It's not something we like to talk about or hear about, but the fact remains that our elderly dogs can get Alzheimers, just like our elderly relatives and friends. It's a sad thing, but we really must educate ourselves on the symptoms; so we can attempt to be proactive, and hopefully slow down the progression.
Doggie Alzheimers or medically speaking, Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), has five distinct symptoms that pet parents should be aware of. These are... disorientation, changes in their interactions with family members, sleep changes, potty "accidents" in the house, and a change in their activity level.
It's not to say that you should just assume these symptoms are from CCD. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, or any other symptoms that are unusual for him/her, please make an appointment with your vet to get an accurate diagnosis. It's important to rule out any other physical illness your dog may be suffering from; and to get the proper medication.
There are dog foods on the market that contain anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which may slow down cognitive dysfunction. Simple things like daily walks, socializing with other dogs, and regular scheduled playtime; all help stimulate the dog's brain. There are also some meds and dietary supplements that you can discuss with your vet.
As your dog ages, if you notice any signs of unusual behavior, act promptly and accordingly. That's the best advice to help your pet stay as healthy as possible.