It’s never too late to get a dog. With that said, though, it’s always best to be realistic about the type of dog that you can handle. If you’re a senior, you might find that it’s the perfect time to get the right dog for the place where you are in life. The only thing you’ll need to figure out is whether a particular breed is really right for you right now.
The Best Dogs for Seniors
It’s always important to remember that there’s no one perfect dog breed for every senior. Honestly, every senior is different and what they need from their pets can vary quite widely. As such, it’s important to stop and look at the different breeds that are recommended for older people and then figure out if they’re actually right for you.
Poodles tend to be recommended for just about anyone. Not only are these dogs incredibly pretty, but they’re also quite smart and very easy to train. These dogs are bred to be ideal companions and they tend to be excellent at fitting into families. Poodles tend to be recommended to seniors because they don’t need that much exercise, yet they’re still happy to go out for a walk every day. These dogs do require a fair bit of grooming, but they are still relatively low-maintenance animals.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These dogs tend to be real winners for those who want lap dogs. Relatively quiet and big fans of sitting around, these are dogs who tend to easily fit into the lifestyles of many people who want to take things slowly. With that said, these are smart dogs who do still love to play, so you can train them to be fantastic companions even when you are out and about. They do require regular brushing and bathing, but that’s not a bad trade-off for such a great breed.
Another one of those small breeds that tend to be very devoted to its owners, these terriers are friendly dogs who love nothing more than to cuddle with their owners. They do tend to be easy to train and can stay quiet, which makes them a good fit for those who live in apartments. Easy to groom, these dogs are also a good fit for those who really don’t want to spend too much time on dog maintenance.
Yes, we’re going even smaller. These dogs rarely weigh more than seven dogs, making them the perfect lap dog for many. Playful and bright, these dogs tend to love other dogs as much as they love being around their owners. They are very responsive to the moods of their owners and they love to go for walks, making them a good fit for someone who just needs a four-legged companion.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
If Corgis are good enough for the Queen, they’re good enough for most other seniors. These dogs are more energetic than most, yet they are great dogs for seniors because they tend to love being around their people more than they love doing anything else. Easy to train and groom, these dogs are a great fit for any senior who loves to go on frequent walks.
While many breeds recommended to seniors are low-energy, the Beagle is anything but. This breed is a perfect fit for active seniors, as they are sociable and need plenty of exercises to stay happy. These hunting dogs are fairly easy to train but still have a tendency to run off after interesting smells. As such, you’ll only want this breed if you’ve got a fenced-in yard.
The tiny Pom is a bundle of energy wrapped up in a ball of fluff. These dogs are curious, smart, and absolutely love their owners. They definitely need owners who are very active, not only because they love to play but because you’ll have to spend a fair amount of time grooming this breed. With that said, these dogs are fantastic companions for those who can keep them under control.
There are few dogs who have more personality than Chihuahuas. These Mexican dogs are entertaining and lively, making excellent companions not only for those who want to play but also for those who just want to love a dog. These are great pets for those who have apartments, though they’re not necessarily all that nice to kids and strangers.
Pugs generally get rated as the best small dogs, not just because they tend to be so cuddly but because they need relatively little exercise to stay happy. In fact, most Pugs are much happier if they get to stay inside all day, only wanting quick jaunts outside to do their business. These dogs are super affectionate and fairly quiet, making them great dogs for those who live in condos or apartments.
Another quiet, smaller dog, this breed is known for being very easy to train. Obedient dogs by nature, they’re also snugglers who won’t mind if there’s another dog in the house. Easily content with staying inside, these ideal apartment dogs do still need some brief walks to stay healthy. They do need frequent brushing, though, so be prepared to give your brush a workout.
French bulldogs are very popular among dog owners of all ages, especially when those dog owners have limited space at home. Frenchies are quiet and more than happy to stay in apartments, with little exercise needed to keep them fairly healthy. These dogs really thrive on human contact, though, so only get one if you are sure that you’re going to give him or her enough attention throughout the day.
