Signs of Dementia in Dogs


Have you ever noticed that your older dog no longer knows where they are? They may be wandering around the house like they are lost or get stuck in a room and cannot figure out how to get out. These are all signs of dog dementia which can be an anxiety-driven time. Many things can be done to help a dog suffering from dementia. If you notice these signs in your pet consult with your veterinarian to find the best course of treatment for your dog.

What are the signs of dementia in dogs?

here are many not so specific signs that lead you to think that your dog has dementia. Many of these signs can also be due to another disease.



One of the classic signs of a dog with dementia is that they are now disoriented. They usually get lost in their own house or cannot figure out how to get back in the house from being outside. If you notice this in your dog, it is best to get them the vet's office to get them checked out.

Unusual interactions with others

If your dog does not recognize someone or another animal that they have always known is a common sign of dementia. They may now bark when a family member or friend comes over. With the cat that they have lived with their whole life, they may act as they do not know them which is very commonly seen in dogs with dementia.


Making a mess in the house

Dogs that are potty trained are now making a mess in your home. This can be a sign of dementia but could also be due to urinary tract infection or some other disease. If your dog is now having accidents, your veterinarian can help you rule out other conditions.

Different sleep pattern

Old Great Dane with a grey face laying on a pillow

A dog who used to sleep through the night that is now getting up and pacing around the house. Dogs with cognitive dysfunction may now be staying awake all night and sleeping all day. These signs are typical of a dog with cognitive dysfunction.

Lower energy

Dogs with dementia will now have a lower energy level and not want to play like they use to. Many people think this is just due to their dogs getting older and slowing down, but there may be underlying medical reasons that their dog is no longer playing, or they may have dementia.

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Dogs suffering from dementia will bark at things that are not there. They may bark at people they know or wake up in the middle of the night to just sit and bark. While these barking episodes may be hard to deal with, there may be a medication that your pet can take to help with their dementia.

Going to the wrong side of the door

Old pug with wrinkly skin laying on the ground

Dogs with dementia will have trouble remembering things. They may go to the wrong door in the house to go outside, or they may go to the other side of the door than they are supposed to. All these signs are usually seen in a dog with dementia.

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