Our In-House Vet Dr Barbara Fougere BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT MHSc (Herb Med) BHSc (Comp Med) Grad Dip Herb Med, Grad Dip VCHM, Grad Dip VWHM, Grad Dip VA gives advice on Supporting Brain Health and Aging in Older Animals. As pet parents, we embark on a beautiful journey with our furry companions, watching them grow from naughty puppies or kittens to serene senior dogs or sofa obsessed cats. The golden years vary depending on their size, with small dogs entering the senior phase between ages seven and 10, and larger breeds around age six and cats a little later from 11 years though some show aging as early as 7 years. Aging can be subtle such as white fur showing on their faces and signs of disorientation, or toileting mistakes leading us to question whether they experience dementia. Its no surprise that dementia does happen in older pets and sometimes , at least in dogs, it is related to slowing down. A groundbreaking study published in June 2023 by a USA university and featured in Frontiers of Veterinary Science (link to https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2023.1150590/full) offers intriguing insights into the correlation between a senior dog’s walking speed and their brain health. The study suggests that senior dogs that move more slowly tend to exhibit more pronounced cognitive decline, mirroring patterns seen in humans. Consulting with your veterinarian and staying informed about the latest research can empower you to provide the best possible care for your aging pet. Every pet parent’s hope is to share a long and fulfilling life with their four-legged family member. While nature dictates the lifespan, another study provides hope for extending this timeframe. The study published in May 2023 (link https://academic.oup.com/emph/article/11/1/187/7161464) , showed that social interaction can be five times more effective in prolonging a dog’s life than other factors. Social contact has also been recognised as a key factor in healthy aging for humans. While this is intuitive to many owners, the study provides evidence that the emotional security, companionship, and unconditional love offered through social interaction significantly contribute to a dog’s overall health and lifespan. It is important to note that achieving optimal health and longevity for your cat or dog requires a holistic approach. In addition to prioritizing social engagement, and play pets need love, nutritious food, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups. These elements work together to ensure your pet thrives and reaches their full potential, and helps make the golden years, healthy and stress free for you. To support cognitive and overall health in senior dogs and cats, consider holistic solutions like Broadreach Nature Senior Care, a veterinary-formulated supplement. This supplement includes essential components such as choline for cell membrane function in the nervous system, Ashwagandha to enhance memory and cognition, and healthy muscles and joints, inositol for cognitive function, and turmeric for general health support and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains Vitamin B6 for healthy brain and nerve function and Ginkgo biloba as a brain protectant, promoting healthy brain activity in aging pets. This comprehensive approach to your pet’s well-being can help ensure they enjoy their golden years to the fullest, and you know you’ve done everything possible to support them naturally.