If an elderly person has a dog as a pet, it has enormous benefits for their physical and mental health. Dogs and seniors complement each other perfectly. But before rushing into the search for dogs for the elderly, you should evaluate what breed and characteristics of dog are the most appropriate according to the capabilities of the elderly person who will take care of the new pet.
To help you in this important decision, from Las Almenas we have prepared this article for you to know the main benefits and a list of the best dog breeds for senior citizens.
Benefits of dogs for senior citizens
Living with a dog is always a positive experience for people. Even more so in the case of elderly people who live alone and have a lot of free time. It is then when having a dog means always having the company of a great friend, avoiding the feeling of loneliness.
Since dogs have the need to walk several times a day, it forces their owner to go outdoors, thus forcing socialization, mobility and exercise, which is very important and beneficial for their physical and mental health.
Outdoor walks are not only a plus of exercise, but also help to improve lung capacity and prevent diseases and joint problems, such as osteoarthritis.
In addition, exercise releases endorphins, the so-called “happiness hormones”. With this dose of well-being, the person moves away from feelings of sadness and anguish.
But socialization does not only take place in the street. Having a dog at home to pet, pamper and care for is also an act of socialization. In addition, having the responsibility of caring for it makes the elderly person feel useful and valuable, which increases their self-esteem.
And since the elderly do not have a job and have a lot of patience, they can use all their time to care for their pet without stress or strain.
But dogs also benefit from their coexistence with the elderly, since they tend to spend more time at home, playing and being pampered by their human friends.
Dogs for elderly people, what should you take into account?
The first thing to do is to make sure that the dog is not going to be a burden, but an incentive. Therefore, the elderly person must have enough conditions and strength to be able to take care of a dog.
Remember that dogs for elderly people will be able to share their owners’ hobbies, such as watching TV, but it will also be necessary to take them for daily walks several times to relieve themselves, exercise and socialize with other dogs.
It is also necessary for the elderly person to have sufficient financial resources to afford proper veterinary care, quality food, etc.
In addition, he/she should be aware of when it is time for the dog’s vaccinations and routine check-ups.
How dogs for senior citizens should look like
Now that you know the many benefits of dogs for senior citizens, it is time to know what essential characteristics these dogs must have in order to be suitable for the life of senior citizens. Because not all dogs and breeds are suitable as a life companion for the elderly. You have to make sure that the dog you choose is compatible with the lifestyle of its new owner.
From Las Almenas we give you some clues about the most advisable characteristics:
- Dogs that do not require a lot of cleaning.
Since, at certain ages, you no longer have the vitality and strength to bathe your dog daily and control it, it is advisable to get dogs that do not require so many baths. You will have to take into account the following hair care:
-If it has a single layer of long hair you will find that they do not shed much hair around the house. However, you will have to brush it regularly to avoid knots or tangles.
-On the other hand, if it is a dog with two layers of long hair, you will have to brush it quite often if you don’t want to have a house full of hair.
If you want to know which are the dog breeds that shed less hair, read this article.
- Healthy dogs
All dogs deserve the care and pampering of their owners, but when choosing dogs for older people it is more appropriate that they are healthy and without health problems. Older people already have enough to do with going to their doctors and taking care of themselves, without having to carry a dog that needs special care and continuous visits to the veterinarian.
Therefore, it is best that the dog you choose is free of chronic diseases. To make sure of this, it is advisable to acquire it in legal breeders. In Las Almenas you will be able to meet the parents of the puppy you will take with you. Responsible breeders can guarantee that both parents and puppies are free of congenital diseases.
- Socialized dogs
This is a very important point when choosing dogs for senior citizens. Well socialized dogs get along well with other dogs and people, that is, they do not bark, attack, growl or bite. They are dogs that are not afraid or frightened by new stimuli or loud and strange noises (cars, thunderstorms, firecrackers, elevator, …).
Again, to make sure that you take home a socialized dog, without traumas or negative experiences that have affected its character, the safest thing to do is to acquire it in a legal breeder.
In Las Almenas we try to socialize our puppies from the first weeks of life by interacting them with other litters, animals, people and environments in our breeder in Asturias. In addition, we do not give any puppy before the age of two months so that weaning has occurred naturally and is not traumatic for the puppy.
