The Best Dogs for Seniors: Which Breed Is Right for You?

Dogs make excellent companions for individuals of all ages, as they provide their owners with several psychological and physical benefits.

Dog care can give older persons a feeling of purpose and a source of happiness. Whether you live alone or in a 55+ community, your canine companion can keep you company throughout the day, alleviating feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and melancholy. Additionally, they can motivate you to remain active and frequently exercise, which is great for your physical and mental health.

Best Dogs for Seniors

Suppose you’re interested in getting a dog during retirement. In that case, it’s essential to select a breed that complements your lifestyle and abilities and that you can properly care for. Certain dog breeds require substantial upkeep, exercise, or grooming. If you are unprepared for the workload, it could negatively impact your enjoyment and harm your pet.

In general, low-maintenance dogs, as opposed to pups, are the best option. Energy level and size are further characteristics to consider. In light of this, the following are some of the most adaptable dog breeds for seniors and retirees:

Small Dogs for Seniors Who Live in Apartments

1. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus have a cute appearance with their short, smooshed faces and petite bodies. They are also bred to be companions, and they frequently sit with their owners. They adapt well to various senior living situations, though they require regular exercise and grooming. Another issue with Shih Tzus is that they can be as stubborn as their owners and bark excessively. Your Shih Tzu may be a friendly, lively companion with the appropriate training.

2. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian can be the right option if you prefer a little dog. Pomeranians are small dogs that weigh 3 to 6 pounds and are loving and simple to manage. They enjoy receiving attention from their owner and playing with toys. You can benefit from their enthusiasm by feeding off of it. They have a long, thick coat that needs to be brushed often to avoid matting, and they can be a little yappy at times.

3. Pug

All of the characteristics of a little dog, but none of the “happiness.” A healthy Pug will weigh 14-18 pounds and stand around a foot tall, making it ideal for seniors considering or undergoing downsizing. Their curly-Q tails and squished noses make them a lovely companion. They’ll be perfectly content cuddled up on the couch with some modest activity and walks thrown in for good measure. Remember that Pugs dislike extreme humidity, so consider an inside workout during the hotter Seattle summer days.

Dog Breeds for Companionship

1. Golden Retriever

Although Golden Retrievers are in our ‘Medium-to-Large Sized Dog Breeds’ category. Their devotion to their owners places them first among the best companion dog breeds. A Golden should weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, depending on their gender, but keep in mind that they have no idea. Goldens are devoted to their owners, and some even consider themselves lap dogs. Because goldens require a lot of daily activity, they’re perfect for seniors who want to spend time outside. It’s best to train your Golden to deter undesired behavior at first. Still, their love, devotion, and desire to be with their people have made them possibly the best furry friend.

2. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

Spaniels are a fantastic choice for seniors because of their easygoing personalities and versatility. According to the American Kennel Club, cavaliers are “affectionate, kind, and graceful,” making them perfect companions. Cavaliers are a smaller breed of spaniel that are well-suited for living in an apartment or small house inside a West Seattle retirement community. They normally weigh 12 to 18 pounds and have a medium-length silky coat. They are friendly, snuggly, and easy to teach.

3. Bichon Frise

Fluffy white-haired bichons are your standard lapdog, weighing an average of 7 to 12 pounds and making excellent apartment companions. Although their coats may have elements of cream or apricot, they have the appearance of a cotton ball, although one that is beautiful and cheerful. They’re also hypoallergenic! Because of their upbeat and pleasant demeanor, we chose to maintain them in the companion category. Bichons, according to the AKC, “operates under the belief that there are no strangers, only friends they haven’t met yet,.” making them excellent for people who have a lot of visits. Bichons make happy, healthy pets for seniors with moderate daily exercise and regular grooming.

Dog Breeds of Medium to Large Size

1. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Although Corgis are suitable for seniors living in apartments, they can weigh up to 30 pounds. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are distinguished by short legs, low-set torso, and pointed ears. They are intelligent and easy to train, making them excellent senior companions. However, because they are herding dogs by nature, you must ensure that your corgi receives enough exercise. However, you can achieve this by taking daily walks, which are beneficial to you and your cat.

2. Goldendoodle

Poodle + Golden Retriever Equals Goldendoodle. These curly-haired cuties come in various sizes, ideal for seniors looking for a companion. Suppose you’re searching for a bigger ball of joy to share your life with. You can get micro ‘Doodles measuring 15-30 pounds, which are perfect for seniors in flats, medium ‘Doodles weighing 30-45 pounds, or standard ‘Doodles weighing 45-100 pounds. They are a cross of Golden Retrievers, loyal, friendly, and energetic. Poodles are quick learners, easy to train, and have a low-shed coat. Doodles have average energy levels, which means they get equal amounts of walking and relaxing time.

