Why do so many seniors decide to own a dog?
By Guest Blogger, Johny Kershaws,
Dogs can be a companion who loves you selflessly and that is one of the reasons why so many retirees decide to get a dog. You can have a pup at any stage of your life- kid, adulthood, and senior. Having a dog as a pet has numerous health benefits. It helps to keep their owner physically, mentally, and emotionally fit.
Before getting a pup, you need to check which pup will suit your needs and requirements. For example, for seniors, a low-maintenance dog would be more appropriate than a dog who is quite demanding. And if you stay in senior living facilities, then you need to have a breed that is acceptable by pet-friendly assisted living facilities.
Benefits of Dog Breeds for Seniors:
Here are a few advantages of having a dog as a companion for seniors.
– Dogs Keep Senior Citizens More Fit
For seniors, going to a walk is one of the best physical exercises as it can be done on its speed, and does not need any kind of exercise equipment or training. However, going on a walk regularly needs motivation. If you have a dog as a pet, you would be responsible for keeping it healthy. Taking your dog on a walk regularly would be added to your daily routine. A regular walk would mean regular physical activity, fewer doctor visits, and more socialization.
Studies have shown that having a dog stimulates the production of happy hormones in our brain. Also, a dog can be your companion in your later stage of life. Dog walking also allows you to meet new people. Hence reducing the feeling of loneliness.
– Owning A Dog Helps To Prevent Cardiovascular Disease in Seniors
Studies have shown that having a dog as a pet helps in preventing heart diseases in seniors. Dog walking, companionship, feeling of happiness, and less stress and depression are some of the factors that can be associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular diseases in senior dog owners.
– Dogs Provide A Sense Of Purpose
For older people, who live all by themselves, having a pup can give them a purpose for how to spend their life. At this age, most of the seniors are retired, and their kids are settled. With not much to do, seniors do feel empty. A pup fills that void. Raising the pup and taking care of the pup gives them a real sense of purpose.
The Top 5 Best Breeds as a Companion for Seniors
Numerous dog breeds are available today. However, not every dog would suit the needs of the seniors. Before getting a puppy, you need to know about your environment, your needs, your limitations, etc. Here we have mentioned the 5 best dog breeds that can suit the needs of almost all seniors.
– Bichon Frise
Bichon frise is a cute, little fluffy dog. It is a playful, loving, and affectionate dog. Their weight ranges from 7-12 pounds, which makes them quite easy to handle, especially for seniors. They are low in maintenance, and periodic grooming does fine with them. Another benefit of having this dog is that they are quite easy to train. Another thing that makes them a pal for seniors is that they need moderate daily exercise. Your love, attention, and moderate regular exercise are enough to keep them happy and healthy.
– Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier is another ideal breed that suits almost every senior. It’s an adaptable, loving Spaniel. Again it’s a small dog, weighing around 11-18 pounds. It makes it easier to handle. They love snuggling. However, this little cutie dog has a silky and wavy coat that needs regular grooming. You need to brush them regularly and check their ears. They are an ideal dog breed for seniors who are looking for a small and cuddly dog who can easily adapt to an apartment living.
– French Bulldog
A French Bulldog is a happy go lucky kind of dog breed. They are very cheerful, active, and compact dog breeds. They are muscular and quite heavy as compared to another dog breed of similar size. They weigh around 19-28 pounds. Though they are highly energetic, they lack stamina. Hence, they do not require too much exercise, moderate daily exercise routine would be sufficient to keep them healthy and active. Their grooming requirements are minimal, but you need to be concerned about their health issues, including skin-related issues.
Maltese is a white, small, and cute house dog. They are loving and gentle, who love sitting in their owner’s lap. They do shed, but it is quite manageable. They have long hairs, but you always have the option to keep them short. They love pleasing their owners hence give you pleasure while training them. They are very light in weight, just 4-7 pounds. The best part is “Maltese” and “assisted living facilities that accept small pets” are made for each other. These small lap dogs are relatively healthier.
Greyhound is a racing dog breed. Well, though, they are racing dogs but are not that high in energy. Most of them love loafing around their owners. A daily walk and occasional run are sufficient to keep them healthy and fit. They are easy to train hence are quite easy to handle too. If you don’t mind handling bigger dogs, Greyhound is a breed to consider.
How to Get These Breeds?
Check with the local dog adoption or dog rescue centers – there are many dogs that are waiting to join your family.