There are as many different types of dogs as there are people, so finding the right match if you’re in the market for a new friend is important. Here we’ll specifically look at some top dog breeds for seniors.
Dogs can be a lot of fun, and you’ll find that they are an almost constant source of entertainment. Furthermore, there are a lot of great health benefits that come from owning dogs as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), people who own dogs
- Have lower blood pressure
- Have lower daily levels of stress
- Have in increased feeling of well-being
- Are involved in greater amounts of physical activity
- Have lowered cholesterol
- Have lowered rates of depression
- Feel less lonely
- Have increased frequency of social interactions with other people
- Have an increased survival risk after a heart attack
So as you can see, there are a lot of great benefits to owning a dog! However, if you’re currently stuck on what type of breed you should be looking for, perhaps we can be of some service. These are the best breeds of dogs for seniors.
The 4 Best Teeny Dog Breeds for Seniors
There are a lot of benefits towards choosing a very small dog breed if you’re a senior. Aside from being pleasant lap dogs, you don’t have to worry about being yanked about on walks as much with a four-pound Yorkie as you would with a 90-pound Labrador.
I’ve met my fair share of people who have torn rotator cuffs or broken bones because of their dog causing them to lose balance while they’re going on a walk, and I most certainly understand why small dogs have their place in the world.
Following are four of what we believe are the best teeny dog breeds for seniors. These make great lap dogs, a real life lap-warming alternative to electric lap blankets.
Keep in mind that many of the traditional breeds are available in different sizes when bred with dog breeds of a smaller size. The Goldendoodle is a perfect example, bred of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, it’s available in teacup, toy, and mini sizes. In other words, you have many teeny dog choices.
These dogs are tiny. If you’re looking for a dog that may not weigh more than 4 pounds – and will be lucky to get up to 7 pounds – this is about as small as they get.
The Yorkie is a fantastic lap dog that works well within an apartment setting. They’re very smart, easy to pick up (great for those with back pain) and are considered hypoallergenic as well – meaning you won’t have to worry about relatives coming over with dog allergies.
While this little dog is something of a yapper when it sees somebody at the front door, it is very easy to care for, and due to its small size, you won’t spend a lot of money on food for it either!
If you’re looking for a lap dog that won’t shed and is considered hypoallergenic, you’ll want to consider the Maltese. These little white dogs make great companions and want to sit in your lap (mine liked to sleep at the top of my pillow at night like a hat).
They’re a small dog, coming in at around 4-7 pounds, and they do need regular grooming (their hair will get tangled up), but they are very easy to train, and only require short walks to be happy. Honestly, short walks may be all this little guy can handle. I often had to resort to carrying mine if our walks were too long.
3) Bichon Frise
These dogs look like the curly haired version of a Maltese. They weigh in somewhere between 7-12 pounds and are a very easy to train and low-maintenance, happy dog. While they’ll most certainly alert you if somebody is walking up to your front door, don’t expect them to do much in the way of defending.
A Bichon Frise simply wants to be a friend, and as a result, they’ll never meet a stranger.
4) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These are widely considered one of the best dog breeds for seniors in existence. They’re very quiet and mellow little dogs, that will weigh somewhere between 11-18 pounds. If you live in an apartment or assisted living venue, these make excellent indoor dogs, and they are very much what you would call a lap dog.
When it comes to training, they are both very quick to learn and to please. You are going to need to regularly brush this breed however, and its ears are going to need regular cleaning as well if you’re going to keep this little pup happy.
Other Great Dog Breeds for Seniors
Let’s say that you’re still interested in a dog, you just don’t want something that will fit inside of a teacup. If that sounds like you, don’t fret, there are still a lot of other great breeds out there that may just be the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Here are four more of the best dog breeds (of a larger size) for seniors.
5) French Bulldog
Perhaps one of the happiest (and goofiest) dogs that you’ll ever meet is the French bulldog. This little pup is incredibly playful but doesn’t have the endurance necessary to play for extended periods of time at a high level. As such, they only need moderate daily exercise to be happy. One further benefit of this breed is their short coat. It’s a result of such that these dogs really don’t need as much grooming as some of the other breeds out there.
They weigh somewhere between 19-28 pounds, making this breed a stockier option that you won’t be able to pick up as easily as, say, a Yorkie, but they’re a great dog, nonetheless.
6) West Highland White Terrier
Another puffy, little white dog that is friendly, easy to handle, and low maintenance – the West Highland White Terrier. Really, with this breed the name is larger than the dog. White Terriers weigh between 13-20 pounds and make great companions. I’ve yet to find a dog within the terrier breed that was truly a nightmare. They’ve all been rather pleasant.
Due to the length of its coat – much akin to the Maltese – the West Highland White Terrier is going to require regular grooming, and you’re likely going to want to make an appointment for this breed every two months or so for him to be at his happiest.
I’ve always thought that pugs looked like a grub with legs, but the fact of the matter is that they do make good dogs for seniors. All the pugs that I’ve met have been very friendly, and enjoy playing (when they have energy, that is). These little guys don’t require a lot of energy and will probably spend most of their time sleeping in the warm spots of your house.
They do snore – and it can be loud – so this may be a dog that you’ll want to sleep in a different part of the house at night. When they’re awake though, these are very fun dogs to have around, and they don’t bark a lot either! They’ll weigh somewhere between 14-18 pounds.
There’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration before bringing a new pet into the house, and one of the chief things that needs to be discussed is whether that pet will make a good fit. If you attempt to bring an energetic boxer, Jack Russel terrier, or other high-energy dog into a small space where they’re not going to get a lot of exercise, both you and the dog are only going to end up unhappy.
So do your research, and make sure that before you commit to any such decision, that you have something of an idea as to what you can reasonably expect. However, if you’ve taken our above thoughts into consideration, I believe that you can rest easier knowing that you’ve got the information you needed to make a good decision.
Are there other dog breeds that you believe should have made our list? Do you have any experience with any of these breeds? What kind of dog are you considering getting? Let us know in the comments below!