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Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)?

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is a condition that affects our furry pals, like dogs and cats. Think of it as pet dementia, where they might forget their toys or even have trouble recognising familiar faces, including yours!

As pets age, CDS becomes more common, with roughly 28% of dogs aged 11-12 and about 68% of dogs aged 15-16 showing signs of cognitive decline. In cats, around 50% of those over 15 years old may experience CDS to some extent. So, if your furry friend seems a bit forgetful or disoriented, know that you’re not alone, and let’s explore how we can support them through this.

What are the symptoms?

Knowing what to look out for can help you get your pet the help they need quickly and smoothly. If your pet starts showing these signs take a visit to the vet as soon as possible.

Anxiety –  Sudden separation anxiety, barking, yowling, or hissing more than usual and loss of confidence.

Confusion & disorientation – Your pet may start forgetting commands, regular routines or struggle to learn new ones. Getting lost in familiar places, or staring into space is also common.

Changes in sleeping patterns – Sleeping more throughout the day and wandering the house at night with no purpose.

House-soiling – If your pet is house-trained but starts failing to hold in their poop or pee this could be a symptom of CDS.

Social changes – Familiar faces (human & animal) may start to confuse your pet. They may also seem more withdrawn and less willing to interact with friends.

How to help

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, but there are some things you can do to slow the progress of the condition.

Cognitive enrichment – Keeping on top of practising simple commands and enticing them with training treats may help keep your pet mentally stimulated.

Diet – Diets rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and other important nutrients will help feed their brain. Ask your vet for recommendations before changing your pet’s diet. Browse our selection of senior are foods here.

Calming products – This could be a stressful time for your pet, so gifting them with calming supplements, plug-ins in our dog calming range and cat calming range can help.