3. Greyhounds

Consider a greyhound if you prefer larger canines but are concerned about finding one that is easy to handle. According to an article on The Spruce Pets, despite their size of 60 to 80 pounds, Greyhounds are not typically high-energy canines. Greyhounds are great for going for walks or jogs on occasion because they are easygoing and responsive to instruction. They are also comfortable lying around with you if your lifestyle is less active.

Hypoallergenic Dogs

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states, “While there are no completely hypoallergenic dogs, numerous breeds are good for allergy patients. Most pet allergies in humans are caused by dander, which is connected to pet hair, and these dogs have a non-shedding coat that produces less dander.”

The following are our top recommendations, based on AKC breed information:

1. Poodles

Poodles are an excellent alternative for senior citizens who suffer from allergies or respiratory problems. Though cats require expert grooming regularly, their dander is unlikely to cause allergic problems. Poodles have a fancy reputation due to their curly, dense coats, but they are one of the most clever and flexible canine breeds. They come in various sizes, ranging from small miniature poodles weighing 5 to 9 pounds to larger standard poodles weighing 45 to 70 pounds. Poodles are intelligent and easy to train and loyal, and affectionate.

2. Yorkshire Terrier (“Yorkie”)

Yorkies are the perfect lap dog, and they enjoy being with their “human” just as much as a daily tennis ball toss. A Yorkie should weigh less than ten pounds, making them easy to pick up, walk on a leash, and hold on to one’s lap. Yorkies are known for their “voice,” but they are also bright, eager to please, and highly motivated by rewards, making them simple to teach. Furthermore, the Yorkie’s propensity to alert you when someone enters your home or apartment can give seniors living alone comfort of mind. Yorkie hair is identical to human hair; therefore, grooming is a simple process to remember.

3. Schnauzer miniature

The AKC describes Mini-Schnauzers as “friendly, smart, and obedient,” making them an excellent hypoallergenic companion for seniors. Mini-Schnauzers can weigh anything from 11 to 20 pounds, making them ideal for apartment living. They have a “double coat,” which necessitates skilled grooming but reduces shedding. Miniature Schnauzers are energetic dogs who enjoy playing with their owners. This breed is ideal for seniors searching for an attractive companion (with a crowd-stopping mustache, to boot!) that is eager to please and easy to teach.

Retirement Life Experiences

Even while living in a 55+ community affords many opportunities to connect with your neighbors, having your own partner to return home to can be comforting. You will enjoy your retirement years more fully with the proper dog by your side, from taking walks on campus and sightseeing near Seattle to watching television and relaxing at night. Daystar Retirement Village recognizes the importance of owning a pet, regardless of age, so the entire campus is dog-friendly, including our over-55 apartments.

Learn more: Your Dog’s Breed Has Little Influence on Behavior

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Dogs for Seniors

Should a 71-year-old Get a Puppy?

Pets provide many advantages to elders, but they also pose certain concerns. With age, having a pet becomes even more enjoyable. While numerous studies show the health benefits of owning a dog, cat, or other pet, a recent Mayo Clinic study claims dogs are a heart’s best friend.

What Breed of Dog Is Quiet and Calm?

The Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bernese Mountain Dog, French Bulldog, Borzoi, Basenji, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, and Scottish Deerhound are among the quietest dog breeds.

What Dog Can Be Left Alone All Day?

7 Dog Breeds That Can Survive On Their Own

  • Basset Hound
  • Chihuahua
  • French Bulldog
  • Greyhound
  • Maltese
  • Shar Pei
  • Whippet

What Is the Easiest Dog to Train and Take Care of?

Border Collie is a breed of dog. The Border Collie is regarded as the most intelligent and easy-to-train dog due to its instincts and working skills. They are energetic and enjoy working; therefore, they require owners to keep them occupied while also providing adequate exercise and stimulation!

Should Seniors Get a Dog?

According to studies, dog owners had lower blood pressure and cholesterol than non-dog owners. Having a dog also lowers your risk of heart attack and increases your chances of long-term survival.

What Is the Most Faithful Dog?

Akita. The Akita, which the American Kennel Club describes as “profoundly devoted,” is at the top of the list of the most loyal dogs. Hachiko, a famous Japanese Akita, waited at a train station every day for ten years after his owner died, expecting that he would return home.