Dogs are often called man’s best friend – and the title is well-deserved. Owning a dog can bring you meaningful companionship and comfort, as well as a multitude of health benefits in older age. Because of their loyalty and constant company, dogs can have a calming and comforting effect on their owner that helps reduce stress and anxiety levels. Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure levels than non-owners and have a higher tendency to pursue and enjoy physical activity. Getting a dog is a big commitment, so the breed you choose should be the perfect match for your lifestyle and daily habits. Dogs come in thousands of shapes, sizes, and personalities, so here is a list of the best dogs for seniors to help narrow down your search for the perfect pup.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Longevity: 12-15 Years
Fluffy, bright white, and no more than 12 pounds, Bichon Frise dogs are adorable additions to the family. These low maintenance dogs have hypoallergenic, non-shedding fur, so you won’t have to constantly worry about grooming. Generally a healthy breed, Bichon Frise only need half an hour of exercise daily, but have no problem going on long or highly active strolls. The lively breed loves to socialize, so they’ll be happiest around big families and other pets.

Pug

Pug

Longevity: 12-15 Years
Pugs are the perfect pup for anyone with more than enough leisure time on their hands. These little companions have big personalities and love spending time with their owners. Pugs can suffer breathing issues due to their indented face shape, so it’s important that they do not overheat or overwork themselves. Walking for thirty minutes each day is just the right amount of exercise. Pugs rarely grow over 12 inches, but don’t let their small size fool you! These chubby pups can weigh anywhere between 13 and 17 pounds.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Longevity: 11-13 Years
Known as apartment dwellers, Boston Terrier dogs are quiet, low maintenance pets who love to please their owner and be the best companion ever. Boston Terriers adapt well to any environment and can easily be trained, so they’re a practical pet for first-time dog owners. Their calm nature should not be underestimated, however, as their alertness and a keen sense of hearing make them effective guard dogs. Their affectionate personalities make them a great contender for those with grandchildren, even young ones like toddlers.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Longevity: 12-15 Years
Standing just over a foot tall, Italian Greyhounds are skinny little pups who are affectionate and loveable. Because they’re hounds at heart, Italian Greyhounds love to run around and need an hour’s worth of exercise a day. The healthy breed should be exercised in a controlled setting or under close observation, as their thin limbs are prone to break easily. Even with a high energy level, their inherent friendliness makes them safe to have around small children and the elderly. It may take a little longer for these hounds to connect with their owners and other humans, but with enough bonding and quality time, they can be one of the best companions.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Longevity: 6-8 Years
Just like the Boston Terrier, the Bernese Mountain Dog is affectionate and wants to be the best companion they can. With a protective nature, these good-natured pups can be reliable guard dogs for the home and protectors for children. Their silky fur is perfect for cuddles but requires daily grooming to remain shiny and untangled. They are also on the larger side –– growing up to 2 feet and weighing nearly 100 pounds –– so they need an hour of exercise per day. Although they need some extra attention, Bernese Mountain dogs are the perfect match for seniors who like to cuddle up with their pup every day.

Smooth-Haired Dachshund

Smooth-Haired Dachshund

Longevity: 12-16 Years
Known famously as “wiener dogs,” Dachshunds are tiny but adventurous. They are a curious breed who loves to run around, play fetch, and dig for treasure. Their smooth coat and short bodies make them adaptable to any living situation and family size, though they love having open space to run freely and an owner who enjoys playtime. Their playfulness may be overwhelming at times, so Dachshunds are best for seniors with patience and free time to train them well.

Maltese Poodle

Maltese Poodle

Longevity: 11-14 Years
A crossbreed between a Maltese and a Miniature Poodle, “Maltipoo” dogs are the best of both worlds. Their Maltese side makes them charismatic and social, and their Poodle side makes them easily trainable and intelligent. Maltipoos are hypoallergenic, never shed, and only need around thirty minutes of exercise each day. These fluffy little guys quickly get attached to their new family and may suffer separation anxiety, so an owner with lots of leisure time is ideal.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Longevity: 10-14 Years
Labrador retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds in the world, and rightfully so. They have a warm and welcoming demeanor and can work well with anyone, whether they’re dealing with small toddlers or elderly citizens. Because they are cheerful, well-tempered, and gentle, Labs can be one of the best breeds for those in need of emotional support. But their big size and athletic build mean they need a substantial amount of exercise throughout the day.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Longevity: 9-14 Years
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be a toy dog, but they love to explore and get active whenever they can. They are best suited for seniors who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or long walks. These shaggy friends enjoy 45 minutes of exercise a day and nutritious meals to keep them fit. When they’re not wired up, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are typically calm-natured and very friendly. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train and easy to communicate with, too.

Beagle

Beagle

Longevity: 12-15 Years
Beagles are small, sturdy, and love to use their strong sense of smell to run around and hunt. As pack dogs, Beagles love to be in the company of other dogs and people. They can be very independent, so they’ll need a patient owner and a creative training environment. With a tendency for silliness and happy nature, Beagles can provide great companionship and unparalleled loyalty.

Want More Pet Options?

Check out this article where we list some of the best pets for seniors and this post where we list some of the best cats for seniors!

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