Dogs can be affected by dementia

A dog’s brain is a lot like a human’s, and unfortunately this means that the same problems that affect the human brain can affect dogs. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome is the canine equivalent of Alzheimer’s, and around half of all dogs over the age of ten will exhibit symptoms.

Don’t panic – not all aging dogs will get the disease, and those who do get different symptoms than humans. You can also help decrease the risk through providing a healthy diet, mental stimulation, physical exercise, and plenty of human contact.

Dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome may appeared disoriented in everyday situations. They may appear lost in the house or the yard, get stuck behind furniture, or have difficulty finding the door. These problems can also be caused by hearing loss or loss of vision.

Other symptoms include sleeping more overall but less at night, and an increase in pacing back and forth. Some dogs become clingy and want human contact around the clock, while other leek less attention and walk away from their humans.  These behaviors can also be attributed to physical changes, so if your dog displays them, see a vet to get a proper diagnosis.

If your dog gets the diagnosis, there is a drug used to battle Parkinson’s disease in humans that can improve symptoms and give the dog a better quality of life.

Keep your pets safe over the New Year holiday

The New Year holiday is just around the corner, and many Americans will celebrate the birth of the new year with fireworks, firecrackers, and even gunshots. While you and your neighbors celebrate, keep your pets in mind.

Cats, dogs, and other pets generally don’t like these loud noises, and the bright flashes of fireworks can add to their terror. Even dogs and cats that are normally calm can panic and run in an attempt to find safety from the perceived threat.

Keep your pets inside. If they choose to seek out a dark corner or hide under the bed, let them be. Never underestimate a frightened pet’s ability to flee. If you have visitors coming and going it’s a good idea to keep the pets separated so they can’t get out the front door.

If your family falls into the category that fires actual guns to celebrate the new year – fire into the ground, never up in the air. What goes up must come down, and bullets fired up in the air have been known to cause injury and even death on their return to the ground.

Make sure your pets have ID badges on their collars, and that they’re microchipped. Naturally, if you go to watch a fireworks display, leave your pets at home. Don’t leave them in the car.

Have a happy and safe New Year’s holiday!