Owning a dog is a big commitment. But for seniors looking to get a pup, this can turn out to be a wonderful experience. Dogs are a man’s best friend, after all! It is just a matter of choosing the best dogs for seniors to ensure the right match for their needs.
The best dogs for seniors include the sweet and intelligent Maltese, the low-maintenance Shih Tzu, and the mild-tempered Boston Terrier. There are many more breeds that work well with a senior, all of them possessing outstanding qualities anyone would love.
So, let’s get the ball rolling with our list of the 31 best dogs for seniors. Here are the popular options and why they are great for elderly folks.
And lastly, we have the mellow Maltese. These irresistible canines are famous for their immaculate white, wavy coats covering their tiny 4-pound bodies. With their petite build, they should be fine with only minimal exercise.
Maltese is highly trainable. They are intelligent canines that have a fancy for pleasing their owners. These dogs can easily learn tricks and obedience training too!
30. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are versatile canines that can do well in any type of environment. A short walk or a romp in the yard will suffice to keep them content. This is why they are a great pet for seniors living alone or with other pets in the house.
Although they have long hair, these dogs are low-maintenance. In fact, they do not shed as much. They also require a monthly grooming routine, which should not be too much work for their owner.
29. Yorkshire Terrier
Thanks to their small stature, Yorkies are a good fit for seniors living in apartments or smaller spaces. These tiny dogs are light and tiny, making them easy to care for. Ample attention and cuddling are all it takes to keep them happy and content.
Seniors with allergies yet can’t resist dogs will find Yorkies their ideal pet. Why? Because these canines don’t shed as much! So, that also makes grooming easy and stress-free.
28. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are gorgeous dogs famous for their floor-length lustrous coats. But for seniors who prefer low-maintenance pets, it’s absolutely possible to cut this dog’s hair short. This eliminates weekly grooming sessions, making it cheaper and easier to own this pooch.
These pups are also independent creatures. They can easily entertain themselves and hardly bark at all. No wonder they’re commonly regarded as therapy dogs. These are your smart, mellow, and trainable pups – a must for canine-loving seniors.
27. Golden Retriever
Goldens are giant sweethearts. They are affectionate and loyal, which makes them so easy to care for. Seniors looking for a pet are sure to quickly fall in love with this four-legged darling.
But one thing to note about these large dogs – they require regular exercise. So, if you like to stay active, this energetic fellow is a great match for you. This is the kind of dog that you can take hiking, biking, or long walks.
A born charmer, Pugs are quite suitable for seniors. In fact, all these babies want is to shower their owners with lots of love and affection. They can be little clowns, too, so expected loads of fun and laughter with this comic fellow.
For seniors who do not exercise as much, a Pug is the best bet. They are happiest just being snuggled up with their favorite humans. As a bonus, they don’t bark too often, making them excellent for apartment living.
Do not be deceived by the size of this pooch – Greyhounds are actually one of the most low-maintenance dogs there are. They are versatile creatures, so they can be okay with running around or lounging for hours on end.
Seniors will love how easy it is to groom these canines. Their coats are short and barely shed, so that cuts down the time and money spent at the groomer.
24. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is an adorable fluff ball that seniors will love to own. These tiny dogs are famous for their soft and cushy white coat, which surprisingly does not shed. So, allergy sufferers will have no problem having this sweet pup around.
A daily short walk should suffice for their exercise. This is great for the elderly in an apartment who has no access to a large, fenced yard. And of course, Bichons are one of the quietest, most mellow dogs. Being around this beauty is a wonderful treat!
23. Miniature Schnauzer
Weighing an average of 11 pounds, the Miniature Schnauzer is a relatively small dog. They’re easy to tag along on trips or when you need a companion around town. These canines are also quite mellow, so they are a breeze to deal with.
Active seniors who like an energetic pooch will adore this breed. A game of frisbee or brisk walks suffice to make this pup happy. They also shed minimally, which makes grooming and maintenance easy-peasy.
22. Labrador Retriever
Another large dog breed, Labrador Retriever are popular therapy dogs. With their friendly disposition and affectionate nature, they are comforting for seniors who suffer from anxiety. Just by being around these sweet pups can make your day much lighter.
Labs, however, require plenty of exercise. Although they enjoy cuddling, they need daily walks and playtime to maintain their well-balanced personality. Thus, they are a great companion for moderately active elderly folks.
