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The Top Dog Breeds That Make the Perfect Companions for Seniors

Are you an older adult interested in getting a dog? Perhaps you're retired and decided that you finally have the extra time to care for a dog. Maybe you crave the kind of companionship that a dog can offer. The care that is required to have a pet can provide one with goals and meaning in life. The act of sharing affection with your dog has proven to even lower stress and blood pressure. Your age alone is not a factor that should prevent you from having a dog of your own!


While most dog breeds can adapt to your lifestyle, there are a few things to consider when bringing a new companion into your home.


First, consider if their energy level meets yours. If you love walking and love being out and about, then a higher energy companion will fit you perfectly. Do you have the time, patience, and extra income it might require to train traits out of a stubborn breed? Consider how easy it will be to meet their care needs. Some curly haired breeds and short-haired dogs require daily brushing. Some breeds have sensitivities and might require more veterinary care than most breeds.


Here are three dog breed recommendations for seniors based on temperament, care needs, and exercise needs.


1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Both gentle and affectionate, yet somewhat athletic, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (also known as the Cavvy) is an excellent choice for an aging adult as they trust easily and become friends with everyone they meet!


Cavvy's maintain an average weight of 13-18 pounds.


They don't require much grooming as their coat is quite silky and easy to manage. Daily brushing or weekly will suffice. Bred as a lap dog, they are the happiest snuggling their people and require a daily short walk or a jog outside in a fenced yard. Cavvy's are generally trainable and love to please their owners.


2. Bichon Frise


The fluffy little Bichon Frise is a joyful and affectionate dog. They are gentle yet playful, which makes for a perfect companion for an aging adult.


This breed reaches an average weight of 7-12 pounds.


A Bichon Frise requires periodic grooming but is otherwise low-maintenance. Many Bichon owners choose to take their dogs to a professional groomer every month or two. Moderate daily exercise is usually enough to keep them happy and healthy, as long as they have your companionship! Bichons are intelligent, which makes them very easy to train.


3. French Bulldog


It's nearly impossible to not be happy around a French Bulldog; they are the most cheerful dogs. With their charm and adaptable personality, they make a great addition to an aging person's home.



They are compact, muscular, and active dogs. Although they are energetic, they lack endurance and require only moderate exercise to stay healthy. French Bulldogs reach an average weight of 19-29 pounds. French Bulldogs can have health concerns, like Brachycephalic Syndrome and some skin issues, but routine vet visits and maintenance can prevent serious problems down the road.


Finally, if the option is available, please consider rescuing an adult or senior dog. 


There are many perks to rescuing an adult dog, including:

You don't have to deal with the sometimes chaotic puppy phase which includes chewing and potty training. You can typically see what training they already have or need. Adult dogs have already received their first vaccinations and vet visits. They have fewer surprises, and adult dogs are an easier and less stressful way to ease into pet ownership for aging adults. Most senior dogs are happy just laying around and being loved.



While the above selection of breeds is varied, we believe these to be great additions to an aging adult's home based off the breed's temperament, care needs, and exercise requirements. Choose a breed that fits your lifestyle, then consider how much time you have to train and groom them. These aren't the only breeds for aging adults, but we hope this list will help with your decision for a new companion!




Sources:


Breed information found from https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/