|Being a dog owner also requires a lot of work that sometimes older people cannot do. / Photo by: SeventyFour via Shutterstock|
Dogs come in different shapes and sizes, with various temperaments to boot. This will also mean that there is probably one breed of canine that will probably be a perfect fit for everyone in the family and another that will satisfy a specific need. For instance, some people can only keep a low-maintenance dog because of their health condition, and fortunately, there are certain breeds that fit such a requirement.
Adopting a dog can bring a ton of health benefits but it could prove to be problematic if one is not ready for the added responsibility of taking care of it. For senior adults who will benefit from the companionship that a dog provides, there are also a lot of things that they have to consider before getting one.
Before Adopting a Dog
A dog can be a loving companion and an exercise partner that can encourage us to achieve a healthier lifestyle with their eagerness to go on long hikes. However, being a dog owner also requires a lot of work that sometimes older people cannot do. In an article published by Life Hacker, an online portal that provides helpful life advice, they mentioned that training and caring for a pup requires money and time, thus getting one is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
When you prefer a younger and more active dog, you must keep in mind that puppies are about 20 times more difficult to take care of in their first 1 to 2 years. If the pet owner doesn’t spend enough time with them, they can develop an aggressive or destructive behavior such as gnawing on shoes or barking endlessly.
Caring for Their Health
Most senior-aged people will have some health problems, and having a dog also means that they also have to take care of their pet’s health. A pet owners’ responsibility includes taking their dog to the veterinarian regularly, which means they’d have to allot time and money for this, to make sure that their pet will have a healthy and long life. If you’re planning to gift your grandparent a dog to keep them company, make sure that they are capable of taking care of the animal.
Regularly walking them is another way of keeping dogs healthy and active. There are some places where leash laws are strictly enforced. When walking in an open space, a senior adult might have difficulty in handling their pets in public. Dogs will run around and play with other canines, and they can prove to be a handful for an old person. If this is the case, they may have to pay for a dog walker, which is will be an additional expense.
|Regularly walking them is another way of keeping dogs healthy and active. / Photo by: Africa Studio via Shutterstock|
Best Dogs for Seniors
Once all of the abovementioned issues have been considered and a dog is really needed for a senior person, here are the most appropriate breeds of dogs for them.
Who doesn’t want a fluffy dog around? This breed is joyful and affectionate that it can be an excellent companion for people of different ages. The Bichon Frise has an average weight of between 7 and 12 pounds. This small breed is easier to handle for senior adults since they are also relatively simple to train. However, they might require grooming periodically, although they are fairly low-maintenance. Most Bichon owners prefer to take their pets to a professional groomer every month or two. They usually need moderate daily exercise to keep themselves healthy and happy.
A member of the Bichon family, the Bolognese is also an excellent breed of dog for the elderly as it doesn’t shed too much despite having a plush fur. It is also known for its calm and quiet nature, which makes it the best pet to have if one lives in an apartment or other small spaces.
Known as the “Lion Dog,” the Shih Tzu is ideal for the elderly because of its loyal and friendly personality. Better Be, an online lifestyle magazine, said in an article that this dog is perfect for senior adults who are feeling lonely but are not fond of over-clingy pets. It only needs very little exercise, and it only snuggles when its owner is on the couch.
Even if this breed is small, the Shih Tzu is an excellent guard dog since it will bark when it senses an intruder. It is also quite energetic and loves playtime and exploring. The dog also thrives when in a pair.
|The Shih Tzu is ideal for the elderly because of its loyal and friendly personality. / Photo by: Angel Sallade via Shutterstock|
This dog breed has been hailed as the “best boi” of the internet. Play Bark Run, a website that provides tips and guides about taking care of dogs, mentioned that Golden Retrievers becomes your new best friend the moment you meet. Senior adults will surely love them because of their humor, personality, and joy for adventure.
This is a hybrid of two popular and affectionate dog breeds, the poodle and Golden Retriever. It is also a good choice when you need to be active as they require daily exercise.
Anyone of these dog breeds will be a good companion for senior citizens and is sure to return the love and attention they receive.