Did you know a dog can be the best medicine a senior could have? It’s true!
Take a look at a few facts:
Physical health: Dogs can help boost a seniors physical health by encouraging them to get outdoors and take a walk. This helps keep a senior active, and helps keep the joints moving.
Even petting a dog can have positive effects by relieving stress and anxiety as well as lowering blood pressure. And it can stimulate circulation.
Mental/Emotional health: Pets need to be brushed, played with, fed and walked. Owning a dog gives the senior a purpose…something to be responsible for.
A pet provides companionship to a lonely person and can help relieve boredom.
Dogs can provide some protection to seniors by acting as a watchdog. They have even been known to save a seniors life by alerting neighbors about a fall or accident.
Things to consider before you get a dog
Do you (or the senior) have the space for the breed of dog being considered?
Is the senior active enough to provide adequate exercise for the dog?
Can the senior handle the breed of dog?
Can they afford food, toys, and vet bills?
Do they have back-up care in case they are hospitalized?
The best breeds for seniors
Small or toy breeds are often preferable because they tend to be “lap dogs” and love attention. They are often quite comical and possess a wonderful sense of humor.
Smaller dogs are also easier for seniors to control on walks and to carry into the the vet when needed.
# 1- Pug
A Pug weighs in at around 14 – 20 pounds and stands 9 to 11 inches high..
The pug is low energy and has low exercise requirements, although they can be playful clowns, and they love to show off.
They are affectionate and loyal and like to be included in whatever the family is doing.
The Pug is a real lap dog and a wise choice for a senior.
# 2- Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a great choice for seniors. Weighing in at 12 to 16 pounds, they are 12 to 14 inches tall .
The Mini Schnauzer loves people and other dogs. They are playful and inquisitive, and love to act silly. Never a dull moment with these comics around!
They are well-mannered dogs – loving, gentle and kind. They are very obedient and enjoy being in the middle of family activities. A true companion
# 3 -Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)
The 6 to 8 pound Yorkie stands about 8 inches high and is an alert and lively little scamp. Yorkies are affectionate and happy lapdogs. They need (and love) a daily brushing. They can get exercise by chasing a ball or other toy in the house, or with walks on leash. They are little dogs with a big attitude, with a big bark that will alert you to strangers.
#4- Cocker Spaniel
A Cocker Spaniel weighs around 24 to 28 pounds and stands 15 to 16 inches .
Cockers are playful, sensitive, and sweet. They like to please their people and want to obey their family’s wishes. This is a VERY social dog and needs to be part of the family. They generally like other dogs and people .
The Chihuahua weighs 4 to 6 pounds and is 5 to 9 inches tall .
They are full of energy and like to get out and run with the kids but be careful, they are fragile. Play in the house will suffice but an outdoor walk is even better.
Chihuahua’s are loyal and eager to please their family and are protective of their owner, making them great little watchdogs as well.
Other good small breeds for the senior:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
West Highland White Terrier (Westie)
Just have to have a larger breed?
A good pick if one prefers a larger breed is the Golden Retriever a.k.a. “Everybody’s friend.”
They weigh 65 to 75 pounds, are 23 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders and live 10 to 13 years.
If you can walk several times a day , you can manage a Goldie. Goldies are devoted, good natured, and obedient dogs. They get along with other dogs, strangers and even other household pets!
Goldie’s are playful and love having fun. They are affectionate, loving , and good around children . They love to play fetch.
The only problem is, they are so nice, they don’t make a very good guard dog!
What is your top choice for a senior?