You are a senior citizen and thinking about getting a dog to enrich your life and give you a sense of fulfillment. Well…you are on the right path. Dogs can enhance your quality of life and increase the flow of feel-good hormones, thus lowering your stress level, blood pressure and heart rate. On the long run, dog ownership is correlated with lower risks of depression, heart disease and stroke.To help you navigate through the minefield of choices, we have compiled a list of the top 10 dogs for seniors. Fortunately, with so many different dog breeds, there is a perfect match for every senior’s needs. All you need to do is compare your needs and what you can offer with the each dog’s needs and there you go – you got yourself the perfect companion.
  1. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a handsome-looking and fluffy, endlessly joyful and extremely affectionate dog. Bichon Frises are recommended for senior citizens because of several reasons. For starters, weighting around 7-12 pounds they are easy to lift, take care of and handle in general. Training them is a piece of cake because they are smart and love to please their owners. Additionally, requiring fairly low maintenance, Bichons only need periodical grooming. What is more, they can be happy, healthy and enough physically and mentally stimulated with only moderate daily exercise (usually a daily walk). Last but not least, their clownish and silly personality will make you smile at all times.
  1. Maltese
The Maltese dog is a small, gentle and cuddly dog, developed specifically for the purpose of being a companion lapdog. Maltese dogs are perfectly suited for seniors. They are small, practical and easy to handle. They are incredibly attentive and naturally tuned in with their owners. Additionally, Maltese dogs prefer spending their time as lap warmers instead of running outside. If their fur is kept short they do not require regular grooming. If properly approached they can be easily trained and even learn how to do amusing tricks.
  1. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are one of the most popular lapdogs. They are loving, cuddly and gentle companions. The main reason why this breed is suitable for seniors is their need of minimal exercise. Shih Tzus enjoy lounging around with their owners and doing nothing. Their small size makes them easy to handle and carry around. Being classified as low maintenance, they do not require very frequent and time-consuming grooming sessions. Additionally, Shih Tzus shed very little and are recommended for seniors suffering from allergies. They love pleasing and are easy to train.
  1. Greyhound
When speaking of Greyhounds the first thing that comes to mind is racing competitions. In spite of popular belief, Greyhounds are not highly energetic. In fact, they can be quite lazy. They enjoy loafing around with the owners and spending their time as ‘’couch potatoes’’. The Greyhound is the perfect breed for seniors who prefer big dogs. In spite of their weight of 60-80 pounds, they are extremely easy to handle. In addition, they are very responsive to training and like to obey.
  1. Pug
Pugs are peppy, spirited and very social dogs with a happy-go-lucky attitude. In spite of their somewhat mischievous personality they are strongly recommended for seniors. First of all, they are easy to carry and handle. What is more, due to being short-haired, Pugs are extremely easy to groom. Additionally they do not need much exercise and prefer staying at home, by the owner’s side. As long as they feel as part of the group they will remain calm and quiet. The last reason why Pugs are good for seniors is their capability of adapting and their eagerness to please.
  1. Chihuahua
For centuries, Chihuahuas have been bred to be perfect companions and lapdogs. Therefore, because of tradition they excel in those rolls. There is a plethora of reasons why this breed is suitable for seniors. For starters, the Chihuahua is small, light-weighted and easy to handle. In spite of their miniature size, they are packed with life and personality and can definitely make your day with their behavior. Additionally, Chihuahuas are more than happy to spend their time indoor or in their owners’ purses. Last but not least, they do not require regular grooming and from that point of view are considered as low maintenance.
  1. Poodle
Poodles are loyal and affectionate companions, capable of adapting to any household. The best feature about Poodles is that you can choose their size. Coming in sizes that vary from tiny to large, there is an ideal Poodle for every senior. Additionally, they are amazingly intelligent and do not require too much training to shape their personality. Plus, they love pleasing and will do whatever told. However, Poodles have relatively high exercise requirements which makes them better suited for active seniors. Last but not least, although they require regular grooming, their fur has an advantage – it is hypoallergenic.
  1. West Highland White Terriers
The West Highland White Terrier is a happy, loyal and affectionate dog. The Westies’ size and body construction make them highly suitable for seniors. They are small enough to be light-weighted but sturdy enough not to be fragile. This fact combined with their affection and tendency to be more or less independent are the reasons why this breed is so popular among senior citizens. What is more, the breed is classified as fairly active which means they only require 30 minutes of daily exercise.
  1. Pomeranian
Pomeranians are proud, intelligent and loyal dogs. Weighting less than 7 pounds, the Pomeranian is an ideal match for every senior citizen. In addition, Pomeranians are easy to groom and as for exercise requirements, a daily walk in the park is enough. Being extremely inquisitive and alert, Pomeranians make excellent watch dogs. They do not excel as guard dogs, but will definitely alarm you when something is going on. One of the most important reasons why Pomeranians are good for seniors is their overall health. Being considered as an extremely healthy breed, they do not require frequent trips to the vet’s office.
  1. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are friendly, clever and loving dogs. Being bred to be companion dogs, Boston Terriers are quite popular among senior citizens. They are very social and extremely attentive to their owners’ needs. Their manageable size is a big plus. In addition, they are easy to groom and being moderately active, only require a daily walk in the park. They are adaptable and can be easily trained. Many studies show that having a dog is a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship, associated with countless positive experiences and effects. The benefits of having a dog are psychological, emotional and physical. Dogs instinctively know how to put a smile on your face. They offer life-enriching and unconditional love and loyalty. Caring for a dog ensures a sense of purpose and fulfillment for the care giver. In a nutshell, dogs are good for your body, soul and mind.