Dementia, also known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), is a common condition that affects older cats and dogs. It is progressive and can result in memory loss, confusion, and changes in behaviour. Some signs of dog dementia or cat dementia include a change in appetite, change in sleeping, and loss of toilet training. While there is no cure for dementia, supplements, and diet can be used to manage symptoms. Dogs are more commonly affected by age-related decline so they are more likely to show signs. Here are some supplements that have been found to help.
Supplements for Both Cats and Dogs
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are essential for the health and function of your pet’s brain. They are found naturally in oily fish such as salmon or can be found in a high-quality omega-3 supplement. A supplement containing both EPA and DHA is particularly helpful for reducing inflammation.
Recommended product: Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is produced naturally in the body and plays a vital part in producing neurotransmitters. Without neurotransmitters, the body would be unable to perform basic functions such as regular sleep-wake cycles. Another benefit of SAMe is that it also increases serotonin levels, which may be reduced in older dogs.
Recommended product: Denamarin for Dogs
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Studies also show that it may improve sleep patterns and reduce night activity. This would be helpful for cats or dogs with dementia who have sleep troubles. It is very calming for dogs. Hopefully, your dog can be a sleepy dog at night again with the help of melatonin.
Recommended products: Melacutin for Dogs
Zylkene may help alleviate some dementia symptoms by promoting relaxation and reducing dog anxiety or cat anxiety. Confusion can often lead to stress and anxiety in cats and dogs with dementia. A calming supplement may be beneficial in alleviating the stress your pet feels.
Recommended products: Zylkene for cats and dogs
This supplement helps with brain function for older cats* or dogs. This contains both Omega-3 and SAMe, which have been mentioned above. Aktivait can help slow down the cognitive decline that often occurs in older dogs. This could improve their overall quality of life, allowing them to enjoy their dog walks for longer.
*Aktivait for dogs is toxic for cats so ensuring your cat receives the cat version is crucial.
Recommended product: Aktivait
This product contains natural products including valerian which promotes calming effects that help reduce stress and anxiety. This product may help your cat or dog if they face sleeping problems from dementia and may alleviate anxiety-related symptoms such as confusion and stress.
Recommended product: Pet calming plug-in diffuser
This amino acid is commonly found in tea leaves and is known to have calming effects. In animals, including dogs and cats, L-Theanine has been shown to have potential benefits for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. L-theanine is known to increase the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in mood regulation and cognitive function.
Recommended product: Nutracalm
Feliway offers products containing a synthetic feline pheromone. This has a calming effect on cats. It mimics the natural pheromones cats release when they rub their faces onto something, showing the cat that the area is familiar and safe. This can help cats feel more secure and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Recommended product: Feliway
Cat Diet Recommendations for Dementia:
Dog Diet Recommendations for Dementia
For more advice on dog dementia specifically, read our ‘Doggy Dementia’ blog.