Intelligent and gentle, Poodles are so easy to love. They are a fantastic match for seniors who look for a nurturing and mild-tempered pup. These dogs are also easy to please. Just a few minutes of an invigorating stroll should suffice for these fellows.
Keep in mind that Poodles need monthly grooming sessions to keep their curly coats under control. Thankfully, they are non-shedding dogs. So, it should not be an issue for seniors with allergies to own this gorgeous breed.
20. Scottish Terrier
Elderly folks in a living community will find the Scottish Terrier a great pet to have. They are smart and sensible dogs, which makes training easy – even for first-time owners. These are spirited canines that need physical activity regularly.
One thing to remember about the Scottish Terrier – they don’t do well with smaller animals in the house. These pooches love to chase creatures smaller than themselves. So, be sure to keep mini-sized pets in the house out of these canines’ sight.
Seniors who want to get more motivation to exercise will find what they need from an Otterhound. They are active, large dog breeds that enjoy the outdoors and adventures… Especially anything involving the water! So, if you like swimming just as much, this pooch is a great buddy for you.
These are not hypoallergenic dogs, though. But fortunately, they do not shed much. Brushing and grooming are also kept at a moderate. Otterhounds are easy and hassle-free to maintain, without a doubt.
Beagles are a fine fit for active seniors who live in a larger space with a roomy, fenced yard. These dogs adore chasing, running, and anything involving the great outdoors. They are your four-legged companions for your hikes, walks on the beach, and the like.
As they are naturally social creatures, you will have no problem getting along well with a Beagle. They also love to cuddle, so you can snuggle up with this pooch after an active day outdoors.
Havanese dogs get easily attached to their owners. This is why they are well-suited for seniors who don’t have to leave their pets in the house for too long. Otherwise, these dogs may suffer from depression and separation anxiety.
When at their best, Havanese pups are fun-loving creatures. They are highly social and enjoy being with humans. Give them plenty of attention, and you can expect a huge amount of love coming your way from these little darlings.
16. Cocker Spaniel
Another dog breed for seniors is the Cocker Spaniel. They easily rank as one of the best canines for the elderly. These dogs are easy to train and relatively low-maintenance. Simple regular walks should keep them happy and content.
They do have long coats, though. This means that you need to stay on top of the daily brushing to prevent tangles. But other than that, maintenance of this pet should be an easy task. Their golden personality, adorable disposition, and good looks make Cocker Spaniels absolutely irresistible.
Loyal and caring, Shar-Peis are protective of their owners. They are great for elderly folks who live in suburban or living communities. These dogs are generally docile, which makes it easy to get along with them.
However, they do need their regular short walks. A quick walk around the neighborhood should keep them content. This should also give owners some opportunity to stay healthy by being engaged in light, yet invigorating walks.
For senior folks who plan on staying active during their golden years, a Schipperke is a great companion to have. This fox-like cutie is a bundle of energy, yet never overbearing. They are curious and always eager for fun and games with their owner.
Because Schipperkes are fairly small, they are suitable for modest-space homes. These pups are also easy to care for – definitely ticks all the boxes as the best dogs for seniors.
13. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Corgis are one of the most loyal dogs an owner could ever have.These lovable canines are short but a bit on the heavy side, averaging 30 pounds. Seniors will love taking this joyful fellow for easy hikes and walks. After all, this dog breed is always up for anything!
Although they are big, Corgis never pass up an opportunity to cuddle. They may sometimes act like a lap dog, which is interesting considering their size. But they are without a doubt very sweet and affectionate.
Another stubby-legged pooch, the Dachshund is a keeper for seniors. They are originally bred to hunt but they don’t mind cuddling up with their favorite human for hours. No wonder seniors looking for a pet love having this weiner dog around.
Most importantly, this canine is quite easy to maintain. They have short, smooth hair that hardly ever sheds. Grooming should never be an issue with these adorable fellows.
11. West Highland White Terrier
Westies are picture-perfect small dogs known for their long, wavy white coats. They usually weigh up to 15 pounds and stand about a foot tall. Their compact size makes them excellent for seniors living in small apartments.
Despite their tiny frame, however, these dogs need some exercise. An easy stroll should suffice for their daily exercise. And after a romp around the house, they should be ready for cuddle time while watching TV with you.
10. Basset Hound
If your idea of owning a dog does not involve active outdoor adventures, then the Basset Hound is what you are looking for. They have low energy levels, making them a perfect option for seniors. However, these dogs can be prone to weight gain, so some minimal activities can help to prevent them from becoming obese.
