Can Dogs Get Dementia?

When your dog enters their senior years, you may notice a change in their behaviors. It may 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.

Some of the most common symptoms of CCD are:

  • Pacing behind doors, not remembering how to exit a space, seeming lost, staring at nothing, and showing signs of being disoriented (for example, forgetting how to use a doggy door that they have used for years)
  • Increased anxiety
  • Withdrawing from your family and regular activities
  • Not being able to recognize an owner or family member’s voice even though hearing is intact
  • Peeing and pooping inside (especially if the pet has a good track record of going outside)
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns (for example, forgetting to eat or waking up in the night when he normally snoozes)
  • Barking for no discernable reason

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 Treat CCD

There is no cure-all for dementia or CCD. However, there are ways that you can keep your pet comfortable and slow their decline.

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.

Can CBD Help Prevent or Treat CCD or Dog Dementia?

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 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. In addition, hemp oil 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 or

Angela Ardolino has been caring for animals since she was 8 years old and has operated a farm rescue for over 10 years.  She also is the owner of Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and spa, and the founder of CBD Dog Health. Angela is an expert in medical cannabis and has dedicated her life to providing all-natural relief for pets of all kinds.  She has three dogs, and 4-10 at anytime that she is fostering, or boarding, visit to find out more or to find out more about Fire Flake Farm.

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