Best dog breeds for older people

Best dog breeds for older people

By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT

A canine can provide companionship to senior citizens, but it’s important to adopt the right one

Having a pet can do more than just keep you company. Pets might also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills.

The National Institutes of Health says studies have found animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support and boost your mood — all of which are important for senior citizens.

If you’re looking to share your home with a dog, be sure to do your research. If you have balance issues, for example, you won’t want to get a breed known for jumping or being too active.

These breeds are best for senior citizens, according to Spruce Pets.

Bichon frise

This puffy little ball of joy is only 9-12 inches and weighs 7-12 pounds. Bichon frise are easy to train and need only moderate daily exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This little dog “is often happiest when snuggled up beside its owner,” Spruce Pets states. They are typically 12-13 inches tall and weigh 13-18 pounds. Known for their silky, wavy coat, they will need regular grooming. These small dogs have medium energy level, and benefit from daily walks and games.

French bulldog

They are compact, muscular and active, but they’re also among the most cheerful of all dog breeds, Spruce Pets says. Although only 11-13 inches tall, the French bulldog can weigh up to 28 pounds. Moderate daily exercise is usually all they need. Although their grooming needs are few, they can develop brachycephalic syndrome and various skin issues.


Not only is the poodle one of the smartest dog breeds, it also comes in a variety of sizes — toy, miniature and standard. This loyal and affectionate pooch learns well and adapts to a variety of households. Poodles need moderate exercise but will need more grooming than other dogs. A toy poodle is only about 5-7 pounds, but a standard can be up to 70 pounds.

Shih tzu

These beauties are less than a foot tall and weight 9-16 pounds. Their smooshed faces make them prone to brachycephalic syndrome, but to a lesser degree than the French bulldog. Stubborn but trainable, the shih tzu will need daily walks and regular grooming to stay happy and health.

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By Troy Warren

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