Aging in pet dogs

Dr. Enikő Kubinyi

Eötvös Loránd University 

The extended life span in dogs, offered by the protective human environment, artificially enhances the proportion of dogs with cognitive decline. Almost one third of 11-12-year-old dogs and 70% of 15-16 year-old-dogs show cognitive disturbances corresponding to human senile dementia: spatial disorientation, social behaviour disorders (e.g. problems with recognizing family members), repetitive (stereotype) behaviour, apathy, increased irritability, sleep-wake cycle disruption, incontinence, and reduced ability to accomplish tasks.
Despite the growing number of aged dogs, very little is known about the actual prevalence and risk factors of age-related changes. The talk will present recent research about the early recognition of certain conditions, as well as suggest a way for increasing the population of healthy agers. Appropriate life experiences (e.g. feeding, regular physical exercises, and brain training) increase the chance of less detrimental ageing.