Can Pets Get Dementia and Other Human Conditions?

Over the past few decades, there has been a dramatic change in the behavior and health challenges in our pets. In younger pets, simple training issues such as basic obedience and housebreaking are becoming much more challenging. In kittens, litter box training is becoming more difficult.

As pets mature, we observe much more stress and anxiety issues such as separation and noise anxiety that manifest themselves as destructive behavior. Loud noises, thunderstorms and strangers often set our pets into fight or flight, cower and hide or go into separation anxiety mode.

When they get into senior years, we are witnessing disorientation, lethargy, lack of energy and those blank stares into space. Often accompanying this are “accidents” in the house, incontinence, as well as unresponsiveness to training or commands.

Are these neurological issues similar to what we see in our pet parents and family members? Unacceptable or challenging behaviors in our children and young people, sedentary and addictive behavior in mid-life and of course dementia, Alzheimer Syndrome, incontinence and memory loss in later life are ever challenging us today. Cognitive dysfunction occurs for several reasons including mineral deficiencies and the resulting hormonal imbalances which can cause an accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain. Plaque is produced that eventually damages nerves resulting in the loss of brain function, memory, motor functions and learned behaviors.

These same patterns of these conditions are happening both in people and our pets at almost alarming rates. Unfortunately, our pets have the lack of verbalization to express how they feel which makes our understanding and responses more challenging.  This leads the pet parent to explore the causes and diagnoses to costly testing, evaluations and treatment plans. Again, all this is very subjective as our pets cannot articulate their reactions to various therapies.

Upon seeing that these same conditions exist in both our pets and ourselves, we can conclude that the majority is not genetic as there is no direct exchange of genetic material between ourselves and our pets. There is however, a very direct environmental link in that we share our homes and yards with our pets. We are now sharing everything from lawn chemicals, food additives, cleaning products and a whole host of other environmental toxins, endocrine disrupters, nutritional deficiencies and imbalances with our pets.

The physiologic symptoms tell us that yes, our pets are suffering from these same health and behavior issues for frequently the same reason. There are significant differences in pets and people. We can articulate our changes and challenges as well as our responses to corrective treatments while it is basically a guessing game with our pets. This can make treating a pet more costly as they cannot express their responses. We have to wait and observe.

By using the knowledge of the cause, we can then approach prevention and improvement through limiting exposure to as many toxins as possible, chelating and detoxifying through an ongoing process of utilizing species appropriate clean foods which include herbs and botanicals that provide micro nutrients and detoxification. The body is the sum of everything that goes into it. Breath, drink and eat as clean as possible, avoid the contaminates including drugs and both our pets and ourselves can avoid these life challenges.

Bill Piechocki, nutritionist and Dr. Diane Sudduth, DVM are partners in Fiesta Pet Deli in Pompano Beach, FL, and co-hosts of the radio show. Our 40 years in the animal field has provided us unparalleled vision and information which we pass to our clients daily. We can be reached at or 800-940-7387. Call us for a free consultation or stop by Fiesta Pet Deli or call 954-971-2500 and we would be more than happy to help.


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