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The Best Dog Breeds For Young and Older Seniors

seniors walking their dog surrounded by trees during fall

A canine companion can be a wonderful addition to your retirement lifestyle. You likely have more free time than ever to devote to caring for and training a four-legged friend, and you’ll almost surely  discover the health benefits many researchers believe are associated with owning a pet.

Some dogs are more likely to match your needs better than others. Before you consider the best dog breeds for seniors, it’s a good idea to evaluate your lifestyle and how you envision a dog fitting into it.

Temperament: Are you more laid-back or always on the go? If you’re active and enjoy plenty of physical activity, a high-energy dog may be a great fit because you can exercise and explore together. If you prefer a more sedate pace of life, breeds with lower energy levels and exercise needs may be a better fit. 

Age: There are pros and cons associated with dogs at each stage of life. A cute, cuddly puppy requires lots of energy and patience to train. An adult dog is more likely to be housebroken but may have some bad habits that require correction. A mellow senior may be the perfect companion dog, although like humans, health problems are more prevalent with age.

Lifespan: One other consideration is the dog’s lifespan. Smaller dogs can live up to 15 years, so you may want to consider where your dog could live if you can no longer care for it.

Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

If you don’t already have your heart set on a certain dog, consider one of these commonly recommended best dog breeds for seniors:

  1. Bichon Frise: Fluffy and friendly, this is a small breed (7 to 12 pounds) that is generally easy to train and good with other dogs and people, making it one of the best dog breeds for seniors living in a retirement community. Monthly grooming is recommended. 
  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Affectionate and open to strangers, this is an only slightly larger breed (13 to 18 pounds), making it one of the best dogs for seniors. You can expect regular brushing to keep the coat free from snarls and periodic grooming, but otherwise this is a relatively low-maintenance dog. 
  1. French Bulldog: Although relatively small at just 11 to 13 inches tall, this high-energy dog is on the stout side weighing in at 19 to 28 pounds. Moderate exercise is usually adequate. The French Bulldog is highly adaptable, generally eager to please, requires minimal grooming, and doesn’t bark excessively.
  1. Greyhound: You may recognize this breed as a competitive racer, but it’s also a great pet. While they enjoy regular exercise (preferably where they can let loose and run), they’re equally happy relaxing at home. Grooming needs are minimal, and you’ll appreciate the affection, but remember this is a significantly larger breed that weighs in around 65 pounds.
  1. Shih Tzu: Rounding out the list of best dog breeds for seniors is this petite pooch that is just 9 to 16 pounds when full grown. With moderate energy levels and being more trainable than some smaller breeds, this is a good choice for an owner who doesn’t mind a little extra grooming to keep the dog’s coat in top condition.

A Home for Fido

At The Moorings at Lewes, we consider our four-legged residents part of the family, and we prove it with on-site amenities like our Bark Park. This secure fenced area where dogs and their owners can socialize and enjoy an afternoon in the sun is just one way our pet-friendly senior living community welcomes well-behaved animals to make their home with us.

The surrounding Lewes, Delaware, community is equally pet-friendly. You’ll find numerous restaurants that welcome leashed pets, some of the beaches offer dog-friendly hours, and you’ll discover miles of park and nature trails to walk with your dog. There’s even a darling pet boutique downtown, where you can find unique supplies and extras to spoil your pooch.

Make plans to visit The Moorings, check out the Bark Park, and discover the independent living options that will make you and your pup feel right at home.

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