Basset Hounds are mellow and gentle creatures. They may not exactly be your compact pooch but they make excellent cuddling buddies. These floppy-eared fellows would not mind spending lazy afternoons at the porch with their beloved human.
Bolognese dogs are from the Bichon family, which explains the fluffy white coat. They are a little bigger than their cousins, though. Yet, they are still compact enough to fit in an apartment.
Seniors will adore these friendly and social dogs. They are easy to train, which takes the load off your shoulders in keeping them in line. Need a cuddle companion? This canine is up for that, too!
8. Chinese Crested
Less-than-active elderly folks will find the Chinese Crested an ideal pet for them. These dogs have a low energy level and quite mellow. But they still love fun and games, as long as these are anything but rowdy.
Chinese Crested are noted for their unique appearance. They barely have any hair on their body with only a few strands on their heads. So, it is best to keep them cozy with warm clothes or your snug hug!
7. Japanese Chin
Historically, Japanese Chins are beloved pets of nobles in Japan. Now, they are one of the best dogs for seniors who prefer a sweet and loving lap dog. They are content just sitting with their owners as these dogs are naturally bred as companion canines.
Do not be misled by their dense coats, though. Despite the luxurious hair, these pups do not need daily grooming. A once-per-week brushing should suffice to keep their coat under control. Moreover, they shed minimally, which is another plus point for this dog.
6. French Bulldog
Elderly people who prefer a low-energy and compact dog will love the French Bulldog. Fondly called a “Frenchie”, this breed is a cuddlebug lap dog. They like to sit on your lap or next to you as you have tea on the porch or watch TV.
But there is a silly comedian deep inside the mellow surface. Frenchies love to entertain their owners and will get you giggling. No doubt that they make your day light and easy!
5. Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffons were originally bred as hunting dogs. But nowadays, this small dog breed has evolved into an affectionate lap dog. They also prefer adults over active kids, which is why seniors can easily fall in love with their demeanor.
Training a Brussels Griffon is relatively easy and simple. They are eager to please their owners, so it should not take long to get them to follow basic commands.
Pomeranians are energetic furballs that are under a foot tall. They are a bit high-strung and love physical activities. These canines are also barkers, which makes them more suitable for elderly folks living at a home.
Even with an abundance of fur, these dogs need just moderate maintenance. Brushing their hair a couple of times a week is more than enough. That should be a manageable task for any senior looking to own this adorable, comical tiny pooch.
3. Boston Terrier
A real darling, the Boston Terrier is quite a breeze to care for – especially for seniors. They are silent dogs that love lounging around. This is why they are a good fit for elderly people in assisted living apartments.
Bostons are hassle-free pets. They only need an occasional bath and very minimal grooming. And best of all, they are affectionate and goofy creatures. You can expect rounds of fun and laughter with this fellow.
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Another cuddlebug, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an outstanding fit for seniors. This affectionate creature never hesitates to give you plenty of kisses. Plus, they are naturally smart, which makes training a breeze with these pups.
Regular exercise is a must for this pooch. A leisurely stroll in the park or the yard should suffice – a good excuse for owners to get their exercise in for the day too!
Chihuahuas are a perfect pooch for seniors. With their thin, short, and low-maintenance coats, grooming is the least of any owner’s concerns. Not quite an active fellow? That’s not a problem with this canine, a breed which requires minimal exercise.
Do note that Chihuahuas thrive in warmer climates. But if you live in a cooler environment, a cozy sweater should keep this adorable fellow nice and comfy. And since they love to cuddle, they’re great for snuggling with while you watch TV.
What Is The Best Pet For A Senior Citizen? Dogs are by far the best pets for a senior citizen. These animals are trainable, loyal and intelligent creatures. When choosing a dog for an elderly person, be sure to consider certain factors including the pup’s energy level, size & build, as well as ease of maintenance. Opt for a low-maintenance dog with a reasonable size to fit in the owner’s place of residence.
Does A Male Or Female Dog Make A Better Pet? There is no major difference in owning a male or a female dog. It is all a matter or personal preference. The most important thing is that certain qualities are in place when choosing a pet canine such as trainability, shedding level, personality, and hereditary ailments.
Is 70 Too Old To Get A Dog? No one can ever be too old to get a dog. However, it is best to choose a dog that is easy to care for and maintain. A puppy may not be quite easy for a senior to care for since this young fellow will need more intensive training, exercise, and basically harder to maintain than an adult dog.