When my grandma expressed interest in finding a companion animal to keep her company in her rural cabin, I began thinking about different dogs help her find the perfect furry friend.
Dogs make great companions throughout our lives, but as we age, sometimes the type of dog that fits best in our lifestyle can change, especially as we grow older. While dogs are great at providing company and unconditional love, some pooches (especially those with a ton of energy!) can be overwhelming for those with a less active lifestyle.
In this article, we will look at different breeds to find the dog that best fits your lifestyle – specifically, the best dogs for seniors! No matter what your level of activity, there is a perfect pooch for you!
Factors to Consider When Getting a Pooch
If you’re a senior thinking about bringing a four-legged friend into your life, be sure to consider these factors when selecting a new buddy.
Energy Level: For seniors that are leading less active lifestyles, a dog with lower energy levels will be an ideal companion for you. Some pooches only require one or two short walks a day, which is a great way to keep you both healthy while still being manageable! Dogs with lower energy levels are also more apt to want to cuddle up with you while you’re reading a book or sitting by a fire!
Size: Dogs that are smaller can be much easier to manage. With a little pooch, you won’t have to worry about them jumping up on you and knocking you over, or pulling too hard on the leash. They are also easier to transport, whether you are going for a short trip or taking them to the vet. And as an added bonus, they tend to have cheaper medical costs than larger dogs!
Adult vs Puppy: Puppies have much higher energy levels and require a lot of attention – not to mention, puppies need to be housetrained. For many seniors, adopting an older dog that is already trained is a good choice, as you can just focus on enjoying time with your pooch without worrying about your house being destroyed! You can also feel good about adopting an older dog that is less likely to find a good home since many people want to adopt puppies.
Community: For elderly people that live in communities, there may be residential guidelines for what types of pets you’re allowed to have! Some communities only allow pets under a certain size, while in other places certain controversial breeds are banned, such as pit bulls.
Health: Some dogs are more likely to have expensive health problems than others. For example, breeds such as Dachshunds are prone to back problems and Miniature Schnauzers have higher chances than other breeds of developing diabetes.
Best Dogs For Seniors and the Elderly
We’ve compiled a list of the dogs we’d recommend as the best dogs for seniors, due to their easy maintenance and relatively low energy (for the most part). Of course, this list isn’t exclusive – there are plenty of other breeds that would work great with elderly owners!
Shelter dogs and mixed breeds are also fine choices, so long as you assess their energy and care requirements and consider how those needs will fit in with your lifestyle.
This hypoallergenic dog breed averages 4 to 7 pounds with a long life expectancy of 15 to 18 years. Very portable, the Maltese is bred to be a perfect lap dog and companion animal. Maltese’s tend to be incredibly affectionate and intelligent, making them very receptive to training. This is a great dog for someone who is looking for a loving, attentive snuggle buddy!
With this breed, there are several health issues to consider, such as glaucoma, liver defects, and “shaker dog syndrome.” These can be partially avoided by carefully choosing a breeder when looking for your new pooch!
While Maltese’s require a certain amount of grooming, their hair makes them great for someone with allergies. And with all pets, it is important to keep your pup healthy by maintaining proper weight, diet, and exercise!
Pugs are a super gentle, affectionate breed whose playful, inquisitive natures make them an endearing and lovable companion. Pugs usually weigh between 14 and 18 pounds and often live to be 13 to 15 years old. Moderately active, pugs love to go for walks, but are also happy to snuggle up to you on the couch! In fact, pugs really shouldn’t engage in strenuous activity due to their breathing issues (which result from their snubbed noses).
While pugs can suffer from eye problems and breathing issues, they are a generally healthy breed – though it is important to keep an eye on their weight as they are voracious eaters. As with other purebred dogs, it is wise to go through a reputable breeder – some even do genetic testing to reduce the chances of your pup developing certain diseases.
Beagles are known for being sweet, gentle, independent, and energetic (not to mention it’s the breed of Snoopy). While intelligent, beagles can be stubborn and curious, which may require creativity and extensive training! With an average weight of 24 pounds and an average life expectancy of 14 years, these hound dogs make great furry companions. Naturally a pack dog, beagles are social and usually do well being around other dogs!
This breed has moderate to high energy, and does well with multiple walks per day or being able to run around in a backyard. Beagles also thrive on lots of attention and stimulation. This would be a good breed for someone looking for a fun hiking companion!