Choosing the Best Dog Breeds For The Elderly
When choosing the best dog breeds for the elderly,compare the potential senior owner's residence, health status and physical strength with the pet's physical traits, personality and routine care requirements. Some lap dogs make excellent companions for the elderly and love nothing more than to sit on a warm lap. Depending on preference as to what dog breed best suits their lifestyle, also consider size and temperament of the dog as well since an older person may need a dog they can manage easily. The list below will give you a good indication what dog breeds are best for any senior person.
Benefits of Seniors With Dogs
Benefits of seniors with dogs can be very comforting and can bring much joy to any elderly person. Studies have proven that overall well being of seniors can be improved when sharing love with a four-footed friend. Dogs can provide more than just affection. They also offer all kinds of health benefits for senior folks. Studies have shown that these faithful companions can:
Lower blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
Lower triglyceride levels
Decrease feelings of loneliness
Encourage activity in seniors
Offer sense of security and safety
Enhance social activities
Offer affection and unconditional love
Ease the loss of a loved one
Offer sense of feeling needed and wanted
Offer fun and entertainment
Decrease feelings of isolation
Selection: Adopt an Older Dog or Puppy?
The decision of selecting a young versus adult animal also is important for an elderly owner. A puppy requires time, energy and house training, while an adult pet is fully grown and is usually house trained and may be better behaved. Understand there are many senior purebred dogs waiting for adoption and inevitably may already be trained. You may have heard about these organizations called "Seniors For Seniors". Keep in mind... each breed has a respective rescue organization. Adopted dogs do make wonderful pets! Check with your local humane society to see if they offer this program.
Generally, small lap dogs tend to make the best companions as most need less exercise, have lower activity levels, and are very adaptable to apartment or condominium living spaces, making them ideal companions for the elderly.
Notes To Consider: Caution should always be considered when any elders over 80 getting small dark dogs as some seniors may have poor eyesite and could trip over them. Small lapdogs can be a serious health hazzard due to osteopathic fragility.
Caution is also advised for "older" seniors who are not as mobile. Some terrier breeds listed may need more maintenance or require more attention than a very old senior can care for. Much consideration is required as to the age of the senior and the age of the dog. Some dogs have a lifespan of 14-16 years. A poor match would be if a 78 year old inactive older person aquiring a puppy. We all know puppies are "active" during their first year or two. I'm a big advocate for adoption. "Seniors for seniors" is a great way to go!
Where Can You Find Dogs Available For Adoption?
I've found https://www.petfinder.com/ to be very informative as to what dogs are available. Type in your zipcode, etc.
Below I have listed what I consider to be the best dog breeds for older folks. Keep in mind, there are always exceptions to every breed and it helps to know the breeder or anyone that has owned the particular breed. Spending some time researching the list of best dog breeds for seniors below will help ensure a better match and minimize any poor fit for both dog and senior. Good luck with your search!
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
English Toy Spaniel
French Bull Dog
West Highland Terrier
Choosing a Dog For Seniors
There is much to consider before choosing a dog. Keep in mind that grooming can vary between these dogs for the elderly. Knowing what the senior person's restrictions are can often dictate their abilities and restrictions for owning a dog. What's really nice... today, there are many mobile groomers that will come to the house to groom your dog. Something to think about and search out in your city or township if choosing a dog that requires grooming every 5-6 weeks.
Having a dog around is one of life's true enjoyment... no matter how old you become! If you are a senior, we hope you, too, will be able to enjoy a new companion in your homelife!