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Dogs for Seniors

Dogs are great companions.  They join in our happiness and attempt to boost us when we are down.  Their intuition never ceases to amaze, and their devotion could teach us a lesson or two about loyalty.  Even medical studies indicate that having a dog (or other pet) is beneficial to our lives because our interactions with them result in a greater sense of well-being.

So, should everyone have a dog?  Well, no.  Some individuals are just not dog people.  They may appreciate these furry creatures from a distance but do not wish to assume the responsibility for their care (they are work).  For people who do enjoy these animals, though, dogs can be invaluable.

What type of dog is best for the elderly?  Smaller breeds are often easier to manage.  Let’s look at a few that might be appropriate.

  • Cocker Spaniel. A typically patient dog, Cocker Spaniels are often ideal for seniors because of their agreeable temperament.  They can weigh up to 25 pounds and are normally very friendly.
  • Shih Tzu. A characteristically gentle and devoted creature, this dog is attentive and playful.  Their weight range is between 10 to 16 pounds.
  • Chihuahua. A big personality packed into a “5 pound or under” body, the Chihuahua tends to be quite loyal.  Some members of this breed can be feisty, though, so it might be wise to get a feel for the respective dog’s temperament in advance.
  • Toy Poodle. These highly intelligent dogs enjoy being around people!  They also love to play and are eager to please.  Toy Poodles usually weigh between 6 to 9 pounds.
  • Pomeranian. These active animals are friendly and playful.  They tend to be social and are very protective of their family.  Pomeranians often weigh less than 10 pounds.

The above list is merely a sampling of the numerous dogs that are suitable for seniors.  Mixed breeds also make phenomenal companions, and many are friendly and faithful.

So where should you go to get a dog?  Adopting from a shelter, particularly if the animal is already housebroken, might negate the energy of potty training and could help save a life.  If you are partial to a particular breed, there is likely a rescue organization dedicated to that animal (e.g., Cocker Spaniel Rescue).  The web-site www.petfinder.com might help you begin your search.

Dogs are amazing creatures.  They are dedicated, affectionate, and caring.  No wonder they are often known as Man’s Best Friend!