I have heard that Beagles can suffer from dementia. What do you recommend for prevention?
Q. Dear Terry, “I have a dog that is part Beagle and Boston terrier. I have heard that Beagles can suffer from dementia. What do you recommend for prevention?” — Carol B., Fort Lauderdale, FL
A. Dear Carol, When it comes to healthy aging, we want that not just for ourselves, but our pets too. Sometimes when dogs age they have memory and learning issues that are very similar to humans.
Just like in people, what we feed our pets is important for their long-term health. Researchers have noticed that aging Beagles tend to do much better when given a diet rich in antioxidants like vitamins E and C. Also, incorporating dog-safe fruits and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, cantaloupe, apples (seeds removed) and others can be great substitutes for treats, and a great source of antioxidants.
To help protect your dog’s brain and neurological system, I recommend curcumin. Curcumin works by decreasing the inflammation that can lead to some of the changes associated with dementia. I would give 375 mg per day of an enhanced absorption curcumin, preferably one that has been scientifically studied in dogs.
Additionally, maintaining a proper exercise regimen with your dog will help to reduce inflammation. Social enrichment can also be very beneficial, whether it’s going to a dog park or enrolling in a canine good citizenship class. Playing “brain games” with your dog will also provide entertainment but more importantly, therapeutic benefits. Here’s a great article that has some brain boosting games you can try with your dog, www.moderndogmagazine.com/brainboostinggames.
Always check with your integrative veterinarian before introducing new foods or supplements to your pet.
Terry . . . Naturally