Senile Pets

By Susan Aiello • Published: July 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

As the population ages, we too often see our parents and grandparents slipping into a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. But did you know older pets can also lose their mental faculties?

Owners should watch for signs of disorientation or confusion, changes in social interaction, sleep disturbances and soiling inside the house. When medical causes have been ruled out, these changes often signal cognitive decline in senior dogs and cats.

Fortunately, we can take steps to help keep our aging pets on the ball. Getting regular exercise, like playing fetch, is a good way to clear mental cobwebs. Interactive stimulation through games and toys is also helpful, especially for cats, who tend to be loners.

Last but not least, high-quality nutrition is important for healthy brain cells. So, walk your dog and play with your cat to keep them young — and you, too.