Taking your dog for regular walks could protect it against dementia, a new study has found.
Pooches who have little physical activity are over six times as likely to develop canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), a condition relating to the aging of the animal’s brain that leads to memory loss.
The University of Washington study examined 15,000 dogs between October and December 2020 and found that the odds of CCD were 6.47 times higher in active dogs compared to those who were very active.
The symptoms of CCD in dogs are similar to those experienced by humans with Alzheimer’s disease and include disorientation, confusion, disturbed sleep and changes in mood.
Study author Sarah Yarborough believes that the observations are the result of the positive effect exercise has on the brain.
The findings are also in line with previous tests conducted on rodents which found that exercise can have protective effects against the development of characteristics associated with Alzheimer’s.