As we age it’s easier to be sedentary versus active. Our muscles hurt, our back may throb and we have a million and one excuses why we can’t exercise. It’s easier to pick up the remote than to put your walking shoes on.
Like people, senior dogs need to exercise. Not at the pace of a puppy, who have a relentless amount of energy but at a slower pace. Prevention is often the key to helping your dog live a long and happy life. He needs to exercise, be seen by a vet regularly, and eat a nutritious well balanced diet. It’s important for dog owners to understand their dog’s limits and create an exercise routine that all parties will enjoy.
The aging process brings with it loss of muscle tone and balance, which can lead to inactivity. Inactivity leads to weight gain and added stress on joints that are no longer well supported by adequate muscle mass. It can become a vicious circle!
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops dementia, a disease that affects more than 5.3 million Americans.
Although we often think of people getting dementia, we rarely think about senior dogs getting dementia. In dogs it is called cognitive dysfunction disorder (CDD), a disease related to the aging of a dog’s brain. Unlike the normal signs of aging – hearing and vision loss or a general slowing down – CDD often involves a problem with thought processing and a change in personality.
CDD is caused by physical changes in the brain. Research has shown that some older dogs with CDD have brain lesions similar to those that physicians see in Alzheimer’s patients. This results in deterioration in how you dog thinks, learns and remembers. Unfortunately, no one knows what causes dog dementia, but genetics is said to play a part.