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Best Dog Breeds for Seniors: Our Top Recommendations
Would you agree that Small is usually better when considering which breed is best for senior citizens. Admittedly, we’re a little biased around here, but there’s lot to be said about the perfect dogs for senior citizens and retirees. Big or small..
The warmth, companionship, love and entertainment that dogs provide can make all the difference in the life of an older person.
We know that dog ownership can benefit humans in many ways, all of which are vitally important as we reach our senior years.
For at least 15,000 years and perhaps much longer, dogs have lived side by side humans.
There must be something to this human--dog bond.
Research into the health benefits of owning a dog is now well established. All the important health and psychological reasons for owning a dog are especially critical as we age. For example, did you know…
But, before rushing out to purchase a puppy,
there are many things to consider.
Don’t! If you are in a position to purchase or adopt a dog for your parent or grandparent, please stop and ask them if they really want a pet. Owning a dog may be the best solution to loneliness, but if the senior does not want one or does not feel they are capable of caring for a dog, you will be adding additional burdens and stress into their life.
A person should always choose their own dog. Giving the gift of a dog is never a good idea. There will always be bonding issues and the possibility of hard-feelings on the part of the senior.
BUT, it they are interested in choosing a dog,
by all means, Show them this Page!
If you are a senior and are thinking about the addition of a four legged friend, please consider the following:
Older dogs are better than puppies for a retired
person. They are beyond the crazy puppy
stage and many have already been trained to walk on a leash, obey basic
commands and eliminate in appropriate places.
This is not always the case, so it is important to learn as much about
the background of any dog you are considering as you can. If you can find an adult dog from a good rescue organization or shelter this is, in our opinion, the best dog option for a senior.
Senior dogs can be a great choice. Many people shy away from a senior dog, but they deserve just as much love and attention as any younger dog. They are the least active, often the most appreciative and loving dogs, but may have health problems. Often health concerns can be as simple as giving the 'ol girl a pill once a day.
Veterinary bills can be an issue, but there is health insurance for pets that help with these costs. Most of all, senior dogs have so much love to give and just the act of adopting one knowing you may be his/her last chance provides rewards greater than words can express.
You are less likely to trip over larger dogs, but most small
dogs also know how to get out from under foot of a walking human. (At least adult dogs, but not so with puppies)
Small dogs are easier to pick up and take places including visits to the veterinarian, grooming salon or on a cross country vacation.
Let’s face it, there is err, uh, less clean up after a small dog verses a large dog. Small dogs eat less and often necessary products that you purchase are cheaper. (Tiny crate verses a Giant crate)
Many seniors, who have had large dogs all of their lives gravitate to small dogs as they get older because large dogs often require more exercise, are much stronger, and not as easy to physically manage. Consider a 4 pound dog pulling on a leash as compared to a 114 pound dog.
Large dogs can be challenging even for young people to manage. A poorly trained large dog that jumps on people can be a safety issue to a senior. Balance is not always as good with seniors as it is with younger people and it doesn’t take much to lose one’s balance and fall.
Not all small dogs are the same so it is important that you look at each breed to see which one might make the best pet for you. We looked at different scenarios when forming our top list of best dog breeds for seniors.
Here are some of the categories we examined:
Really Tiny Dog: Best Dog Breeds for Seniors
Low Energy Dog?
Quiet Small Dog?
Small Watch Dog?
Want a good watch dog? Our choice of best dog breeds for seniors in this area are:
Small Lap Dog?
So, my top ten of Best Dog Breeds for Seniors, not in any particular order because other factors such as the ones listed above must also be taken into consideration.
1. Shih Tzu
Those that didn’t make the top ten
but still best dog breeds for seniors
12. Scottish Terrier
According to the 2013-2014 APPA (American Pet Products Association)
National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 82.5 million homes up from 56% in 1988. Dogs are still the number one choice for pet ownership.