If you are a senior adult who is interested in getting a dog or you are thinking of getting a dog for your elderly loved one, you have lots of options. While some dogs are balls of energy, there are many dogs that will not need excessive exercise and help keep seniors active. What are the best dog breeds for seniors, and what are some things to keep in mind?
Best Dog Breeds for Seniors
If you’ve not owned a dog before, you might not know what kind of dog will be best for you. You should of course consider:
- What size dog will fit in your home?
- What dog suits your lifestyle?
- What you can afford?
- If you live in a care facility, do they allow pets?
- Can you keep up with the demands of a puppy?
With the answers to those questions in mind, below is a list of dog breeds that are great for seniors.
The Bichon Frise is a small, fluffy dog. They weigh about ten pounds, which makes them great for small homes. They will take up almost no space in your home, but they can have large personalities. They also have a hypoallergenic coat, which makes that the perfect choice if you also have allergies to dog dander.
The one downside of the Bichon is that they require a bit more maintenance to keep them looking good. If they are not groomed often, their coat can become a matted tangle and their white coat will look very dirty. You can expect to brush them every few days and get them groomed once a week. For costs associated with grooming, check your local vet or dog groomer and ask them for their fees. Then, you can add that cost to your budget.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a cute, fun-loving dog that is usually very easy to handle. They have a fun-loving personality and are easy to manage. They’ll also need a bit of grooming as their ears can collect dirt.
They love to snuggle up after a long day, but they don’t take up too much space at about 15 pounds. They do have normal grooming needs like brushing and ear cleaning. Their needs are rather minimal though.
You might think that the fastest dog breed wouldn’t be good for seniors. The interesting thing is that Greyhounds are not very high energy. They do have explosive energy when racing, but at home they like nothing better than to relax on the couch.
Greyhounds train well and are pretty easy to handle. They range from about 60 to 80 pounds and have pretty low grooming needs. However, you can expect to exercise your dog once or twice daily with a good walk. They can be skittish around kids, so if the grandkids are around often, they’ll need supervision around your dog.
The Maltese is a dog who loves to relax in their owner’s lap. They are also quite small at under 10 pounds, so handling them is almost a non-issue. The only sticking point will be that most people choose to get their Maltese professionally groomed as they do need a nice cut to look at their best. In the winter, you can let their coats grow long for warmth, and in the summer, you can have it cut short for less maintenance.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Corgi is a cute and fun loving medium sized dog. At only about 25 pounds, they are easy enough for most anyone to handle and they won’t take a huge space in your home. They may take a huge space in your heart though. They are adorable little pups that are used to herding, so be sure to give them at least a daily walk.
The Pomeranian is a breed that is a huge personality in a small package. At under seven pounds, they are very easy to handle and can even fit in a handbag. The breed loves company and will easily show you how much they love you, even if it’s just a snooze in your lap. They are happy to get exercise in your yard or on a short walk. You can expect to brush them often. According to the American Kennel Club, “Pomeranians are active dogs, so it is important that their nails are kept short. It is highly recommended that you find a groomer to do a full groom—including bath, brushing, ears, nails, and anal glands—every four to six weeks, if you are not comfortable with doing this at home.”
The Poodle is a very popular breed of dog. Maybe it’s because they are one of the smartest dogs around. Maybe it’s because they come in three different sizes. Whatever the reason, you’re certain to fall in love with their affectionate personality.
Poodles love daily walks, and they are another breed that is used to professional grooming. Ranging between 5 and 70 pounds, there is a huge range between the toy, miniature and standard. That just means that you can get the right poodle for your home.
Things to Consider
While the above dogs are good bets for seniors, pretty much any dog can is appropriate for you or your elderly loved one. It’s really a matter of lifestyle and what you can manage. If you have a particularly active lifestyle, a high energy dog might be a fine choice. Also consider the size of your home. If you’ve moved out of the home you raised your family in for an apartment, you should assess if your dog will have enough space for their size.
Most dogs live to be over 12 years of age as well. Other breeds can live well beyond that age as well. If you get a young dog, are you going to be able to keep up with them for the rest of their life? Dogs usually start to slow down a bit around the age of seven, so it might be a better idea to get an older dog that will need as much hands-on care as a puppy would.
Hopefully, these tips have given you something to think about. Owning a dog can provide you with company and can help keep you young.