Is My Dog Going Senile? How to Know

Just like people, dogs can start to form certain conditions when they age. People normally get several years before they are in the geriatric group. Dogs, however, are geriatric when they reach the age of 10.

Some dogs age well and can continue to be lively until they pass away. Others don’t age as gracefully and develop certain conditions.

Age will affect a dog’s cognitive function. At this age, they can develop a certain form of dementia, canine cognitive dysfunction. What can you do? If you worry about your dog becoming senile, look out for these 6 signs that your dog is going senile.

Changes in their behavior

Has your dog been less active lately? This could be a symptom of CCD. Are they sleeping more? If your dog is sleeping more than usual that could be a sign your dog is showing symptoms of dementia.

Even sudden personality changes are a sign that your dog could be suffering from a little doggie dementia. If Fido is normally a chill dog and now has become more aggressive, consider CCD.

This is also true for the opposite. Your normally hyper dog is now stuck on the floor. If they do not react to their favorite toy they could have CCD.

Changes in their diet

If your dog is showing a lack of an appetite, this could be a sign of CCD. Difficulty eating or disinterest in eating is a symptom of CCD. Try to offer your dog one of their favorite meals to see if they react. If they barely move this could be a sign.

You should also be on the lookout for excessive thirst or an increase in their water intake. This sudden need to drink can be a sign of CCD. Any sudden changes in diet could be a symptom. Be on the lookout for any changes.

The inability to control their bladder

Even obedient dogs can have an accident from time to time. Just like people older dogs can start to have control issues with their bladder. You might think it is due to age and you would be right. This could also be a symptom of CCD.

Excessive peeing in combination with changes in diet is a major sign of CCD. If your dog has never had an issue with soiling itself in the past, this could be a red flag.

If your daily walks are consistent, be alert in their restroom use. This is especially true if you regularly take your dog on a walk.

They can no longer recognize faces or people

Dogs tend to have a really good memory. If you are seeing your dog does not recognize some of your close family and friends that is a symptom of CCD.

There is even the extreme case that your buddy forgets who you are. If this ever happens to you consider this a sign of CCD. If your dog is acting distant towards your friend it could be a sign it is going senile.

Even barking at your friends and family is a symptom of your dog going senile.

It seems like they are deaf

Has it been difficult to get your dog’s attention? Do you have to call their name several times before they notice you? You might think that your dog is losing their hearing.

It could be a possibility that your dog is deaf or it could be a sign of CCD. The inability to hear or a lack of interest is a symptom of CCD.

If your dog normally reacts to a thunderstorm and is calm during one that could be a sign. Your dog not noticing loud music or noise is also a sign.

Difficulty with navigating

If you and your dog frequently change places, this might not be a red flag. If your dog is has been in the same place for several years, though this could be a red flag. Difficulty in navigating around a familiar area is a symptom of CCD.

Also if your dog shows confusion when moving this could be a sign of CCD. Make sure your dog is not showing signs of disorientation. Running into walls or using the wrong side of the door is a telltale sign.

As dog owners, we always want to make sure our best pals are getting the best in everything. As they get older there are things that you have to worry about.

Are you noticing some changes in their behavior? If your dog shows 1 or more of these signs, consider getting them to check out. Dementia in dogs can be preventable depending on what the cause of the dementia is.

Not dealing with doggie dementia can incapacitate your dog. It is important to treat it soon if possible. Remember to go to your vet immediately. Especially if your dog exhibits more than one of these symptoms.

Once you get your dog to a veterinarian they will be able to find out whether your dog is getting old or if it is getting senile. They will try to rule out other medical issues first. They may even have you fill out a questionnaire.

Answer those as best as possible to help your veterinarian as best as possible. They will monitor your dog’s quality of life signs. They will try to determine if any of these signs affect the quality of life. This will also be the scale to see if euthanasia might be an option.


Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse dementia in dogs. Once it starts to affect the dog there is no going back. There are ways to prevent CCD in aging dogs, however.

There are certain diets and supplements that can help fight the effects of aging. Diets high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are good for the brain and can help prevent your dog from going senile.

1 thought on “Is My Dog Going Senile? How to Know

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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