Dogs are loyal companions for the elderly, easing loneliness and providing a special, everlasting bond. Having a dog as a pet can improve your physical and mental health. Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will be reduced, while your serotonin levels will be increased.
Some of the factors you may want to consider when choosing a dog are its size, energy levels, age, temperament, and grooming requirements. Ideally, a calm and bubbly dog that is of low maintenance is more suited to aging adults. Here is a list of the best dog breeds for seniors in independent retirement communities.
The Shih Tzu is one of the most amicable dogs around. It is very friendly to other pets and even strangers. It enjoys cuddles and hopping on your lap as a display of affection. Shih Tzus are a bundle of joy and they enjoy the attention, while always being ready to comfort you. As it does not shed much, it is good for those who have allergies. However, you must keep an eye out for ear infections and eye problems in Shih Tzus.
Shih Tzus are easy to train and handle. For exercise, a daily walk is enough to keep them healthy. Hence, it is a low-maintenance dog, which is well suited for seniors. Shih Tzus are especially amiable towards kids and hence, can play with your grandkids when they visit you! They are very adaptable in terms of living environment and can thrive in retirement communities.
Poodles are great as they have extraordinary intelligence and are easily trained. They have a cheeky sense of humor and love being shown affection. They are also gentle and sweet-loving dogs. They are more suited to active owners though, as they require sufficient exercise to stay healthy. On the plus side, poodles are hypoallergenic, suitable for those with sensitivity issues. They only need regular brushing and professional grooming once a month. They are particularly good for retirement communities.
The French Bulldog is a quiet, friendly indoor dog suited to limited spaces. It is good for those who prefer a slower lifestyle. It loves human contact and is not very noisy with minimal barking. It has a pleasant disposition and is affectionate but alert. It does not take part in vigorous outdoor exercises, with only short walks needed. For grooming, they only need regular brushing. Furthermore, the French bulldog is easy to please, a ball of fun, and thrives on affection, while being playful and curious. It gets along well with other dogs and humans, although it tends to snore and snort!
The Maltese is bright, gentle, and playful. It is widely regarded as a therapy dog as it is sensitive to its owner’s feelings, providing a bulwark of emotional support. From cuddling to performing tricks, the Maltese loves to entertain. It thrives on love and affection from its owner while being an intelligent and very alert dog. For exercise, short walks and indoor games are sufficient. For grooming, their majestic white coats need regular brushing, with baths and coat conditioning. They do have a sensitive temperament and may bark quite often. On the bright side, they are very playful with children and also hypoallergenic.