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Top 10 Best Dogs for Seniors: Everyone needs a companion at some stage in life –especially when you are getting old. You want someone who stands by you and shares your solitude. Someone who will cheer you up in the hardest of times and help you cope with depression. Friends and family may not always be there, but you will always find your pet, particularly a dog, around.
Before buying a dog for a senior, it is important to assess their needs and wants. While some seniors tend to like smaller lapdogs, others may want to adopt a larger dog to enjoy long walking and playing sessions.
There is no specific breed for seniors; any dog that meshes to their needs and energy level is the right fit. Here are the top 10 best companion dogs for seniors or retirees:
The tiny Maltese is an ancient Greek breed that weighs only four to seven pounds. Maltese are gentle, playful, and easily get along with other pets.
Their mini size makes Maltese quintessential lap dogs. Seniors can find solace in these little companions and enjoy endless cuddling sessions.
While these lapdogs don’t require a lot of outdoor activities, Maltese do enjoy short walks. Maltese don’t shed, but their silky white coat needs grooming. Besides, Maltese are also used as therapy dogs.
A poodle is the perfect companion dog for seniors who love to train dogs. It is one of the smartest and intelligent breeds. The poodle comes in three sizes, including a miniature version, toy, and stand large size.
Poodles form strong bonds with their pet parent and other family members. By nature, poodles are sweet and loving. They can play all day long and need a daily walk. You have to take care of their grooming to prevent mats.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you don’t like athletic or hyperactive dogs, then this breed is for you. Cavalier King is a small-sized quiet dog who gets along with people of all age groups and other pets. They are one of the best lap dogs who love to snuggle up with their owners.
Cavalier King is an active and playful breed; they love to chase things. Their intellectual instincts make them easy to train. Cavalier has a long soft coat that requires regular grooming.
Pomeranian is an epitome of love and affection. These small dogs are active and lively. Pomeranian is a good dog for seniors who have high energy levels as the breed loves to roam around and seeks attention.
Poms have fluffy, shiny coats that require regular grooming and bathing (at least twice a week). The small dogs don’t tend to take directions from others; they are a proud breed. Poms are loud, but you can discipline them with firm training.
If the senior member in your family is less sociable and enjoys spending time indoors, then a pug may be the best small dog for them. Pugs don’t require a lot of exercise and love to stay indoors. They cannot handle extreme temperatures.
Pugs are similar to children; they show affection and devotion to their owners. Pugs love to nap and tend to snore while sleeping. The loyal breed needs little grooming regularly.
6. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise (the fluffy white dog) is another intelligent and affectionate breed. The “fluffy cotton balls” love to snuggle with the people they love. The cuties are gentle, playful, and compatible with other pets in the household.
Bichons have a cheerful demeanor and love spending much of the day indoors. These small-sized dogs are perfect for small families with cozy spaces. Bichons don’t shed, but you have to brush and groom them frequently.
Bolognese is also a fluffy white breed that is extremely loyal to their owners. The cuddly dogs are lively, intelligent, and easy to train. It is not wrong to say that Bolognese “worship” their pet parents and follow them everywhere.
They have curly locks that require regular grooming and bathing. Bolognese are calm dogs and don’t need a lot of exercises. In fact, they can lie on a couch as long as their owner is near them. Bolognese adapts well to different types of living spaces.
8. Labrador Retriever
When it comes to large dogs, Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US. Labs are warm and friendly. They have outgoing personalities and show immense love for humans.
Not only do labs make excellent companions, but they are also good service dogs for anxiety sufferers. It does not go without saying that depression is a major concern in seniors. Labs are cheerful and composed dogs; however, they are super-active and need a lot of physical exercises.
9. Golden Retriever
Golden retriever exhibits the same traits as Labs. They are also gentle, friendly, and smart, which makes them easy to train. They understand human emotional needs and are one of the best therapy dogs in the US.
They are patient with people of all age groups. Golden retrievers love physical activities like running, hiking, and swimming. Staying indoors makes them mellow.
Greyhounds, long-legged breed, are one of the fastest dogs. Despite having a strong desire to chase their prey, hounds are calm, quiet, friendly, and easy to manage. Usually, hounds are happy to loaf around unless they get an opportunity to run all-out.
Benefits of Dog Ownership for Seniors
- Dogs are faithful companions, and many seniors love to own and nurture them. Playing and socializing with dogs can lower blood pressure levels in seniors.
- A recent study by Mayo Clinic reports that dogs are your “heart’s best friend.” This is due to the healthy habits and lifestyles that most dog owners practice after becoming pet parents, such as exercising.
- Research shows that more than 40% of older adults experience loneliness regularly. The absence of a “companion” encourages seniors to adopt pets or become pet guardians.
- As people age, leading a meaningless life leads you to depression and a decline in your cognitive abilities. Owning a pet structures your days and provides you a purpose to live cheerfully.