As PetParents we all know our pets give us a reason to get up each morning. Not only do they rely on us for all of their basic needs, they provide us with entertainment, companionship, and a whole lot of laughs! The encourage us to exercise, and to get out and be social. Many studies show that a canine companion enriches our lives and even our health by lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels of their owners.
If you’re an elderly pet parent searching for your next companion there are a few things to keep in mind. Both the size and age of your next dog are a vital consideration to make. Small breed dogs were typically bred to be companions. They are easy to carry, walk on a leash, and care for when compared to the larger breeds. It’s also recommended that elderly pet parents adopt an adult dog instead of a puppy as their temperament is already established and known, and they’ve moved past the difficult puppy stage that often involves so much more maintenance and training. Here are some of the best dog breeds for elderly owners:
1. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog simply adores people. Full of mischief and with a clown-like personality, Frenchies are a great way to inject a bit of spice into your life. With low exercise requirements, they enjoy playing fetch either indoors or out which works well for a senior who doesn’t lead the most active lifestyle. This is one breed who desperately desires to be with their family 24/7 which is part of the reason they’re great for a retired person who can provide this essential contact for them.
Pomeranians are a small breed that bond strongly to their owner. They are happy, and active but don’t require much room to move about. Ideal for an apartment living situation, Pomeranians require some extensive grooming to maintain their double coat. This can be done by a dedicated owner, or by a professional groomer. A pomeranian can be a constant source of entertainment for their owners, and are very merry- always ready to brighten your day.
As far as dogs go, Pugs have one of the lowest energy requirements around. They are not heat or cold tolerant and must live strictly indoors. Pugs are known to entertain their owners with an array of adorable grunts, snorts and grumbles ensuring you stay smiling all day long. Pugs are easy to groom, and very friendly with strange people and animals. The wrinkled face is extremely endearing!
Corgis were bred to be herders but they are comical and happy go lucky dogs. While they’re low to the ground due to their stubby legs, they’re still quite hefty and sturdy for their size. Corgis are friendly with other pets, easy to train, and make a great watch dog. Did we mention they’re adorable?
The Maltese is a small breed dog that will fit in well in many households. Very adaptable, these little companions love nothing more than spending time with their people- weather that’s going for a walk, or snuggling in to read the morning paper. Maltese are very social and highly trainable making them a great companion for a new or seasoned pet owner. Their brilliant white coat can be kept short to make grooming a breeze.
While it can’t be denied that a few precautions and a bit of research are necessary to find the ideal canine companion for an elderly owner, the benefits greatly outweigh the up front work. If you’re a senior looking to add a furry companion into your life, we recommend checking with a local shelter. Many shelters offer ‘seniors for seniors’ match up and can help you find an adult or senior companion that will fit seamlessly into your life.