Dogs can be some of the best companions for senior citizens. Many seniors struggle with loneliness after retiring.
Even if they have friends and family living close by, it is not always possible to see them, especially if they are still working.
Dogs are always around for companionship. Taking care of a pet also provides motivation for seniors because they are responsible for caring for their dog.
It is also a good way for seniors to establish a new routine.
There are also practical benefits to having a dog. There are many medical studies showing seniors with dogs are more active than seniors without.
A dog is a good way for seniors to get exercise, even if it is something as basic as going for a walk once a day. Seniors who own dogs are also more likely to socialize when they take their dogs out.
There are even studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show senior dog owners have decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Pet Considerations for Seniors
While there are many benefits for seniors to get a dog, it’s still important to make sure you select the right pet.
Some dogs are naturally better fits for seniors. Before you start looking at specific breeds, there are a few general tips to keep in mind.
First, keep the energy level of the dog in mind. While there are many breeds known for being lower energy, this is not always the case.
Always take the time to meet the dog first and ask the seller or foster service if you can spend some time with the dog before committing to adoption.
Younger dogs, no matter what the breed, are often quite energetic. Some seniors have no problems keeping up with energetic puppies, but others may have medical conditions or other commitments that make it difficult.
Another consideration is cost. Excluding unexpected vet bills, caring for a dog typically costs around $150 to $200 a year based on the breed.
Larger breeds may end up costing significantly more over time. Seniors who are on a limited income may struggle with costs, so make sure a dog is affordable before deciding to purchase one as a gift.
Health is another consideration. Seniors with existing medical conditions may be vulnerable to bacteria dogs bring, especially if the dog enjoys playing outside.
If this is an issue, speak with a physician for advice on the best breeds. There may be additional steps to take, such as professional grooming for the dog, which can add to the overall costs.
French bulldogs are easily recognizable thanks to their squishable faces and wrinkly bodies. They are a bulkier breed of dog; the heaviest bulldogs weigh in around 30 pounds, but most are closer to 20 to 25.
This makes them a heavier choice for senior dogs, but it can still be manageable. French bulldogs are as happy spending time inside as well as outside.
They are a naturally affectionate breed, which can be great for seniors who want more companionship from a pet.
Another reason French bulldogs are good for seniors is low grooming maintenance. They have short, glossy coats with minimal shedding.
They do require some extra washing around their wrinkly faces. French bulldogs also tend to get along well with other pets.
Pugs are another easily identifiable breed of dogs because of their scrunched-up faces and unique breathing sounds.
Pugs are known for their loyalty and loving nature, making them excellent choices for companionship.
They’re a smaller breed, weighing in around 14 to 18 pounds on average. While they are short haired dogs, they frequently shed.
Many pugs are comfortable as indoor dogs. Their smaller size also makes them a good fit for homes with limited space.
As with a French bulldog, the only special grooming they require is wiping the wrinkles around their face each morning.
The bichon is a small breed with fluffy white hair. They are one of the smaller dogs, with most weighing between 7 to 12 pounds.
They are a typically low-maintenance animal, with most dogs only requiring a monthly visit to a groomer.
The bichon is also one of the easiest breeds to train, which is helpful for seniors who want to adopt a younger puppy. They are naturally affectionate and enjoy cuddling with their owners.
Corgi are higher energy dogs. Seniors who enjoy hiking and going for walks may be happy to have a corgi keeping them company.
While they may appear small, they are also quite bulky, frequently weighing around 20 pounds.
Corgis are very sociable and protective. Lower-energy seniors may consider a different breed, as corgis tend to run around and make noise if they have energy to burn. They are also heavy shedders.
While poodles are commonly known for their smaller sizes, there are several breeds of poodles available, ranging greatly in size.
The larger poodles can be around 30 to 40 pounds, while smaller breeds are closer to 15 to 20.
Poodles are low-shedding and hypo-allergenic, making them a good breed for seniors with allergies. Because of their longer hair, they do require regular grooming visits, which can add onto their costs.
Poodles enjoy going on walks, but are not as demanding or energetic as more playful breeds.
At a glance, greyhounds may seem like an odd choice for seniors. Greyhounds are known for naturally being an athletic breed.
While many are bred for racing, greyhounds also have a calm demeanor and are as happy lounging around the house with their owner as they are zooming outside.
They are also a gentle, quiet and compassionate breed. An important consideration is their size.
They are both one of the taller and heavier breeds of dogs for seniors, weighing around 60 to 70 pounds on average.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers can be excellent dogs for seniors because they adapt well to their owners. For seniors who enjoy staying inside, cavaliers are perfectly happy to cuddle on the couch.
More active seniors can have a cavalier who greatly enjoys going on walks and hikes. They are also one of the most trainable breeds of small dogs.
Most weigh around 12 to 18 pounds. They require some extra brushing compared to other breeds, but nothing that cannot be performed at home.
By Admin –