Dogs are fantastic companions for everybody. These furry friends can provide emotional comfort and company at any age, particularly at the latter stages of our lives.
Looking back at 2022 and moving forward through 2023, seniors may be interested in finding the best dogs for their lifestyle and may be looking to add a new furry friend to their home.
Several studies show that seniors with dogs show lower levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as reduced stress, compared to seniors who do not own dogs.
Additionally, having a furry companion has been shown to decrease loneliness and depression, improve cardiovascular health, and increase physical activity in older adults like your loved ones.
Both science and day-to-day experience back up what we all know: that dogs can be the most faithful friends for your loved one. They can help them better their health and offer unconditional affection, support, company, and protection.
Choosing the right doggy companion for your senior can make a difference between a friend for life and a difficult experience. However, whether you are searching for a loyal companion for walks or a cuddly best friend to share a long day with, there are many ways to find the perfect match.
An elderly adult needs a companion dog that’s a perfect fit for their lifestyle and personality. Choosing the right dog will ensure that your loved one receives the right amount of attention and care and that the pet’s needs are not too overwhelming.
So, what are the qualities that will make your senior’s furry friend a life companion?
It’s important to note that every dog, no matter the breed, has their own personality and necessities, and it’s essential to analyze these when choosing a dog for a senior.
Having said that, some breeds have earned a place as perfect companions for adults in their golden years because they have the characteristics that better suit the lifestyle and needs of the elderly.
With their regal and calm misdemeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an excellent choice for elderly adults looking for a companion dog.
Size: Cavaliers are quite a small breed, making them a good choice for those living in smaller homes or apartments.
Personality: These dogs are gentle, loving, and have a naturally calm and relaxed demeanor. They love spending time with their elderly owners and are happy to cuddle up and relax, making them a perfect companion for seniors who want a calm and loving presence in their life.
Grooming and maintenance: Though the Cavalier King is not a short-haired breed, and it’s recommended that you brush their hair at least once or twice every week, they are quite hypoallergenic because they almost don’t shed.
Energy levels: These spaniels are generally considered to have a moderate energy level. They do require daily exercise, but their exercise needs are not as high as some other breeds.
They are often happy to go on short walks or play gentle games indoors, making them a great choice for seniors who may not be able to handle a high-energy dog.
Obedience: Cavalier King Spaniels are quite an intelligent breed, making them easy to train and eager to please their owners.
Cavalier Kings are known to form close bonds with their owners and are always eager to spend time with them, making them a perfect pet for seniors who want a loyal, smart, and loving companion.
Boston Terriers are one of the best pet choices for seniors. They have all the characteristics that make a dog ideal for elderly adults.
Size: Boston Terriers are small, making them easy to manage and handle for seniors.
Personality: This breed is known for its affectionate and friendly temperament, which is of great help if your loved one is living alone or experiencing loneliness.
Grooming and maintenance: Boston Terriers are relatively low maintenance, with a short coat that requires minimal grooming.
Energy levels: This type of dog is relatively calm and adaptable, able to live comfortably in apartments or small spaces, making them ideal if your senior has limited mobility or physical abilities.
Obedience: Boston Terriers are known for their intelligence and trainability, which can be important for seniors who may need a well-behaved pet that can be trained to respond to commands or perform simple tasks to help your loved one’s routine.
Overall, Boston Terriers are a fantastic alternative if your loved one is looking for a loyal and loving companion that is easy to care for, adaptable, and trainable.
Brussels Griffons are a great option for seniors who are looking for a pet that is easy to maintain and groom. On top of that, these dogs are absolutely adorable and are known for their resilience and good health.
Size: Brussels Griffons are quite small and love to be next to their owner. This makes
this breed great for seniors who don’t want to wander around or keep calling their dogs back.
Personality: The dogs of this breed are known for being affectionate, playful, and intelligent, which makes them great companions for seniors who want a dog that can keep them company and provide emotional support.
Brussels Griffons are generally friendly and sociable with their owners and other family members, but they can be a bit shy or reserved around strangers. With proper socialization from an early age, this is normally a non-issue.
Grooming and maintenance: With their wiry coats, they require minimal grooming, which can be a plus if your elderly loved one has mobility issues or limited dexterity (and even if not). In any case, brushing their coat once a week is usually sufficient.
Energy levels: Brussels Griffons are known for their playful and curious nature, but they are not very energetic dogs. This low-energy level makes them an ideal companion if your loved one doesn’t want to keep up with a more active dog.
Obedience: Though they’re not the best at complex training, Brussels Griffons are intelligent and can be trained to adopt all the basic conducts for in-house living. They are also great watchdogs, alerting their owners to any potential danger.
In terms of popular dog breeds, poodles and French bulldogs are also often recommended for their friendly and social nature, making them great companions for seniors. Toy breeds like the poodle can be a good choice for those with limited mobility or living in smaller spaces, while the French bulldog’s smaller size and laid-back personality make them a good fit for a quieter home.
The American Kennel Club offers a Canine Good Citizen program, which can be a great way for seniors to find and train a well-bred puppy.
Also, local animal rescue groups or a breeder can provide guidance on the best breeds for seniors, including retrievers and pugs, which are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They can often also provide a comprehensive guide or list to provide information on breed-specific characteristics and care.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be useful tools to follow local animal clubs and find dogs available for adoption. Whether looking for a big or small dog, walking and spending time with a canine companion can bring joy and fun into a senior’s daily routine.
Independently of the breed, taking care of your senior’s dog requires attention to the dog’s exercise, nutrition, grooming, and emotional needs.
Though the breeds we are recommending are not too demanding in any respect, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet and exercise routine for the age and condition of your senior’s dog.
Exercise could include walking or playing with toys, while nutrition could involve providing high-quality food, fresh water, and supplements if necessary.
Grooming is also an essential aspect of caring for your dog as a senior.
Brushing your loved one’s dog regularly and bathing them as needed helps keep their coat healthy and shiny. Also, trimming your dog’s nails avoids overgrowth, potential injury for it and you, and discomfort.
On the other hand, brushing and grooming their dog can be a relaxing and entertaining activity for your senior and can give them a reason to go outside, so their pet’s hair doesn’t stay in the house when they brush their furry friend.
Regular vet check-ups are crucial for maintaining your senior’s dog’s health.
Ensure your loved one’s dog receives all necessary vaccinations and schedule regular check-ups to identify any potential health issues. Also, you may help your senior keep records of their dog’s medical history and treatments for ongoing reference.
Finally, creating a comfortable and safe living environment for their furry companion is crucial for your senior.
It’s a great idea to provide a soft bed and blankets for your loved one’s dog to rest, along with toys for playtime and mental stimulation.
Also, keep hazardous items out of reach, and ensure that your dog has a comfortable temperature and adequate lighting. Consider installing pet gates to restrict their access to specific areas in your home.
A companion dog can bring enormous benefits to your elderly loved one, which includes improving their physical, mental, and emotional health. Also, caring for a pet can give your senior purpose and prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
However, even with all the benefits a dog companion has for your beloved adult, taking care of it might seem a bit daunting.
At Amy’s Eden, we know that, and we’re here to help.
We want your loved one to enjoy all the benefits a lovely dog can bring to their life. That’s why, apart from taking care of your senior, our compassionate caregivers can assist with the daily tasks associated with dog care.
Our loving professionals will gladly help your elderly adult with walking, feeding, and grooming their dog. This and more, all to ensure that both your senior and their dog receive the care and attention they deserve.
Both the expert caregivers at Amy’s Eden and your senior’s furry companions have something in common: we will team up to provide care, support, attention, and companionship to your beloved senior like earthly guardian angels.
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