Which Dog Breeds Are Good For The Elderly?

Dogs for elderly people can be a tremendous comfort to them while providing them with companionship so they don’t ever have to feel lonely. While most dogs will make the average person a great companion, elderly people have special considerations that they have to think about before they make a decision on what kind of dog to get.

The best dogs for elderly people will be affectionate, obedient, healthy, and require less regular exercise than more energetic dogs. By taking the time to learn about the best dog breeds for elderly people it becomes much easier to match the right pet with the right person.

Dogs Are Great Friends For Senior Citizens

Elderly people need dogs that require less effort to care for. They need dogs that require less space and dogs that are happy spending time relaxing indoors with them. Fortunately, there are many intelligent, affectionate dog breeds out there that have these qualities which makes them a great choice as a pet. The following are the best dogs for elderly people.


If you try to picture a lap dog in your head, there’s a good chance you are going to picture a Pomeranian. These tiny dogs are known for being exceptionally loyal and affectionate, making them an ideal companion for anyone.

They are intelligent and obedient, and while they typically have lots of energy, their small size means that they can get all the exercise they need by running around a house or yard.

Pomeranians are also lighter dogs than most. Many of them are less than 15 lbs with some under 10 lbs. That makes it easier for elderly people to pick them up when they need to.

Pomeranians, like other small dog breeds, have a longer lifespan than larger dogs. That means that if you care for your Pomeranian you can expect to have a companion for many years. Anyone that has ever dealt with the heartache of losing a dog knows that it’s more like losing a family member than a pet.

Pomeranian dogs do require regular grooming to keep their coat clean and looking good. Some people may choose to trim that hair back a bit to get less shedding around the house.

Since Pomeranians live for such a long time you won’t have to worry about getting too attached then having your pet pass away after only a few years. The best part about Pomeranians is that they are happy just being around you. If you don’t have the energy to play with your dog, he’ll be happy sitting on your lap, napping at the foot of your bed, or just being in the room with you.


Pugs are very laid back dogs that enjoy lounging around the house. If you are the type of person that likes to relax at home, then a Pug is an ideal companion for you.

Understand that some Pugs are very rowdy as puppies and it may seem like you’ve acquired a bit of a tornado in the early months. However, many Pugs will settle down with a bit of age and become wonderful dogs that just want to sit next to you on the couch.

They are funny little dogs, though, and they have a great personality. Their laughing faces will be sure to brighten the day of anyone they meet.

Their short fur is easy to groom, and their small size makes them ideally suited as a house dog. Pugs are also known for being very loyal and are social dogs that enjoy spending time with people.

Your Pug will probably follow you around the house just to lay and nap in the same room that you are in. That’s a loyal dog, and that’s a dog that would be a great choice for elderly people.

Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frise is a classic dog for elderly people. Their are friendly without being rowdy. They love to go for little walks but also just as content to sit at home with you.

They are highly intelligent as well. A Bichon is one of the most trainable dogs there is, and they can make for an alert and dependable watchdog. Don’t worry about excessive barking, however. They can learn to be quiet and will seek to please their owners.

They also have a tremendous amount of confidence which is a great trait for a dog likely to live alone with a senior citizen. They will want to interact with you often and will keep their owner’s mind active and always thinking about what to do next with their dog.

They are also one of the lowest shedding dogs we know of, but that coat does require a lot of care in order to maintain it’s best look. Monthly trips to the groomer are usually necessary, but that can always be reduced if you keep the coat clipped shorter.

Yorkshire Terrier

There are many reasons that a Yorkshire Terrier is a great choice for elderly people. They are loyal, attentive, intelligent, healthy dogs that are more than happy to spend time indoors. They are small dogs so they don’t need a lot of space, which is ideal for anyone that lives in a small house or an apartment.

The main reason that Yorkshire Terriers tend to be great choices for elderly people is the fact that they form strong bonds with a single person. Some dogs need a busy household with a lot of people in it to keep them occupied. Yorkshire Terriers are happiest in a less hectic home and are often happiest when there is only one person for them to bond with.

Yorkshire Terriers also look great when they get a short haircut. That means far less shedding and an easier coat to care for. While they do need to go to the groomer regularly, getting them a short cut eliminates so much of the constant grooming that these dogs can need.

Things To Consider When Getting A Dog For An Elderly Person

As sad of a topic as this can be, some seniors don’t want to acquire a pet when they are older in life because of the fear of what will happen to their pet when they themselves die. There needs to be a plan in place where the owner knows who is going to care for the dog when they are gone.

The same is true for if that senior citizen has to go into a hospital for an extended stay. Someone will be needed to care for the dog during this time; not just for the dog but for the owner’s piece of mind as well.

Also, if the dog requires regular grooming, that can be an expense that adds up very quickly. Can the owner afford it? Are they capable of taking the dog to the groomer themselves or will they need the services of a mobile groomer?

One common mistake that I see older people make when getting a dog is the overall size and activity level of that dog. Too many small women end up with big dogs that they can’t control. They wanted a dog for protection, but they ended up with a dog that unintentionally hurts them by jumping up on them or being highly difficult to walk on a leash.

The Right Dog Can Be A Great Companion For Seniors

For many seniors loneliness is a real problem. Once you stop working and don’t spend as much time socializing with other people it’s easy to start feeling down.

While a dog is no substitute for human companionship, it is a great way for seniors to remain more active and to feel less lonely when they are home alone. The most important thing that anyone considering getting a dog must do is to choose a breed that suits their needs.

For seniors, that means a loyal, intelligent, attentive breed that doesn’t require a lot of effort to take care of. Any of the dog breeds mentioned above meet these criteria and would make an excellent pet for a senior.