Looking for a furry best friend? Of course, you can always find it in dogs. For seniors, finding a dog for a companion to help them enjoy their golden years can be a great experience. Finding the best dog involves research because you have to take into account, your needs and caring capabilities. Trying to look for a dog for companionship? Then this guide is for you. Whether you are helping your loved one to find a furry best friend or you are the senior looking for a dog for a companion, we present you the tips on what to consider when choosing the best dogs for a companion. Happy reading.
What are the Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Dog Breed for Companion?
Finding a dog is a process and involves a big decision to make as the potential owner. The best dogs you can find for a senior depends on your health and preferences. Some seniors prefer small dog breeds while others prefer larger ones. It is important to consider your situation before deciding on the best dog breed that suits you. Consider the following:
- The Living Situation at Home. What is the living situation at your home? Do you live in assisted living community? Are dogs allowed in the community? Find out. Do you have a personal yard or outdoor space where your dog can exercise?
- Consider Your Finances. Dog breeds vary in price. Some dogs are prone to developing health issues, which can be costly.
- Think About Your Lifestyle. Your lifestyle matters a lot when deciding the best dog breed that suits you. Does your lifestyle capable of providing the support system a dog will need?
- The Energy Level of the Dog. Some breeds are more energetic than others. Planning to stay on a country farm? Then, an Australian shepherd will be suitable for you. Living in a smaller apartment? Consider less energetic dogs, like Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and Pug.
- The Energy Levels of the Senior Citizen. Are you energetic enough to care for your dog? Because some breeds are more active than others, they will require to exercise more often.
- Size of the Dog. Again, where you live matters when it comes to the size of the dog you want. Smaller dogs are suitable for elderly persons living in apartments or care facilities. Small dogs that can easily fit in your lap are more suitable than bigger ones. Besides, smaller dogs are portable and can easily take a bath in a sink. Note that smaller dogs require a lot of maintenance than larger ones. So, if you are looking for a breed that requires less maintenance, then you better opt for larger dogs.
- Age of the Dog. For a senior, older dogs are better off. You know why? Because puppies are more active and require more time and other resources for maintenance. It is also because bigger dogs are already trained and can socialize well with people. Larger dogs tend to be more mature and possess easily predictable behavior patterns. And this is exactly what a senior needs. You have to put the life expectancy of different dog breeds into account when choosing the right one. Is it possible that your dog will live longer than you? Who will care for your dog when you are no more?
- Temperament. The temperament in dogs is largely influenced by the genes they acquire from their birth parents. It is also influenced by the way the dog is brought up. You can raise a dog to be friendly but some breeds are naturally gentle and welcoming, and you won’t have to spend more time training them. If you are looking for a dog with the best temperament, retrievers and poodles are some of the best breeds you should consider.
- You need to pick a dog breed that you can easily manage when it comes to grooming needs. Some dogs need a bath more often than others. Ensure you chose a dog you can manage without the need of hiring a professional groomer.
Best Companion Dogs for Seniors
1. Golden Retriever
Because these dogs are loyal to their owners, they make an ideal companion for seniors. Depending on their gender, Golden Retrievers weigh 55-75 pounds. They are not aware that they are this heavy. Most of them will lie on your lap because they tend to be very affectionate than other breeds. If you are looking to spend more time outdoors, then go for goldens since they will also require plenty of exercises. Remember to train your dog before it develops some unwanted behaviors.
These dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, traits that make them ideal for companionship for the elderly. They are capable of building and maintaining strong bonds with more than one member of the family. They are very gentle and loving dogs. You can exercise these dogs as regularly as you wish. But you don’t have to trouble yourself much. If they play and lay themselves on the couch, they are good to go. However, be ready for monthly grooming. Poodles exist in different sizes, so opt for a size that suits you.
Beagle is also ideal for seniors who enjoy living outdoors and long walks. Apart from being energetic, beagles are sociable dogs who enjoy playing around. Isn’t that what you need for peace of mind and companion? Did you know that these dogs are so friendly that every person they meet becomes their new best buddy? They however need close supervision, so it is important to have your yard fenced.
Pomeranians are small in size, friendly and smart. They love attention and this makes them one of the best options for the aged persons who have the love and time to care for them. Grooming? Of course, they need grooming. But not as much. You need to brush them a few times a week to keep their fluffy coats healthy and shiny. They are not the kinds of dogs that are designed to take direction from others and they tend to be louder than other breeds. Don’t worry about this though. These dogs can be trained to be unruly if you lead them gently.