Dogs can be great companions for people of all age groups, including seniors. They provide companionship, encourage exercise and socialization, and provide unconditional affection. Research shows that seniors who take care of a pet take better care of themselves as well.
Although older people tend to do better with smaller and more portable breeds, the right dog for you will depend on your level of activity, housing accommodations, and whether or not you have small children as frequent visitors. Here are the top dog breeds that are best suited to older owners.
Shih Tzus Top the List
Shih Tzus are a gentle and affectionate breed that thrives on love and attention. They are much sturdier than their appearance suggests and are always game for a daily walk. They do require daily brushing and occasional professional grooming, but they are a very low-shedding breed. Shi Tzus are not incessant barkers and tend to be very quiet, although some do occasionally snore.
The Happy-Go-Lucky Pug
Pugs have a great temperament and tend to be very easy-going dogs. They can shed heavily but are easy to groom. The pug is generally a very healthy breed but should not be subjected to temperature extremes.
The Loyal Chihuahua
Chihuahuas love to be lap dogs and make loyal companions. This breed is very vocal and alert and is always on guard. It may, however, take some persistence to housebreak them.
The Clever Poodle
As a breed, poodles are easily trained, affectionate, and low-shedding. The poodle comes in toy, miniature, and standard sizes and thoroughly enjoys being pampered. An intelligent and alert dog, poodle mixes like the Cockapoo and Labradoodle also make excellent choices.
The Laid-Back Boston Terrier
The friendly Boston terrier is highly trainable and very well-mannered. They tend to enjoy lounging around, so a relaxed lifestyle suits them well. This breed is very easy to groom, but it requires some work to get them housetrained. These dogs also like to think they are the boss, so be prepared to let them know who is actually in charge.
The Friendly Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature schnauzers are small dogs with big dog personalities. A terrier group member is easy to train and has a friendly temperament typical in the breed. Like most terriers, they require exercise, but they are very calm indoors if they receive it. They are great at alerting owners of visitors or unexpected noises but are vocal without the yap familiar in little dogs.
The Loving Yorkshire Terrier
If you are looking for a loyal companion that loves being a lap dog, the Yorkshire terrier may be for you. Most believe they are large guard dogs and tend to be both independent and overprotective, and they can be a bit stubborn when housetraining. However, you will not find a more devoted and affectionate dog.
The Lively Maltese
These lively yet gentle dogs love people and hate being alone. The Maltese are the perfect companion for someone who loves to spend time at home. Despite their delicate appearance, they are a fearless breed. They are moderately active thought their lives and are low-shedding, although their silky white coat will need daily brushing and occasional professional grooming.
Dogs provide us with more than companionship. They keep us active, help us socialize, and encourage us to take better care of ourselves. Regardless of your mobility level or living situation, the right canine companion is out there for you. For more tips on healthy and active living, visit Aging Healthy Today.