As we age in life, friends and family come and go, and seniors often find themselves in a position where they live alone for a while. The companionship of a pet is valuable in combating loneliness, but there are certain pets that are more compatible with typical senior lifestyle.
Generally, little toy or “lap dogs” are the best for older people. You will want to consider the environment your dog will live in with you, and how suitable that environment will be for certain breeds.
Another question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a dog with guard dog sensibilities. What types of personality do you value? Different dog breeds can factor into a dog being cheerful, courageous, loyal, or independent. Also consider how much shedding and grooming will be involved, as well as factors such as allergies and kid friendliness.
Below are some "senior friendly" breeds to consider.
Mi-Kis The Mi-Ki is a social, calm, intelligent, cheerful dog. This small dog doesn’t get bigger than 11 inches and won’t weigh more than 10 pounds. Their activity level is low to moderate, which makes it easy exercise with for those with limited mobility, but they do need a daily walk.
Mi-Ki Image Source supplied
Being friendly and alert, they make great companions to the physically disabled bringing a sense of security. The Mi-Ki medium silky coat needs minimal grooming with a comb once a week. These dogs need a firm and consistent leader to guide them to good behavior and show them the limits of what they can get away with.
Toy Manchester Terriers This terrier is alert, cheerful, loyal, quiet and the perfect candidate who wants to age amidst peace, love and vigilance.
Manchesters are intelligent, agile and cunning so they do well with an owner prepared to exercise their mind as well as their bodies. They need mental stimulation which can be given through agility training (running over and passing through an obstacle course) and positive rewards to learning tricks. Their short black and tan coats require minimal grooming and they don't shed much, which is just another reason the Toy Manchester Terrier is a great choice as a senior companion.
Pomeranians These cute little fluff balls are great companions for the older people looking for an extrovert with an active and alert, loyal, docile and affectionate personality.
Pomeranian Image Source supplied
This toy breed also needs a firm, gentle hand from you the pack leader to avoid the small dog syndrome (where it thinks of itself as leader of the pack). The Pomeranian will weigh about 4 to 7 pounds and grow to be 7 to 12 inches tall. Like all dogs, Poms need a daily walk despite their tendency to be very active indoors.
Biewers Maxing out around 8 inches tall and 7 pounds, the Biewer is alert, courageous, intelligent and loyal, making this dog the perfect choice for those wanting a little dog with a big personality. This breed is great with children, so folks that have their grandchildren visit often should consider a Biewer. The Biewer will play throughout the day which will help burn off some energy as they can be quite active dogs so make sure you have the physical ability to keep up with this dog. In addition to play time they need a daily walk. They might start to run around the house in many short, fast bursts if the walks are too short or they are not made to heel.
Biewer Image Source supplied
The Biewer doesn’t seem to know how small it is, and has an adventurous spirit. This along with their intelligence will mean they need a strong, yet gentle leader to avoid them taking over the house and exhibiting bad behavior. Don’t let them get away with murder just because they are so cute!
It has been proven that a faithful animal companion can lower blood pressure, encourage physical activity, offer a sense of security, and decrease loneliness. As you head into your golden years of life, you’ll want an animal companion that you can find comfort with and that fits your lifestyle. This list is not the end all be all. Check out the above list to browse dog breeds according to size. There are many pups that will be relaxing, loving, and bring you joy in retirement and beyond.