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Lazy lifestyles blamed for rise in pet dementia


Friday September 9th 2016

Cheap pet food, pampered lifestyles and lack of exercise could be to blame a rise in the number of pets suffering from dementia.

Signs of the condition include clumsiness, forgetting to eat, aimless wandering and failing to respond to familiar people.

Growing numbers of cats and dogs are suffering from dementia, vets have said.

Experts believe a third of dogs suffer with some sort of mental decline from the age of eight, rising to two-thirds at 15.

Studies suggest that half of all cats over the age of 15 and a third of those aged 11 to 14 suffer from dementia.

Professor Holger Volk from the Royal Veterinary College in London advises that owners ensure their pets keep fit and feed them high quality food, rich in fatty acids. He adds: "Neurons in the brain go into decline with dementia and the more you exercise the more they remain active."

He told the Daily Telegraph: " We are seeing an increase in pet obesity. Just as we see health problems among people who are less active so we see the same problems with their pets eating more and getting less exercise and this may lead to an increase in dementia.

"I don't think that people really realise how serious this problem is," he added.

Copyright Press Association 2016