Are you in your golden years and considering getting a dog? You're not alone! Dogs decrease loneliness and bring comfort and companionship, which is important for every age and they are known to provide certain health benefits. Some of the best dogs for the elderly are companion dogs. Certain qualities and breeds lend themselves to seniors, just like certain breeds are best for families with young children.
Dogs are known for companionship with is why they're such a good option for seniors who are lonely. Dogs offer so much more than they take. Imagine returning home from the grocery store to a dog who's ecstatic to see you - even though you were only gone for ten minutes. They want to sit next to you and offer you comfort and support all the time. You are the king of their hearts. Dog owners also experience other health benefits, including:
While a dog with a lot of energy can be fun for young families, at some point it can be hard to keep up with them. Generally, good dogs for seniors are smaller dogs with less energy. You might not trip on big dogs, but they get in the way and they are enthusiastic and energetic. They can knock over an elderly person, or a child, and cause serious injury. Smaller dogs tend to have less energy, they can be moved easily and they know how to get out of the way of people. Bonus: smaller dogs make smaller messes (think cleanup duty).
A young dog that's trained and out of the puppy years with a clean bill of health is ideal. The time, money and energy that goes into training puppies is intense. Also, the cost of a pup, shots, veterinary appointments, training, and growing bellies all adds up! That said, you don't want to get attached to a dog that has ongoing health issues. It can be a hard on your heart. Health issues are likely to develop as they grow older, but having a dog that's ill from the beginning can be a big burden.
The following are just a small sample of some of the best dogs for the elderly.
These adorable little balls of fluff don't shed are very devoted, playful and affectionate. Although they're active, they don't need much more exercise than a walk around the block. They love visitors and will make sure you know when people are coming, so they're not ideal if you're looking for a quiet dog. But when it's just you, they will gladly curl up next to you while you read a book, watch TV, or nap.
These companion dogs still love to go for a run or a hike. They’re great therapy dogs and are always happy to sit with you. This breed is easy to train and they love to play and get moving. They love people, kids, and other animals, but they don’t like to be alone. If you’re gone for long periods of time, this might not be the best dog breed for you. They also need to be groomed, but they only shed moderately.
If you’re not the athletic type and just enjoy the occasional walk, the Frenchie could be an ideal companion for you. These sweethearts overheat easily, but they are solid companions. They’ll love to cuddle up at night – but be warned: they snore!
If you do go for a Frenchie, make sure that you check out its health. Some are poorly bred, leading to an excess of health problems, including respiratory issues.
Looking for a dog that can sense your moods and needs? The Maltese fits the bill. They’re easy to take anywhere, but they’re also fragile, so be wary of them. To avoid shedding and hair care issues, simply clip their normally long hair short.
Poodles don't shed very much and tend to be clean dogs, although they do require regular grooming appointments. If you're looking for a dog to take for walks, consider the miniature because they're sturdier than the Toy Poodles.
Not finding a perfect fit? Some of the other best dogs for elderly people include breeds like Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers and Beagles.
Clearly, good dogs for seniors are smaller lapdogs since they have less energy and require less exercise. Small dogs are easy to walk and even fit in the basket of a bicycle. But just like every person is different, so is every dog.
Finding and adopting a rescue dog gives you the opportunity to save a dog's life and the chance to become familiar with the dog's temperament. Workers can also offer insight about specific dogs and their needs and histories. With a little bit of effort, you can find the perfect companion to fill your golden years with delight.
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
iPhone vs Android vs Jitterbug: Which Make the Best Smartphones for Seniors?
Guide to Gardening Tools for Seniors the Help Make the Job Easier
The Best Hobbies for Seniors for Physical and Mental Well-Being!
Finding the Best Gifts for Seniors
Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors and the Elderly: More Than Just Step Counters!
Games for Elderly People with Dementia