18 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

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Dogs make great companions, and many different breeds would be perfect for seniors. Several studies have found that dogs can help seniors stay active and improve their overall health. So, it does help to have furry pets around as you age, and this article will help narrow your options

This list has something for everyone, from the small and low-maintenance Boston Terrier to the larger and more active Golden Retriever. If you're looking for a new best friend or want to learn more about dogs, keep reading to discover the best dog breeds for seniors.

1. French Bulldog

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French Bulldogs are an excellent option for seniors because they are relatively low maintenance. They don't need a lot of exercise and are content to lounge around the house. They are also small enough that they won't take up too much space in your home.

Also, French Bulldogs are very cheerful and fun to have around. As a senior, you'll appreciate having a dog who is always up for a cuddle or a game.

2. Boston Terrier

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Like French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers are small and low-maintenance. They don't require a lot of exercise and are content to curl up on the couch with you. They are also very affectionate and make great companions.

Boston Terriers don't need to have their coat cut or trimmed because they have a short coat, and it will never overgrow to a point where it needs some trimming. However, they do require some grooming.

Additionally, their short noses can make them susceptible to respiratory problems like Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), so it's essential to take them for regular check-ups at the vet.

3. Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers make great companions for seniors because they are active and love to play. They need adequate exercise, so if you're looking for a dog to help you stay active, this is the breed for you.

Golden Retrievers are also very intelligent and easily trained. They are good-natured dogs that get along well with people and other animals.

However, Golden Retrievers do require a lot of grooming. You need to brush their long coat regularly to prevent tangles and mats, and they also need to have their nails trimmed regularly.

4. Poodle

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Poodles are another great option for seniors. They come in three sizes (standard, miniature, and toy), so you can choose the size that best fits your needs.

Poodles are very intelligent and easily trained. They are also active dogs that need exercise every day; an hour of walking or fetching exercise should do. Poodles are content to live in a smaller space, like an apartment, as long as they get plenty of walks.

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5. Pug

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Pugs are voracious eaters who often overeat if given the opportunity, which can lead to weight gain, putting undue stress on their bodies. For this reason, you will have to monitor their food intake and ensure they get some exercise every day.

Pugs are also prone to several health problems from their erratic eating nature. Besides this, pugs are loving and make great companions for seniors.

6. Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are a small breed of dog that make great companions. They are very affectionate and love to be around people. You'd need to take them out for daily walks, and grooming is a must.

Shih Tzus have a long coat that needs to be brushed regularly, and they also need to have their nails trimmed and their teeth brushed. So, a Shih Tzu would be a great option if you're a senior with some time to spare for dog grooming.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs known for being very affectionate. They have a soft spot for everyone, including people they've never met. You can rest assured that this cutie will love up on you quicker than you imagine.

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This breed is perfect for seniors who live alone and are looking for companionship. They will provide you with an endless amount of love and affection.

8. Miniature Schnauzer

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Miniature Schnauzers are small to medium-sized breeds of dogs. They are known for being very intelligent and easily trained. Miniature Schnauzers need daily exercise, including games that require them to move and explore their surroundings.

As a senior pet parent, you will like that the Miniature Schnauzer learns quickly, is obedient, and protective. They will quickly become your best friend.

9. Basset Hound

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Basset hounds are one of the best dog breeds for seniors. They are a low-maintenance breed that is perfect for those who do not have the time or energy to care for a high-maintenance dog. Basset hounds are also known for being loyal and loving companion

Basset hounds are big dogs and won't mind long walks like their smaller counterparts, and they also enjoy lounging at home and keeping you company. If you don't mind their size, a basset hound could be the perfect dog for you.

10. Maltese

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Maltese dogs are another excellent breed for seniors. They are your typical lap dogs and enjoy being close to their owners. They are also low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for, except that they need regular professional grooming.

While Maltese dogs don't need a lot of exercises, they still enjoy taking short walks and playing. They are the perfect size for seniors who want a small dog that is easy to carry.

11. Chihuahua

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Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds, which makes them perfect for seniors who live in small apartments or homes. A Chihuahua is an excellent choice if you want a playful and loving companion but don't have a lot of space.

Chihuahuas are smart, easily trained, and good watchdogs. Whether you live alone or with other people, a Chihuahua will quickly bond with everyone.

12. Bichon Fris

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These furry friends are 12 to 18 inches tall and may be the perfect pet choice for you. They are easy-going and friendly, and their coats are hypoallergenic. This means you won't have to worry about your allergies acting up when you're around them.

Bichon Frise dogs will cost you a few bucks every month or two because you'll have to visit a groomer to keep their coat in check. But other than that, they are low-maintenance dogs that will provide you with companionship and unconditional love.

13. West Highland White Terrier

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This small breed is perfect if you want a dog that can go on long walks and hikes. Westies, as they are nicknamed, are full of energy and love to play. They are also very loyal and protective of their family.

Westies need some grooming but not as much as other breeds.

14. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Welsh Corgis are adorable pups and love to play. This breed may be perfect for you if you don't mind the extra shedding due to their double coats. They are also relatively easy to train and make great family dogs.

Because Corgis are more likely to gain weight, you'll need to ensure they get enough exercise. But other than that, Corgis are low-maintenance dogs.

15. Beagle

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This breed is one of the most family-friendly dogs you can find. They are gentle, loving, and love to play. Beagles are also relatively easy to train and make great family dogs.

They are also known for being escape artists, so if you live in a home with a fenced-in yard, this may not be the breed for you. But if you're up for the challenge, beagles are loving and loyal companions.

16. Havanese

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This small breed is perfect for those who want a lap dog. They are loving and affectionate and love to be close to their owners. They're also outgoing, intelligent, and love to meet new people, which makes them great family dogs

Due to their long coat, they must be groomed regularly (at least once a month). Besides this, they are low-maintenance and fun to have around.

17. Pomeranian

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Pomeranians are incredibly small, weighing 3-7 pounds, and they're perfect if you want a dog you can carry around. These pups are also very playful and aren't keen on taking long walks; they'd relax and cuddle with you on the couch.

Pomeranians do require some grooming to keep their coat from matting.

18. Lhasa Apso

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The Lhasa Apso is a small but sturdy dog breed that originates from Tibet. Bred as watchdogs, Lhasa Apsos are alert and responsive to their owner's needs. They make great companions for seniors due to their easy-going and affectionate nature.

Their hairs are long and require daily brushing or frequent visits to the groomer. You will also have to take it on daily walks, so be sure you're up for the task before bringing one home.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the best dog breed for seniors can be daunting, but we hope this comprehensive list helps you narrow it down. Now that you know a little more about the best dog breeds for seniors, it's time to choose the right one for your lifestyle and needs.

Consider breeds like the Pomeranian, Havanese, or Maltese if you're looking for a low-maintenance and small lap dog. The Golden Retriever or Basset Hounds might be a good fit if you want a big dog.

And, if you're looking for a loyal and loving companion, any one of these breeds would make a great addition to your family.

Jude Uchella
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Jude Uchella is a health and wellness advocate and founder of Health Makes You, a reliable resource for comprehensive answers to health-related questions/challenges. He is supported by a team of professionals (a doctor, an anatomist, and a fitness trainer) who contribute and fact-check content on the website.