All Things Dog

Does Your Dog Have "Old Dog Syndrome"?

Though you might expect your older dog to experience a certain degree of physical deterioration as he gets older, you may not realize that the aging process also affects a dog's brain. As a dog ages, the brain's neurotransmitters become less effective, and that can lead to changes in his behavior and capabilities.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CDS) is a memory-related disorder that is not unlike Alzheimer's disease. A dog with CDS—sometimes called "Old Dog Syndrome"—may experience disorientation, and may no longer recognize you or other members of your family. The most noticeable indication is often the loss of housetraining: A dog with CDS may have an increased number of "accidents" around the house.

Common signs of CDS

Dogs with this condition may:

  • Appear lost or confused in familiar surroundings. Often, they get "stuck" in a corner or behind a piece of furniture, not knowing the way out.
  • Frequently stare off into space or at walls.
  • Have a difficult time recognizing familiar people.
  • No longer respond to their name or other verbal cues.
  • Stop following their usual sleep routine: they either sleep more than usual overall, or sleep less during the night.
  • Become noticeably less active.
  • Increase their wandering or pacing.
  • Urinate or defecate indoors.
  • Want more—or sometimes even less—attention from you and family members. In some cases, they will even walk away from someone who is showing them affection.
  • No longer greet you when you come home.
  • Have an increase in separation issues when you leave the house.


If you recognize these symptoms in your dog, book an appointment with your veterinarian so he or she can do a comprehensive physical exam. Many of these signs can also indicate other problems, as well.

Keep your dog's brain active

As your dog ages, it's important to keep him busy with activities that encourage mental stimulation. Brush up on some of those training exercises you took him through as a youngster. You can even try teaching him a new trick—but be patient. And engage your dog in activities that force him to use all of his senses. As with people, an active brain is often a healthier, more alert brain.

Recommended For You

Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

Sign up on this site
We just need a little information.
All fields required.
FIRST NAME
PassedFailed
LAST NAME
PassedFailed
EMAIL
PassedFailed
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
the address you provide here.
PASSWORD
PassedFailed
password must contain between 6 - 10
characters, no spaces.
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
This will help us provide you with information
that's specific to your area.
Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Go to last step >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
information below:
EMAIL
PassedFailed
STREET ADDRESS
PassedFailed
CITY
PassedFailed
STATE
PassedFailed
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
-
-
PassedFailed
Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Submit >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
MOBILE PHONE #
-
-
PassedFailed
You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
Submit >
View our Privacy Policy.
Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter > The Feed E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Or log in to the PEDIGREE® website using the fields below
EMAIL
PASSWORD
Having trouble with your password?
Click Here
Forgot your password?
No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
EMAIL
Password sent
Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
We're always happy to be of assistance.
Close x