Boarding a Dog With Dementia—Is It Possible?

Posted on: 24 March 2021

Dementia is an all too common condition, with one in seven Americans over the age of 70 living with this cognitive disorder. Dogs can also be affected by a form of dementia, known as canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). This affects a surprisingly high percentage of dogs, most typically over the age of 11, with some estimates suggesting that up to 60% of older dogs can experience the condition. As a pet parent, this can put you in a difficult position when you need to board your dog. Are boarding kennels suitable for a dog with CCD?

Cognitive Abilities

The effects of CCD are different to a dog simply slowing down as they age. CCD affects your dog's cognitive abilities, primarily causing confusion/disorientation, as well as a decreased interest in social and physical activities. There can be other physical and behavioral changes too. CCD must be diagnosed by a vet, just to ensure that there's no other explanation for these changes in your dog. How can a dog with CCD be safely accommodated at a boarding kennel?

Common Nature 

You should inform any potential boarding facility about your dog's condition. Given the common nature of the disorder, it's likely that they've cared for a dog with CCD before. That being said, similar to dementia in humans, the disorder can affect dogs with different degrees of severity, depending on how far the condition has progressed. It's possible to board a dog with CCD, although some specific requirements apply.

Care at the Boarding Facility

Your dog will need their own private enclosure while boarding, and this will minimize (or eliminate) their interaction with other dogs. This prevents your dog from becoming confused and disoriented by the presence of these other dogs, which can lead to aggression. Although aggression caused by CCD can be unpredictable, the facility staff should know that this is a possibility, so they can be on the lookout for warning signs when caring for your dog. Additionally, your dog's physical limitations must be accounted for, which can mean that their exercise must be strictly regulated.

Veterinary Care

Naturally, your dog must continue to receive any medication that has been prescribed to manage their CCD, and the boarding facility should have your vet's contact details (both business hours and after hours). The facility may also have its own vet on-call, in case of emergency, even though CCD is unlikely to directly result in any medical emergencies.

Canine cognitive disorder can't be cured, but it can be managed, and it's possible to safely manage the condition while your dog is being boarded. Contact local kennels and ask them if they can cater to your dog's needs. 


Leaving Your Pet Behind When Going on Vacation

The idea of leaving your beloved furry family member behind while you head off on vacation can be stressful. But the truth is that boarding your pet can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog or cat as long as you take the time to properly prepare. In addition to making sure that your pet's favorite food, bedding, and toys are packed and ready for the adventure, it's important to acclimate your pet to the facilities they'll be staying at while you're gone. On this blog, you can learn how to introduce your pet to the new sitters and the animals they'll be spending time with, and how to best keep an eye on your pal until you get back.