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Best Dogs for the Elderly

Authored by Robin Raven in Dogs
Published on 10-23-2009

A dog can be a great source of unconditional love. Getting a dog is a joy for most people, but dogs are especially beneficial to the elderly. They can provide a sense of security, companionship and a consistent schedule that retirement may have decimated. However, when it comes to picking a dog for a senior citizen, you have to be careful. You don’t want a boisterous breed that’s going to demand too much activity and play; you always want to steer clear of aggressive personalities. A dog’s size is also an important deciding factor; the smaller the dog is, the better for the elderly. Below are the best choices for seniors.

A pug is a perfect choice. They’re miniature compared to many dogs, and they have a very affable nature. For an elderly person who enjoys giving and getting affection and attention, this type of dog is perfect. He does like a good deal of attention, but he also wants to give it in return. Because of this need for attention and companionship, however, you don’t want to give it to an elderly person who’s always on the go. These dogs need someone with time on their hands.

Dachshunds are ideal dogs for the elderly as well. They are tiny in size, and they’re a lot of fun. Even if they get excited, their small stature means that not a lot of destruction is done. They’re easy to train and affectionate, and their adorable appearance will make them irresistible to one. They’re adaptable for a mostly indoor lifestyle, but you do want to give them move to run around and play; that feat isn’t difficult considering their size.

Consider the English cocker spaniel for an elderly person. Their personalities are very gentle and affectionate. Although they can get to be medium-sized, their temperament usually means that this won’t be a problem for the elderly. They do like going outdoors, but they don’t need a lot of exercise. Their hair can get matted as it grows so these dogs should be given to the elderly person who doesn’t mind grooming the pet or can afford to have it groomed.

A chihuahua can a fantastic choice if the senior is living by herself. These dogs are protective of their owners, and they’ll bark loudly if someone is approaching. This can help an elderly person feel secure while maintaining independence. Since they’re usually always less than five pounds in weight, almost any senior citizen can easily tote them around. However, a chihuahua tends to like just one person as an owner so this type of dog should be avoided if the elderly person lives with others.

Other great choices for an elderly person include a beagle, miniature pinscher or schnauzer.

The best choice when looking for a dog is always to go a local shelter. Mixed breeds that include the mixes listed above can be ideal for the elderly person. The ideal way to choose a dog is to take an elderly person to an animal rescue group for several visits. Observe the different dogs and temperaments. See if connections are made between the dog and the potential owner. The ideal breed will soon present itself, and rescuing a dog is one of the greatest feelings you can give to an elderly person.

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