This is an ancient breed that was literally bred to be the companion of royalty, so it makes sense that the modern Shih Tzu would be a great breed for most seniors. They’re true lapdogs who really love sitting with their owners, though they never mind taking the time to play. These dogs are relatively personable and do well with children and other dogs, so they’re great for those seniors who live with their extended families.
The Havanese is probably best known for being needy. This isn’t bad, though, if you’re looking for a dog who just wants to be around you all the time. Though they might be clingy, these dogs are actually very smart and easy to train, with many of them taking on working roles in therapy fields. These dogs tend to be happy whenever their owners are around, with most of them only needing a tiny bit of exercise every day to stay at their best.
The Lhasa Apso is a fairly unique breed. These dogs are just as happy sitting around as they are running around, but they’re actually quite well equipped to do both. With that said, this dog is generally thought to be one of the calmest, which can make them great fits for living with seniors. Affectionate dogs tend to be quite protective, they’re also independent enough to be left on their own if you find yourself needing to get out of the house.
These fluffy cuddlers are smart and easy to train, but they absolutely fall in love with their owners the moment they come home. This breed will be your shadow at home, though they’ll be at their happiest any time that you choose to sit down near them. The only real downside to this breed is that they do need a lot of brushing, which can be tough on those who have mobility issues.
Yes, Greyhounds can be great pets for seniors. While you might think of them as fast racing dogs, you’ll generally find that most rescued greyhounds are much calmer than their reputations would suggest. These dogs don’t really run all that much in nature – they’ll be happy to go full speed for a short burst, but they’ll spend most of their time sitting around with their favorite people. These dogs tend to be very friendly, but they do still have a strong enough prey drive that you’ll want to keep them on leashes if you tend to take your dogs to the park.
If you’ve ever looked at one of the lists of the most popular dog breeds, you’ll usually find the Labrador Retriever somewhere near the top. Labs tend to be very well-loved because they are friendly dogs who are easy to train and who want to spend as much time with their owners as they can. Seniors can really tend to fall in love with these excellent companion animals, with many of them serving as service and support dogs for their owners. Though they do need quite a bit of exercise to stay happy, these are fantastic dogs for any seniors who have access to a big backyard or who simply want to stay active themselves.
Bringing up the end of the pack is the incredibly popular Golden Retrievers. Another breed that’s known for keeping its owners happy, these dogs see a lot of work as therapy and support animals. Golden Retrievers also tend to like to stay active, but they’re dogs who don’t mind entertaining themselves if you have enough space. If you can let them get out of their energy, you’ll find that these dogs can become a very calming presence for the seniors in your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What breed of dog is best for senior citizens?
There are definitely as many answers to this one as there are senior citizens. It really depends on what the senior is looking for, with a focus on how much space the senior has available and what kind of activities with which he or she is comfortable. Those who prefer a small lap dog might want to look at Pomeranians, while those who want a dog who doesn’t bark might want a French Bulldog. More active seniors, on the other hand, might benefit more from the companionship of an animal like a Golden Retriever or even a Beagle.
2. What is the most low maintenance dog?
The shorter the hair, the lower maintenance the dog. As such, seniors who want a dog that’s going to be easy to care for are usually steered towards dogs like French Bulldogs or Pugs, as both of these breeds don’t require all that much maintenance, and neither one of them requires their owner to spend too much time ensuring that they get multiple walks per day.
3. Is 67 too old to get a dog?
This largely depends on what your health is like, not your age. Many people who are sixty-seven still have quite a bit of time left in front of them, so getting a dog who’s going to be around for the next ten to fifteen years shouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s always better to know that there is someone there to take your dog if you are unable to take care of him or her yourself, of course, but this is definitely true no matter how old you happen to be.
4. What is the best pet for a senior citizen?
It largely depends on the senior. An active senior who has plenty of space is probably going to benefit from having virtually any breed of dog who likes to be around people. Someone who doesn’t have much space, though, might be better off with a lapdog. If the senior wants a companion pet who is very independent, though, choosing a cat might be a better choice. Even fish or rodents can be a good choice for those seniors who don’t tend to have the ability to move around enough to care for larger pets.