Dogs aged 11 to 16 are most likely to develop Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), sort of the doggy version of Alzheimer’s Disease. CCD is a medical condition in which a starch-like waxy protein called beta amyloid collects in the brain and causes behavior changes.
There actually are some ways to treat CCD in dogs–and reverse the signs, at least temporarily. Special dog foods such as Hill’s Prescription Diet bd and Purina ProlPlan Senior 7+ Original include a mix of antioxidants that help “feed” the brain. There’s also a natural supplement called Cholodin, and a drug called Anipryl that work well for some dogs. I discuss many of these options in my Pet Care-Cutting Edge Medicine book as well as Complete Care for Your Aging Dog.
But the biggie–the easiest thing you can do for your dog–is to make them think! That old adage “use it or lose it” works for pets, too. Here’s my latest Paw Nation article with 7 tips to keep doggy brains youthful.
How do you keep your “old dog” connected to life? Do you take him with you to the park or to visit Grandma? How about practicing obedience commands or tricks and games? What if you’ve adopted a shy pooch who hates the leash–like the folks in this Ask Amy video–what other suggestions would you have for Bob?
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