- Educated or trained dogs
In order for the dog not to destroy the house or the objects it finds around it, you will have to educate it or acquire it once it has been trained. It is essential that dogs for older people at least obey basic commands (come, stay, sit).
Dog training also ensures that you get a dog that does not pull on the leash, which is very important, as a sudden tug can cause accidents or injuries to elderly people.
In this case it may be more advisable to acquire an adult dog over 3 years old, but there are also puppies that well educated and socialized are ideal for living with older people and they are adorable!
- Dogs with moderate activity
There are some breeds that need to move and exercise more vigorously than others. In this case, dogs for seniors should not demand so much exercise and should also be quite “homely”. If you want to know which breeds are the calmest, we invite you to read “What are the small and calm dog breeds?”
- Small or medium-sized dogs
Medium, small or mini-sized dogs are perfect for the elderly and senior citizens. Why? Well, because they are dogs that do not need intense physical activity and are better controlled than large dogs, with less risk of falls or accidents. In addition, small dogs are more economical, in terms of food, and pose fewer problems when it comes to accessing stores or public transport with them.
Dogs for the elderly: Dog breeds for senior citizens
Taking into account the characteristics we have mentioned, from Las Almenas we would like to make a review of those dog breeds for senior people that are more suitable:
- Bichon Maltese
It is one of the most suitable dogs for senior citizens because it is very sociable and obedient. Besides, it has a protective instinct, so it warns when strangers approach. Being a toy or mini size dog, it can be in any type of home, no matter how small it may be.
In addition, the Maltese is one of the breeds considered hypoallergenic, as it does not shed much hair, which is ideal for people with allergies or simply to prevent the house from having to be constantly cleaned.
If you want to know more about this breed, we invite you to read our “Complete Guide to the Bichon Maltese Dog Breed” (https://almenas.es/guia-completa-sobre-la-raza-de-perro-bichon-maltes/).
- Boston Terrier
This dog breed is known for being very friendly and also small in size. They require physical activity on a daily basis, which will force you to go out several times a day. The good thing is that they are also very easy to maintain, hygiene-wise. With frequent brushing, you can avoid a lot of baths.
Everyone knows the calm, quiet and sociable behavior of this breed of dog, ideal both for adults and for homes with children.
In spite of their curly coat, they hardly shed hair, so they could also be considered as a hypoallergenic breed. If you want to know all the details of this breed, do not miss our complete guide of poodle (https://almenas.es/criadero-de-caniche-guia-completa/) and red toy poodle (https://almenas.es/caniche-toy-rojo-un-perro-muy-especial/), undoubtedly a very special breed!
This is the smallest of them all. Its miniature size means you can take it everywhere. Being so small, many people overindulge these pets and do not let them socialize properly, so it is easy for them to develop phobias towards larger dogs, people and objects in their environment.
However, they are very intelligent dogs that are always alert and can scare away strangers with their barking, which gives some security to their older owners.
Among the dogs for older people, this is another mini breed, also very cheerful and friendly. However, it is also quite territorial and is always ready to raise the alarm if it hears strange noises or sees strangers approaching.
Another point in its favor is its coat. It does not grow longer than a certain size, so it does not need grooming, although it does shed more hair than other breeds we have already mentioned.
If you think this breed is suitable to share experiences with older people, this article is of interest to you: Pomeranian dog breed, what should you know?
Are you having trouble deciding on the most suitable breed for you?
If you are looking for dogs for senior citizens and you can’t make up your mind, ask us and let us know what you need.
In our toy or mini breed breeder in Las Almenas we can assure you the acquisition of healthy and socialized puppies. But we also have to make sure that the new family is the right one for each of our puppies. That’s why we can advise you and help you find the right puppy for you and your family.
And when it arrives in its new home, we will continue to look after its welfare by providing advice and useful information to help you take the best possible care of your dog.
What breeds of dogs for senior citizens do you like the most? Do you have any questions or advice you would like to give us? Here below you have your space to comment or ask anything you need or if you prefer you can do it through our profiles on Facebook , Instagram or on our YouTube channel of Las Almenas. Don’t hesitate! Here you have all the Almenas family ready to help you in everything you need.