May 15, 2024 |

The Best Kind of Dogs for Seniors

best dog breeds for seniors

Older adults can get lonely. Family is far away, and you may be starting to outlive your friends. It can be tempting to stay in the house and hide. Acquiring a dog is one way to guarantee companionship and get you out and about. Dogs are one of the best pets for seniors because they encourage light exercise.

Not all dogs are good for seniors, though. We welcome dogs at Montgomery Place, and we are in the dog-friendly neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago - right on the lake and steps away from attractive parks. There are plenty of places for you and your dog to go, but what kind of dog should you get? Find out the best dog for seniors today.

The Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

You should choose a dog that is small and low maintenance. Larger dogs may be challenging for older adults to walk unless they are very well trained, which often requires an investment in both time and money.

Some of the best low-maintenance dogs for seniors include:

  • Bichon Frise - moderate energy and grooming needs, but doesn't shed much.

  • Boston Terrier - higher energy but very easy to groom...and love to cuddle.

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - these little dogs were bred to sit on ladies' feet to keep them warm on long carriage rides. They're affectionate, easy to train, and happy to sit on your lap forever.

  • French Bulldog - quiet, doesn't need a lot of exercise, but is fashionable right now and can be expensive.

  • Pomeranian - don't need too much exercise because of their size, but they do need a fair bit of grooming and can be noisy.

  • Pug - affectionate, playful, and typically quiet, but can be stubborn.

  • Yorkshire Terrier - tiny, barely shed, doesn't need much exercise or grooming.

There are lots of other breeds to consider, and, of course, you can also carefully select a mixed breed. Overall, you want low-maintenance pets that like to cuddle.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Breed for Seniors

One factor is size. For the most part, seniors should choose a small dog breed that is not going to be capable of dragging them around on the leash.

If you are still fit and healthy, by all means, choose a dog that has energy and needs exercise, such as a Boston Terrier or a small poodle. If you are starting to have mobility issues, pick a dog that doesn't need a lot of exercise, such as a Yorkshire terrier or pug.

Grooming can also start to get difficult. For some seniors, it's best to pick a dog with a short or otherwise easily-maintained coat. Poodles require regular trimming, which costs money unless you can do it yourself or get help from a family member.

Lastly, consider the cost. French Bulldogs can be ridiculously expensive right now. You may pay less for a purebred puppy of a less fashionable breed. You can also adopt. If adopting a mutt, look for the same traits in the individual animal...check energy levels, coat type, size, etc.

One great option for seniors is to adopt an older dog mellowing and losing energy levels with age. As small dogs can live over a decade, it's also worth considering an older dog to reduce the chances of the dog outliving you. Breeders sometimes have adult dogs retiring from showing or breeding available, and this can be a fantastic way to get an older dog with a known personality who is already fully trained.

Worst Dog Breeds For Seniors

There's no such thing as a bad dog, but there are some breeds seniors are best off avoiding. These include:

  • Labrador Retriever. Everyone loves a lab. But they are a large, high-energy breed that needs a lot of exercise.

  • Border Collie. Border collies are dogs that need a job and often require expert training, or they will become destructive.

  • Pitbull. Avoid any of the bully breeds. Many are very nice dogs, but they are hard to insure and often not accepted in complexes.

  • Australian Shepherd. Similar to border collies. In general, avoid herding breeds, as they are smart, high energy, and get bored easily.

  • Cocker Spaniel. Lots of energy, lots of training, and lots of grooming. They're also very prone to ear infections.

  • Rottweiler. Another large dog, and often over-protective.

  • Dalmatian. They shed all year and are generally high maintenance. Also, all AKC-registered Dalmatians have a genetic flaw that makes them prone to kidney stones.

Avoid large, high-energy breeds that are "smarter than you."

Interested in Montgomery Place?

Montgomery Place offers fabulous senior living that is also completely pet-friendly throughout the community. We provide long-term independent living for you and your dog and other pets for the elderly. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our community.

Featured Image: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

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