Tips for Choosing Which Dogs Are Ideal for Seniors

Elderly woman with an elderly dog

Nothing compares to the unconditional love of a dog. Living in a retirement community doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog to come home to, but how do you choose your next canine companion?

It may be tempting to choose the cutest dog you see at the animal shelter or go with a breed you used to have. However, with lower energy and limited mobility, seniors have new considerations to take into account when choosing their furry friends.

Choose the Right Dog for a Senior Lifestyle

Owning a dog comes with mental, emotional, and physical benefits for seniors. Dogs offer consistent friendship and encourage seniors to walk more. However, no two dogs are exactly alike, and some are much better suited for older individuals.

Here are three things to consider when choosing a dog for seniors.

Age

Few things are cuter than a fuzzy little puppy, but owning a puppy comes with lots of responsibilities. Puppies are high-energy and need to be trained for home living. You can expect a lot of chewing, accidents, and jumping as they grow up. For those reasons, puppies demand more attention than most seniors can provide.

Older dogs are a much better match to the lifestyles of older individuals. Adult dogs, especially senior dogs, are already mellowed out. Most older dogs have already been trained, eliminating that chore from your life.

Size

Maybe you’ve owned labradors or Great Danes your whole life. You might just prefer larger breeds. Unfortunately, bigger dogs become a lot harder to manage as you age. Sometimes larger dogs can knock seniors over, making them potentially dangerous.

Smaller breeds, like pugs or terriers, are easier to control and even pick up. You can also comfortably sit with your companion in your lap as you watch tv or read.

Temperament

Different breeds have different temperaments, so elders need to take care to choose the breed that best fits their energy level. Some high-energy breeds like border collies, shepherds, and other herding and sporting dogs may require more play time than you’re able to provide.

Slower breeds, like bulldogs, schnauzers, and chins are excellent companions for older adults.

Dogs are Welcome at Cambridge Village of Apex

Make sure to spend lots of time with any dog you are considering before you buy. Even within one breed, every dog has their own distinct personality. Find the one that best meshes with you. Go on test walks and take the time to play with your next friend before you bring them home.

Living with your canine companion is just one of the things that make Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina, feel like home. Request a brochure or contact us at (919) 363-2080 to learn more about what makes Cambridge Village a great place to live.

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