By Angela Ardolino
Updated on September 14, 2020
When your dog enters their senior years, you may notice a change in their behaviors. It can be tough to spot at first, but if your senior dog is showing behavioral changes, it may be time to take them to the vet to find out if they have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD).
CCD is also known as dog dementia, sundowners, or “dogzheimers” but all are terms for the same cognitive issues.
If your dog is diagnosed with CCD, it can be heartbreaking. Nobody likes to see their best friend suffer, and as your pet ages, you may feel helpless. But, knowing ways to prevent CCD, knowing the symptoms of CCD and making your pet’s twilight years comfortable with all-natural treatments can be beneficial in minimizing stress.
Signs of CCD or Dementia
Recognizing dementia or CCD in dogs is not quite as straightforward as it is in humans. Your dog cannot tell you that they forgot something, they cannot tell you that they are scared or worried or don’t know where they are. So as your pet ages, it is important to pay attention to their habits and routines so that you can know when something is off.
Since there is no easy test to diagnose a dog with CCD, it is important that you write down any observations you have made and bring that paper to the vet.
Your veterinarian may be looking for the following symptoms:
Disorientation and Increased Anxiety
If your dog is experiencing signs of CCD or dementia, you may notice her pacing behind closed doors. The reason for the pacing is usually due to being lost. She may not remember how to exit the room or might not remember the home at all. You may also notice her gazing into space; almost as if she is staring into the wall. This could be a house she has lived in for years. She may simply not remember it due to a declining mental state.
This will lead to increased anxiety. That’s as to be expected. Think about what would happen if we were completely lost and didn’t know where we were or where to go. We would become anxious ourselves.
Excessive barking may occur. You know your dog’s bark and what each one means. You’ll hear the anxiety or nervous bark along with some possible howling. She’s letting you know she’s in distress.
Lack of Bowel Control
Even if your dog has the best track record for using the bathroom outside, he might start peeing and/or pooping inside the house. Stay calm if this occurs; this isn’t his fault. He may lose control of his bowels due to anxiety or another underlying condition. Comfort her and let her know everything is going to be okay. If you remain optimistic, she is more likely to remain optimistic.
Changes in Appetite
You may notice a decrease or increase in appetite with CCD or dementia. Usually, this is due to increased anxiety, but it could be she just forgot to eat. She may not eat until she remembers; or if you place her food bowl directly in front of her.
Changes in Hearing and/or Vision
It is important to note that changes in hearing or vision can cause some of the same symptoms. For example, a dog who is losing hearing or vision may become disoriented and may have increased anxiety as a result. Have your vet test for hearing and vision problems to rule out CCD.
How to Help Your Dog Through the Mental Decline
There is no cure-all for dementia or CCD. However, there are ways that you can keep your pet comfortable and slow their decline.
Routine, Diet, and Essential Oils
Maintaining a regular routine can help your dog maintain a sense of balance, even if they have trouble remembering the routine. It can also soothe their anxiety to listen to soft music and exercise regularly. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into their diet can also help brain-health.
Additionally, essential oils, like lavender, can provide a calming effect and can help senior dogs feel comfortable. Many pet owners also turn to melatonin to help their senior pet rest at night.
It is important that you consult your veterinarian (we recommend a holistic vet when possible) to discuss supplements that can help slow decline and to discuss all of your options.
CBD and Cognitive Decline
CBD has been proven to help treat everything from seizures to anxiety and depression, and neurological issues in dogs. In fact, the U.S. government has a patent on cannabis as a neuro-protectant.
CBD can be used as a preventative measure against dementia and has been proven to help brain function. In dogs, CBD can not only help prevent dementia or CCD from beginning in the first place but if your dog has CCD, it is an excellent treatment option.
CBD may not fully bring back your dog’s memory or old behaviors, but it can ease the anxiety and stress related to dementia and can help your dog stay calm and comfortable in their senior years. Full Spectrum – Hemp Extract is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which contribute to brain health.
If your pet has dementia, we recommend our HEAL CBD oil for dogs, as it has 1100 mg of full-spectrum CBD and has a perfect balance of fatty acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
CBD can safely be incorporated into your pet’s diet early on to use as a preventative measure, and as your pet ages, it is a more natural way to treat the changes that come with age. Whether your pet is suffering from dementia or just aches and pains associated with aging, when you start using CBD oil for dogs, your pooch will thank you for it.
To learn more about keeping your senior pet healthy and happy, visit CBDDogHealth.com or AngelaArdolino.com.
Dosing for Dementia with Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
Dogs with dementia are recommended 35-50 mg of CBD per day, but this can vary by age and condition (many dogs with dementia are in their senior years). Split the daily dose into multiple applications a day. This will maintain blood concentration of CBD throughout the day. Additionally, it will lower the possibility of any stomach upset as your pet’s gut gets used to an oil tincture.
Book a Consultation and Ask All Your Questions
Here at CBD Dog Health, we know trying something new can be difficult, especially when it comes to our beloved furry family. Luckily, you can book a consultation to discuss your dog’s individual situation to help you feel more at ease with something new and become accustomed to the dosage.
Book a one-on-one consultation with Angela Ardolino and Dr. Zac Pilossoph and get a full plan and regiment for your pet’s specific needs today!
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.