Supporting Our Pets Through the Aging Process
Did you know that our pets can experience “doggie dementia” as they age? There are striking similarities between canine cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s in humans due to physical and chemical changes within the brain. Symptoms range from irritability, anxiety, and loss of appetite, to memory loss and even confusion.
Many of these symptoms are mild in the early stages but can gradually worsen over time. Although this disease is not preventable, there are actions we can take to help protect the brain health of our pets. From powerful supplements to dietary enrichments, learn how to support your pet’s cognitive function and ensure they enjoy a happy, sharp mind.
Supplements for Brain Health and Function
- Pre and Probiotics – The gut health of our pets is critical to their overall health and well-being. Not only does 70-80% of their immune system reside here but brain function is also impaired if gut health is not optimal. The gut is the foundation of your pet’s longevity.
- Omega 3s – This fatty acid is known for creating hormones for blood flow and inflammation. It also contains DHA, the component specifically for brain and eye development and health. So don’t stop giving it once your pup hits a year old!
- CBD – The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vast network of cell receptors and molecules that interact with each other. This is the bridge linking the mind to the body. The ECS controls many things like pain, mood, movement, and memory to name a few. Since CBD influences the ECS, there is potentially a wide range of benefits to the therapeutic use of CBD-containing supplements and much of the theory behind CBD comes from this.
- Antioxidants – Free radicals are damaged cells that are missing a molecule. These cells attack the healthy cells, damaging your dog’s DNA and making them more prone to diseases. Antioxidants fight these free radicals, slowing the aging process and boosting the immune system.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides – The concentration of omega-3s in the brain decreases over time. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), such as coconut oil, will help increase the mobilization of these omega-3s in the brain. Studies show that MCT dietary enrichment significantly increases the total concentration of omega-3s in the brain.
- Mushrooms – Medicinal mushrooms like chaga mushrooms, turkey tail, and maitake are all fantastic in slowing down the aging process as well as reducing free radical formation. Lions mane mushrooms, however, are specific to cognitive health because it is known to stimulate nerve growth and regenerate damaged nerves. This is important because low nerve growth has been linked to dementia. This will help neurons survive in the brain and support mental clarity, focus, and memory.
There are many things you can incorporate into your pet’s daily diet and even activity to help improve their brain health and function. If you don’t know where to start or even have any questions, please feel free to stop by the store and talk to us! We are always here to help you make the best decision for your pet’s overall health and well-being!
Naomi R, Embong H, Othman F, Ghazi HF, Maruthey N, Bahari H. Probiotics for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021;14(1):20. Published 2021 Dec 22. doi:10.3390/nu14010020
Carabotti M, Scirocco A, Maselli MA, Severi C. The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems. Ann Gastroenterol. 2015;28(2):203-209.
Hofve, Jean. Supplements Every Pet Needs. Innovative Veterinary Care Journal. 2015.
Kidd PM. Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: Clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids. Alternative Medicine Review. 2007; 12(3): 207-227