Does your Dog Suffer from Cognitive Dysfunction?

Behaviour Changes in Senior Pets

If you see any of these behaviour changes, they can signal a medical or behaviour issue. To help narrow the cause, check all that apply.

Disorientation – awareness -spatial orientation

  • My pet gets stuck or has difficulty getting around objects or walks into doors and walls.

  • My pet stares blankly at walls, the floor, or into space.

  • My pet drops food and has a problem finding it.

  • My pet goes to the hinge (the wrong side) of the door.

  • My pet gets lost or confused inside the house or yard.

  • My pet has not been recognizing familiar people or familiar pets.


Altered social interactions

  • My pet has decreased interest in petting, affection, time spent with family members.

  • My pet shows increased attention seeking or overattachment to family members.

  • My pet is less social avoids/is irritable or aggressive with people or other animals.

  • My pet is less playful with family members or other pets.


Sleep-wake cycles

  • My pet is experiencing instances if waking or being restless at night.

  • My pet is sleeping noticeably more during the day.


Housetraining, learning and memory

  • My pet has been soiling indoors.    (circle)      urine      stool

  • My pet has shown a decrease in or loss of signaling to go out.

  • My pet is showing a decreased response to its name or learned commands, tricks or work.

  • My pet is less able or slower to learn new tasks or tricks – less able to focus.


Anxiety or response to stimuli

  • My pet is more fearful, anxious, or unsettled.

  • My pet is showing increased anxiety when separated from family members.

  • My pet is showing increased reactivity, startle or fear of sights and sounds.

  • My pet is showing increased fear of new places, locations, or surfaces.

  • My pet is increasingly vocal during the daytime.



  • My pet is showing increased aimless wandering or repetitive behaviours (circling, licking)

  • My pet has decreased interest exploring or playing with toys.

  • My pet has decreased interest in walks, exercise or play with family members or pets.


What to do now….


If there are a number of the above symptoms, it is time to get your friend checked by your veterinarian. Tests (blood and urine) can rule out diseases that can be treated. An examination can reveal if there are conditions like tumours or arthritis. We can help these dogs!