Best Dog Breed as a Companion for the Elderly


Dogs are enjoyable companions of people in every stage of life. Owning a dog has known to have many psychological and health benefits and can be especially beneficial for elderly people who are lonely.

Reasons for Keeping A Dog

Keeping a dog can:

  • Alleviate anxiety and stress.
  • Help stay active and keeps you busy.

The following are the dog breeds, which are ideal for seniors. You may find a perfect dog that can adapt well to your lifestyle.

Points to Keep In Mind When Choosing A Dog

If you are an elderly person who is planning to bring a pet dog for any reason, you should be mindful of the following factors:

Health Issues and Mobility

If you are less mobile due to a medical condition, you should choose a dog that requires less exercise, so you don’t have to walk it far.


For people who are less active, a dog with lower energy levels will be more suitable as these dogs need only short infrequent walks.  

Size and Strength

Dogs that are comparatively smaller in size are much easy and comfortable to handle. As an elder citizen, you can easily take smaller dogs from one place to another like going out on a trip or taking them to a vet whereas a big dog may be too much to handle.

Age Factor

Younger dogs have much higher levels of energy and therefore need more attention. Moreover, they also require proper training. Therefore, it is suggested that you select a mature dog that can easily settle with you and help you cherish beautiful moments of life without worrying about training your dog.

Community Restrictions

Some communities have certain guidelines for keeping pets. For instance, types of breed allowed and the size of the pet. You should keep in mind that as you grow older you may need to move to a smaller home or live in a community, where a smaller dog may be easier to take with you.


Certain dog breeds are more prone to health problems than others. For instance, Dachshunds are often prone to back problems, Miniature Schnauzers are at risk of diabetes, and Pugs often suffer from breathing difficulties.

All these susceptibilities to illness make it more likely you will need to pay for vet bills in the future.

Medium Sized Dog Breeds Which Are Suitable for Seniors


The Chihuahua is a well-liked and wonderful companion. They are tiny but with a big personality. They are loyal to their owners, and they are famous for their protective temperament as they bark at strangers or small children who seem to be threatening.

Their average weight varies from 3 to 6 pounds and can live a long life of around 18 years.

Chihuahuas have two main types each with its own distinctive look; Smooth Coat that is shorthaired and Long Coat that is longhaired.


Poodles are energetic, intelligent, easy to train, gentle and a low-shedding breed.

They are come in three sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Toy Poodles range in size from 6 to 9 pounds, Miniature Poodles are 15 to 17 pounds, and Standard Poodles can be 45 to 70 pounds.

As they belong to a nervous breed, they require adequate socialization. If you suffer from allergies to pets, they are a perfect choice as they are hypoallergenic.

Toy Poodles life span is up to 15 years, but are more prone to illness than the larger sizes.

Boston Terrier

If you are looking for a smaller-sized dog, the Boston terrier is a good choice.

They are friendly and adaptable to many different environments, whether as a companion for a single owner or as part of a larger family.

They have a mild temperament and can sit peacefully with their owner. They can be easily trained and groomed but some are hard to be house-trained.

They are not very comfortable in hot weather.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Spaniels are quite active and playful small dogs that are easy to train.

They are considered one of the best dogs for elderly people as they enjoy curling up with their keepers, and they manage well with other pets and humans.

They need an occasional bath and regular brushing for maintaining their beautiful coat.

You must be aware of the fact that Spaniels love to chase things, therefore, keeping them on a long leash is recommended.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


The Maltese breed is active from puppyhood through to old age. This breed is both friendly and gentle with a very quiet temperament.

When they’re in the right mood they are lively and full of energy. Maltese make very good companions and can compete in dog sports requiring obedience, agility, tracking, and rally.

Although they are low shedding, daily brushing and weekly bathing are required for maintaining their silky white coat.

Their weight ranges from four to seven pounds. Although they are not fond of a great deal of outdoor activity they like to go out for a leisurely stroll.

Small Dogs for Seniors

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a kind and gentle dog who needs to be treated with affection. They look more muscular and like to be taken for a daily walk. They require extra care, which includes daily brushing and occasional trim to look sweet and cute. Mostly they are quiet dogs. They weigh from 9 to16 pounds when fully grown.                


These dogs are very calm and loving breeds who have a playful nature which makes them an adorable friend for humans. The weight ranges between fourteen and eighteen pounds.

They are active and like going for small walks. They are also happy to curl up anytime when you are on the sofa. Pugs belong to a healthy breed but should avoid extreme temperatures.

A healthy Pug is easy to be trained. They have shorthair which sheds quite heavily. Small, but muscular, Pugs possesses a strong behavior in their small bodies.

Pugs are prone to breathing difficulties so do better away from the inner city and very hot climates. 

Best Large Dog For Seniors

Large-sized dogs are usually playful when outdoors, and calm when indoors. If you have a large open area at home, these dogs are a good choice due to their active nature. Moreover, with a large dog around you will have the feeling of security.


You may be wondering how a racing dog is suitable for elderly people?! Well, the answer is that they are not the high-energy dog we think of running around the race track all day. Although they do enjoy daily walks and short bursts of running, they spend most of their time asleep! In fact, greyhounds are really couch potatoes!

Greyhounds are the fastest dogs due to their long legs and powerful muscles, but despite this trait, they are calm and easily manageable.

Although they have a friendly nature, you should take care of letting them off their leash as they like to chase any poor squirrels or birds that catch their eye! Greyhounds are very responsive to training and are easy to handle. They weigh about 60 to 80 pounds.

Labrador Retriever

In America, Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breed. They are friendly with an outgoing personality. Labradors are fun-loving and have a calm nature.

These dogs are full of energy and like to have outdoor activities. They can be quite boisterous so they are not suitable for frail people. They weigh about 65-80 pounds.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are gentle and soft-hearted dogs much like the Labrador retriever.

They are highly intelligent and responsive to training. They fit perfectly with active lifestyles and enjoy running and swimming. They enjoy being inside with family but at the same time, they are alert and make a good guard dog.

They need a daily walk and they adore water, which makes them perfect if you live near a safe beach or lake that they can swim in.

Final Verdict

Good dogs for seniors are the ones that match their owners’ lifestyles and fitness levels. Whether you are looking for a dog that is big or small, active or sedate you can find a furry, friendly and active friend that is right for you!

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