Dogs make fantastic companions for seniors. Indeed, research has demonstrated that having animals can "reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity." With seniors, though, great care needs to be taken to ensure that the dog is a good fit for them.
Seniors frequently have mobility issues and other health concerns that make it tougher to have a pet. Getting a particularly active or demanding pup could be a problem long-term. Fortunately, there are plenty of dogs that work well for seniors. Here are the top nine best dogs for seniors!
One of the Best Dogs for Seniors: Poodle
The poodle makes the top of the list when it comes to dogs for seniors. This breed is eager to please, easy to train, and doesn't require extensive exercise. Those facts alone make this one of the best dogs for older people.
However, what makes them even better is their temperament. Poodles tend to be quite gentle, loving, and nurturing. They bond with family members and love to cuddle. These emotional aspects make the poodle the near all-around perfect pet for seniors!
Besides being adorably cute and fluffy, Pomeranians exhibit a few traits that work well for seniors. First, they're small and cute. Second, they tend to be a little more independent. That's good because it means that Pomeranians can do some things outside of their owners. However, this independence does require firm training.
They also tend to announce visitors, barking loudly when the mailman comes or when someone is at the door. That behavior is often helpful for the elderly (and can also warn of potential dangers!).
Havanese are fantastic dogs for seniors due to their size and temperament. These small and fluffy dogs are only about 7-13 pounds, but they can live up to 15 years. Both of these conditions are perfect for seniors who want a long-lasting companion that isn't "too much dog" to handle!
These dogs are pretty cheerful, playful, and social. Havanese can even suffer from separation anxiety if they're not around humans enough. These personality characteristics are perfect for a senior looking for a furry companion dog breed who loves to spend time with them!
Shedding can be pretty tricky for seniors to manage. Fortunately, the Bichon Frise has an adorable curly white coat that doesn't shed very much.
This breed doesn't need too much in the way of exercise. Additionally, they're cuddly, tend to be quite gentle (even with other pets and grandchildren), and they tend not to bark too much. All of these traits make them one of the best dogs for seniors!
Another One of the Best Dogs for Seniors: Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is one of the best breeds for older adults for a variety of reasons. They tend to be reasonably quiet, have a short coat that requires minimal maintenance (they do need some bathing, though), and they love to sit on your lap. In other words, they're quiet, attentive, caring dogs which are precisely the traits that most seniors want in a pup!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is, in many respects, the perfect companion dog. They are cuddly, easy to train, and tend to be quite playful, which makes them a joy to be around. It's worth noting that this dog breed tends to also play well with children, so it's perfect for seniors who will be having the grandkids come around! And, of course, they are some of the cutest dogs you can find!
People who have had a chihuahua might be surprised to see this one on the list due to their high energy levels. However, their small size and pleasant demeanor make them a good candidate for the elderly. They can easily do all their exercising indoors, so there isn't much outdoors they require. Additionally, they tend to do better in warmer environments and don't need much grooming. They're a good pet for those that prefer to stay inside!
If you're looking for a loving dog, the venerable pug is one of your best bets. This breed is charming, caring, and very affectionate. These dogs don't require much in the way of exercise, and they also tend not to bark often - which is perfect for seniors that want or need a quieter lifestyle. Plus, these dogs do well with young children!
Part of what makes the Yorkie so perfect for seniors is its small size and long life expectancy. These pups live to be about 11-15 years old on average and will weigh about seven pounds. These pups are also very affectionate and very loving. They don't require much exercise and are perfect for seniors who have downsized. Like a few other dogs on the list, these pups tend not to shed as much as other breeds.
The Best Dogs for Seniors Are Loving, Warm Companions!
Ultimately, seniors tend to want dogs that will be companions, require minimal exercise, and be relatively easy to train. All dogs are wonderful and are perfect for the right person.
Any dog in this list meet those criteria. Whether you're a senior looking for a dog or you're looking for the perfect dog for that particular older adult in your life, you can't go wrong with any of the breeds mentioned above!