Thinking of Getting a Dog? Here are the Top Breeds for Seniors.

August 6, 2021

Pets, especially dogs, make wonderful companions for people who live alone. They’re friendly and loyal. However, they do require care and attention, and it’s vital to be ready to take on those tasks if you want to get a dog. Dogs need healthy food and visits to the vet for regular checkups. Most need grooming, which can mean washing and brushing them yourself or visits to a professional groomer. They need daily walks, and most like to play. Dogs need good training so they are fun companions and have good manners with people. 

For seniors, there are some other important considerations before getting a dog. Some seniors have low mobility, so a dog that has a ton of energy would not be a great choice. A short haired dog can be a better option for someone with arthritis in their hands. Think carefully about other limitations you might have. Small dogs often do better if you live in an apartment, for example. 

There are several low-maintenance breeds you can consider. However, if you are on a tight budget, you might want to go to your local shelter and rescue a dog. It’s important to work with a shelter that tries hard to pair dogs with people that are a good fit for their needs. Do a little research to find a shelter like this. 

Even if you opt for a purebred dog, be sure to meet it and see how it behaves before taking it home. Choosing a dog that’s out of rambunctious puppyhood can be a good idea. Looking for a dog that is already house trained will also take a lot of the headache out of owning a dog. 

Our Favorite Dog Breeds for Older Adults

1. Pugs. Pugs are a very loving breed. They enjoy sitting in their owner’s lap and being petted. They are also short haired and don’t need a lot of grooming. Sometimes they snore, so if you’re a widow and used to your husband snoring, this is a good breed. Pugs aren’t a terribly active breed, so they can be a great choice for people with low mobility. When they get hyper, it can be fun. They’re also a manageable size--most weigh in at 14 to 18 pounds. 

2. Corgis. Corgis are sometimes called big dogs on short legs because of their big personalities. This breed is fairly active, so perfect for people with a more active lifestyle. Queen Elizabeth II loves her Corgis. They enjoy walking and chasing balls. Their big personalities can sometimes lead them to be stubborn, so good training is critical. They don’t need a lot of grooming and aren’t too big, weighing in at 24 to 30 pounds. 

3. Poodles. Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs, learn quickly, and respond to training well. They need professional grooming, so factor the cost into your decision on whether to get one. They aren’t too active and are happy with just a daily walk. Poodles are a great choice for many people because the breed comes in three sizes. A standard poodle weighs between 45 to 70 pounds; miniatures weigh 15 to 18 pounds; toy poodles weigh 5 to 9 pounds. 

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These spaniels are very friendly and easy to train (and so adorable). They have long hair, so the Cavalier King Charles needs regular brushing, ear cleaning, and monthly spa days at the groomer. They’re so soft and loyal, it’s worth it. They need regular walks (and so do you) but this beed also enjoys sitting on their owner’s lap and being petted. They weigh 13 to 18 pounds and so are easy to handle. 

5. Great Dane. No, that’s not a typo. Great Danes are actually a pretty calm breed of dog. They do like their daily walk and will want to have a run occasionally. If you live close to a dog park, even if you live in an apartment, you should be fine. This is an ideal dog for people who want a larger dog but don’t want a breed that is too energetic or hard to handle. They weigh 60 to 80 pounds. 

Owning a dog is a wonderful idea to enjoy companionship and the joy of caring for another creature. Consider your lifestyle and needs, then pick out your new best friend. As always, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter if you found this on social media and get back to living your best life!

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