The Effects of Diet Quality and Body Condition on Canine Cognitive Health

The Effects of Diet Quality and Body Condition on Canine Cognitive Health

Are you curious about how to take care of your furry companion's cognitive health as they age? A recent study delved into potential risk factors for presumptive advanced canine cognitive dysfunction (pACCD), a disease akin to Alzheimer's disease in humans. The research revealed that both diet quality and body condition play a significant role in preventing cognitive dysfunction in senior dogs. 

Utilizing the Canine Dementia Scale questionnaire, researchers examined older dogs (aged 8 years and above) visiting the CSU VTH between 2017 and 2020, categorizing them based on cognitive impairment severity and underlying medical conditions. This investigation unveiled noteworthy associations between specific factors and pACCD. 

Let's explore the significance of diet quality in cognitive health. The research revealed that dogs fed a controlled high-quality diet were 2.8 times less likely to develop cognitive dysfunction compared to those receiving an uncontrolled low-quality diet. This underscores the critical role of nutrition in supporting cognitive function and emphasizes the necessity for meticulous dietary management in older dogs to diminish the risk of cognitive decline.  

Furthermore, let's delve into body condition scoring (BCS), a pivotal tool in comprehending these findings. BCS enables veterinarians to assess a dog's weight and body composition, considering factors such as palpable fat and visible skeletal structure, and assigning a score ranging from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese). Notably, dogs with a thin BCS exhibited a significant association with pACCD in this study, underscoring the importance of maintaining optimal weight to potentially mitigate cognitive decline in older canines. 

In conclusion, these findings underscore the multifaceted nature of canine cognitive health and the importance of proactive measures in mitigating cognitive decline. By understanding and addressing risk factors such as body condition and diet quality, pet owners can play a proactive role in preserving their aging canine companions' cognitive function and overall well-being. 

You can check out the research at this link below: 

Back to blog