pup, and it includes fruits and vegetables that are rich in natural antioxidants and minerals.
This dry dog food contains omega-3 fatty acids and therapeutic L-carnitine levels that help protect brain cells against free radical damage.
Lastly, we have Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind. If you want to change your dog's diet to prevent CDS in the future, this is a great way to start.
You can choose between dry food and wet food. It also has different flavors, such as Chicken & Rice, Chicken, Beef & Brown Rice, and Turkey & Brown Rice.
This dog food contains a blend of brain-supporting nutrients for cognitive health and botanical oils to promote alertness and mental sharpness for dogs seven years of age or older.
But this dog food is not just for their cognitive health. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind is also rich in antioxidants to maintain your dog's immune system.
Supplements and Food Additives for Dogs with CDS
Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation. Adding this supplement to a dog's diet can help improve its cognitive function.
But antioxidants can also help with neutralizing the effects of chronic inflammation, skin allergies, eye problems, respiratory diseases, heart issues, and joint problems.
A lot of antioxidants are found in foods, and they usually include:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Alpha-lipoic acid
Antioxidants can also be found in foods such as spinach and blueberries.
Blueberries are filled with antioxidants, and dogs love them as treats. Your pup can also benefit from blueberries if they need help in lowering inflammation levels.
Other benefits include better eyesight and the ability to promote new cell growth.
If you're making your dog homemade dog foods, try out some ingredients that include these kinds of fruits and veggies.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
One of the most established food additives that help dogs suffering from dementia is fish oil and other sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids. PUFA is almost in every nutrient mix for food for CDS.
It can also help with inflammatory problems such as atopy and other renal disorders, cardiovascular issues, hyperlipidemias, and osteoarthritis.
Studies have shown that dogs' cognitive function improved when L-carnitine was included in the diet.
However, it should be fed, including similar substances such as mitochondrial cofactors for it to work.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Dementia Diet
What food is good for a dog's brain?
If you want to prevent your dog from suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in the future, some foods help keep your brain healthy and alert.
For instance, fish and fish oil are great for fighting inflammation, arthritis pain, and heart problems.
But it is also an excellent source of DHA, which is important for healthy brain development in puppies.
Other examples include sweet potatoes, spinach, blueberries, and coconut oil.
How do you stimulate an old dog's brain?
There are plenty of ways to help your senior dogs. Mental stimulation can go from taking a walk and teaching them tricks.
Now, there are also interactive toys that are geared toward senior dogs.
Keeping Fido active by going for a swim, playing games, and doing their daily exercise can help stimulate their brain.
Can dogs with dementia be happy?
Living with a dog suffering from dementia can be difficult to handle. But of course, we'd do anything for our beloved pets.
They've been a part of our lives for so long, and they deserve to live the best life.
Fortunately, with proper care and attention, many dogs that have CDS can still go and live happy and healthy lives.
Dog Dementia Diet: Final Thoughts
Dog dementia or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome is a very tough situation for dogs and their owners. Also, there is still no cure for this problem.
But there are plenty of ways to help your senior dog be more comfortable and happy. One way to help is by feeding them dog foods that can help with their cognitive health.
Try and switch up their food with dog dementia diets such as Purina Pro Plan NC NeuroCare or Hill's Prescription Diet b/d Brain Aging Care to start.
You can also check the ingredients on the dog foods that you are buying.
There are now supplements and food additives that can also help with their cognitive function, such as antioxidants, fatty acids, B Vitamins, L-Carnitine, and Branched-chain amino acids.
These are a few of the commonly used ingredients from dog foods that are great for CDS.
However, you can always ask your vet about the food that can improve your dog's cognitive health or prevent dementia in dogs.