Dogs are excellent companions for people of all ages, but obviously there are certain breeds which make more sense for younger, more active people, as well as those that are well suited to older owners.
It’s not just about choosing a dog that can be looked after with ease by someone entering their golden years, but also about picking a pooch that has a temperament that’s also appropriate in this context. So here are a few options to consider if you’re looking for a four-legged friend to join the family.
Small yet perfectly formed, the average Maltese only weighs in at a maximum of seven pounds, so it’s ideal for curling up on your lap for a good session of stroking.
Another advantage of the Maltese breed is that its members are comparatively receptive to training, so if you put in a little effort they’ll be well behaved. This is great if you’re looking for a dog to accompany you to public places, not just one that’s a loveable domestic lapdog.
Smaller breeds like this don’t need much exercise, so brief daily perambulation is all that’s required. Just be aware that their coats can get a bit out of control, so you’ll need to visit a groomer every few months to keep them looking their best.
Smaller still than a Maltese, some adult Pomeranians will only tip the scales at three or four pounds. Picking them up, handling them on walks and even transporting them in a bag or a cage will all be a breeze as a result, which is obviously important for elderly owners.
Another advantage of Pomeranians is that they are excellent companions, and really do crave the company of people, so they’ll never tire of whatever affection you want to throw at them.
Not every senior will want a small dog, and if this is the case then a poodle will make a fine friend. There are of course smaller varieties of poodle, but the standard breed is both low-maintenance from an exercise perspective, and also offers ample friendliness and amiability to keep you occupied and entertained throughout the day.
As with a Maltese, you’ll have to remember that poodle’s do need professional grooming services from time to time. But of course you don’t have to go all-out on a complex cut or style if that’s not your vibe.
West Highland Terrier
Already a popular option with many seniors, West Highland terriers are excellent all-rounders, having a bit more get up and go than Pomeranians while still being a more manageable size than larger breeds.
They also don’t need nearly as much grooming work, and are robust creatures which will be happy to be by your side in every scenario.
Although the name might suggest that they are small and docile, miniature schnauzers are actually more active and energetic than you’d think. If you are a senior who wants to get up, about and out of the house, but still wants a dog that’s manageable from a size perspective, this breed will fit the bill.
Their favorite game is fetch, which does make things easier from an exercise perspective, as you can simply stand in the park and toss them the ball until they are all tuckered out.
Minimal maintenance is also on the cards here, since as well as having coats that aren’t too much of a grooming challenge, they also don’t shed hair at the same rate as other breeds.
There are many more breeds which can be faithful companions to seniors, but these five are a good starting point for your search.