The Best Pets For Seniors in Independent Living
Pets can bring joy, companionship, and a sense of purpose to your life. They give dog owners a reason to go for a daily walk. They help us connect with neighbors we’ve never met. They introduce us to groomers, vets, and pet store staff who are happy to hear how they’re doing. And when your furry friend is resting comfortably in your lap, they give you a sense of contentment. The cares of the day fall from your shoulders and, for a little while, all’s right with the world. It’s no wonder pets are a senior’s best friend.
6 top dog breeds for seniors
Most senior living communities are pet-friendly, though you should check your community’s pet policy before bringing a pet to live with you. Which breed of dog is best for your situation is up to you. Most older adults like the idea of having a smaller dog that’s easy to handle, good-natured, and low maintenance. Here are some of the most popular dogs for seniors:
1. Bichon Frise – This fluffy little bundle of joy makes an excellent companion. They’re perfectly content to sit on your lap for hours. They enjoy playing games and don’t require much exercise. A daily walk or two will keep them happy. Bichons respond well to training, especially when food treats are offered as rewards. Bichons get along well with other pets and children, so your grandkids will love them too.
2. King Charles Spaniel – Cavaliers are a smaller breed of spaniel, typically about 12 to 18 pounds, with a medium-length silky coat. Sweet, gentle, and playful, they’re known as the “love sponge” of dogs, and like nothing better than snuggling up with their owners. Highly intelligent, they’re easy to train because they’re so eager to please. Overall, Cavaliers make great companion dogs well-suited for apartment living.
3. Maltese – These adorable white toy dogs were bred to be companions. They love following their owners around and going on short, easy walks. The Maltese is also reasonably easy to train. Their beautiful white coats don’t shed, so they’ll need daily brushing and regular grooming. Weighing only 4 to 7 pounds, this dog is easy to handle. You can even carry it around in your bag.
4. Miniature Poodle – The poodle is one of the brightest and most attentive of all breeds. It’s easy to train, polite with strangers, and sociable with other animals. It has a short curly coat that rarely sheds and is known to be hypoallergenic. Poodles are soft-tempered, sensitive dogs that can be easily startled. These gentle dogs prefer peace and harmony.
5. Shih Tzu – This sweet-natured dog tends to be less yappy than other toy breeds. They don’t need much exercise and enjoy cuddling on laps and snuggling into soft pillows. Shih Tzus can be stubborn, but even when they don’t obey quickly, they’re easy to forgive. They require frequent brushing and combing and love to be pampered.
6. French Bulldog – With a playful spirit, love of entertaining, and tendency to snort, this breed has earned the nickname “clown dog.” Their distinctive bat-like ears will make you smile. They’re people pleasers who’ll follow you from room to room and love being the center of attention. Frenchies have a good deal of energy but lack endurance, so they’re perfectly happy with short walks or playtime in the yard. Easy to groom, they’re quiet, amiable, and readily adapt to apartment life.
Cats make good companions too.
If the prospect of taking a dog out for daily walks (and picking up after it) doesn’t thrill you, a house cat may be a better choice.
Domestic Shorthair cats are the most popular house cats. They’re generally healthy cats with relatively long life spans from 12 to 14 years or more. Other popular cat breeds for seniors include:
● Birman cat – These cats like to play but they’re not over the top when it comes to activity, which can be perfect for seniors.
● Ragdoll cat – This breed is very laid back and affectionate.
● Russian blue – These cats tend to like to be close to their owners and usually stay out of trouble.
● Persian cat – Known for affection, this breed bonds with its owners and is often very loyal.
● Burmilla cat – These cats are active but are also affectionate with their owners.
A furry friend of yours is a friend of ours.
We recognize that pets are considered a member of the family. And we know how pets can add life to your years. To learn more about our pet-friendly senior living communities, contact us or find a Retirement Center Management community near you.