According to many experts, dog companionship is a great way to help seniors combat several issues that are associated with problems common of getting older. One of the most common issues with older people, even those who are still living with their spouse, is a sense of loneliness. Certain breeds of dogs can be trained to assist seniors with certain aspects of illnesses such as Dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.
There are a number of factors that any person who is considering getting a dog should take into consideration. It is especially important for seniors and those with certain types of disabilities.
Generally speaking, there are three distinct criteria that are used when it comes to figuring out which dog breeds are best suitable for seniors:
If you’re a senior, a caregiver for a senior or family member who is looking for a companion dog any one of the dogs listed below would make a great choice.
With the above list of criteria in mind, we came up with a list of what we believe are the ideal dog breeds best suited for seniors.
The Tibetan Spaniel might just be the perfect fit for most seniors. This breed only averages at about 12 pounds, so it can be carried relatively easily. As well as small size, it does not require a whole lot of exercise to keep it healthy.
The breed all around is very quiet and is only really susceptible to a condition called luxating patella (shifting knee cap).
Tibetan Spaniels are well mannered, low energy and easy going, which means they are great for apartment living or senior living areas.
Miniature American Eskimo Dog
This little version of the full-size American Eskimo Dog is a feisty little dog that averages about 16 pounds but is just as protective as the larger variety.
The breed is very smart and was originally bred for circus performance. The Miniature American Eskimo is also a great companion for any individual or family, as it’s loyal, even tempered and loves to be included in all activities.
This breed also has a decent amount of energy but adapts well to apartment living. Their general health is great, but with most miniature breeds; it frequently suffers from luxating patella.
If you treat this little guy to a regular walk, the Miniature American Eskimo is a great dog breed best suited for seniors.
Although Terriers can be a tricky first dog, the Sealyham Terrier is a great starting breed for any owner. With an overall playful and friendly attitude, this breed will make a great companion. The Sealyham was once an abundant breed, although now is fairly uncommon and is on Great Britain’s list of most endangered native breeds.
The Sealyham averages about 22-24 pounds, and are known as the couch potato of the terrier breed. This also means they adapt well to apartment living.
This breed gets along well with other dogs and family members and loves participating in all activities. Their health issues are also minimal but are plagued with a couple sight-related conditions called Lens luxation and Retinal Dysplasia.
This is smaller size breed that averages about 24 pounds and is a moderately energetic dog.
If the Irish Terrier is trained well from an early age, they make an ideal candidate for dog breeds best suited for seniors. The breed does well indoors, as their overly indoor activity isn’t high. That being said, they are still a Terrier and they need to be regularly walked.
This extremely intelligent breed is a great family dog that does well to protect the house and shows compassion and loyalty to its owner. They don’t take much effort to clean up after and is an extremely healthy breed. They suffer from one typical health issue; Urolithiasis.
The Pug is an extremely popular breed, and for good reason. Their quirky personality and unique look make them a very lovable dog breed. They can be sure to always put a smile on your face. The pug was originally bred as a lap dog, strive off of human companionship.
The Pug is a relatively quiet breed and adapts well to the apartment lifestyle. If trained properly they do well around other animals and children, as well. Their energy level is fairly low, making exercise more lenient, and they can be prone to overheating easily.
Some of their health problems include breathing, high blood pressure, serious eyes problems, and more. Pugs are a happy, compassionate breed, easy to care for, making them a top contender for dog breeds best suited for seniors.
Reigning from Chinese royalty, the Pekingese is a great dog breed for seniors. The Pekingese still held with high regards and holds itself highly with an attitude to match. Training a Pekingese can be a challenge, although they are a very smart breed. With some patience and a little bit of assertiveness, they make a great companion.
Pekingese become very comfortable with their owner, or family, but may be wary of strangers. This makes them a great watchdog. The breed adjusts great to apartment living and has low energy levels. They were bred to be lap dogs, and love to cuddle.
Some of the common health issues that Pekingese suffer from are hernias, bloating, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
Coming in as one of the only hound dogs, the Beagle is an even tempered all around good natured dog breed. The Beagle is a medium sized dog, ranging from 18 to 30 pounds, originally from England. The Beagle is a lovable breed that gets along well with other dogs, as well as family members and shares a great bond with a compassionate owner
Because the Beagle belongs to the hound group, they have an extremely sensitive nose (if they catch a scent they will follow it) and have been known to howl. Although Beagles are fairly easy to train, housebreaking and excessive barking are common problems with ownership. Be prepared to have a solid training plan in place to take care of unwanted barking. Not just for you but your neighbors as well.
The Beagle is a healthy breed, but have a disposition to epilepsy, allergies, hip dysplasia, and a few other common problems.
This low riding hound dog comes in as one of the heaviest breeds on this list. The Basset Hound is an adorable dwarf hound dog that loves the family, and the couch. Basset Hounds have a calm and lazy attitude around the house, but if they catch an interesting scent, it takes more than a whistle to get them back.
Considering the Basset Hound has lazy characteristics, it’s important to keep them on a strict diet and regular exercise to keep unwanted weight away.
Overall the breed is very sweet and lovable, and easily making the list of dog breeds best suited for seniors (although they may just be hard to lift).
Common health problems include glaucoma, thrombopenia, and von Willebrand’s disease, amongst others.
The Biewer is another Terrier group dog breed. This rather small size dog averages about 7 pounds and would be considered a moderately energetic breed. The Biewer doesn’t shed, although their grooming maintenance can be somewhat intensive, depending on how you like to keep their fur coat.
This happy breed bonds closely with any member of the family and does well with other animals. Training for the Biewer is straightforward and easy. They also don’t need too much exercise but love to go for regular walks.
The Biewer is predisposed to Liver Disease, Cataracts, and Heart Defects.