Cognitive Health in Dogs
As it is with humans, identifying signs of cognitive decline in pets is integral to ensuring proper treatment for existing symptoms and forestalling or preventing further complications. For many owners, however, this particular aspect of pet care raises additional concerns not usually found among nutrition or fitness-related matters, namely “Can I really evaluate cognitive health in someone who barks?”
Contrary to expectation, the hallmarks of age-related cognitive decline in dogs are not so far removed from those found in humans, disorientation within a familiar environment being chief among them. Further indications of cognitive struggles such as altered sleep cycles, disengagement from social interactions, elevated anxiety, and even loss of housetraining can inform a physician’s diagnosis and provide further clarification to owners who may be attempting to distinguish between minor behavioral changes and a more severe, underlying ailment.
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which presents many of the same degenerative symptoms that typify Alzheimer’s disease in humans, is thought to afflict as many as 30% of dogs older than 7-9 years and 68% percent of those over the age of 14. Though no cure for the condition is known to exist, the progressive cognitive deterioration brought on by the disease can be managed and (among healthy, unafflicted dogs) deterred, in part, through adjustments in diet and nutritional intake.
Nutrition’s Role in Canine Cognition
While many owners may be surprised to learn of the true extent to which nutrition influences cognitive function and development, few ever become aware that dietary supplementation can actually help allay the effects of cognitive dysfunction and decline among senior dogs–often with striking results.
Maintaining a diverse, antioxidant-rich diet is crucial throughout a pet’s lifespan and can begin to pay tremendous dividends as pets reach their later years, with some studies discerning a positive correlation between antioxidant consumption and improved memory and/or cognitive performance. Furthermore, a lack of Vitamin E, an antioxidant, is often identified among dogs experiencing cognitive decline and humans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
DHA, the Omega-3 fatty acid associated most closely with neurological function, also helps to promote and preserve optimal cognition when consumed by animals and humans alike and is regarded as “playing an important role in ensuring healthy ageing”, particularly in respect to the brain. Multiple studies involving human participants have observed a corresponding decrease in DHA levels as the brain ages and implicated progressive DHA loss with the onset of central nervous system dysfunction, including symptoms such as anxiety and memory impairment. Additionally, DHA has even been acknowledged for its role in mitigating or preventing oxidative stress (the factor most commonly cited as a key contributor to the development of CDS in dogs) and neuroinflammation, both of which are correlated with cognitive decline brought on by aging.
DHA and Canine Health
Stable cognitive function remains critical to preserving quality of life in dogs of every breed and age, and the imporance of proper nutrition cannot be overstated when it comes to helping your dog achieve this goal. The type of fresh, whole-cell Omega-3 DHA nutrition found in SmartZYME™ has been shown to enhance awareness and overall cognition in both dogs and cats, instilling the clarity and acuity they need to remain engaged and continue learning throughout every stage of life.
Visit https://www.zipzymeomega.com/white-paper-1/ to view more information regarding the wide-ranging health benefits delivered by DHA and our all-natural SmartZYME™ supplement.