As dog lovers, growing older doesn’t deter us from wanting a furry companion in our life! In fact, many senior citizens prefer to have the company of a dog, rather than to be without.
Unfortunately, some breeds can be high maintenance, requiring frequent grooming, medications, or exercise, which can be too cumbersome for some retired folk. Luckily, we know of a few low maintenance breeds that make excellent retirement pals!
Here are 10 breeds of dogs that are the ultimate retirement companions.
Any low energy mixed breed will be perfect for an elderly companion! Most mixed breed dogs are void of hereditary health defects, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The best option for senior citizens is to adopt from a rescue or shelter, where the dog has passed behavioral exams, or is predictable.
No matter what kind of dog you are looking for, guaranteed there is one that needs rescuing!
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sounds like the name of a dog who exudes high maintenance. However, in reality, these dogs are the exact opposite. Cavaliers have a mellow temperament, and are generally very sweet and reserved dogs. They do not need much exercise, and their thick coats are mostly tangle free. These dogs require grooming every so often, but will make amazing lap dog companions for seniors looking for a new best friend.
Cavaliers are also usually great with children! This is the perfect excuse to get the grandkids over for a playdate!
3. Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds are much smaller than their racing legend cousins. These pups are slightly larger than a standard Chihuahua, but weigh less than a handbag! They are perfect for seniors, who may be lacking in upper body strength.
Their small build gives them an appeal, but many are fearful that they require too much exercise. Fortunately, most Italian Greyhounds will sleep for over 20 hours per day. During the time that they are awake, they should be walked or exercised before having their next nap. These dogs have almost no fur, and shedding is not an issue!
Standard Greyhounds, much larger than Italian Greyhounds, make beautiful companions for seniors looking for a larger dog. Similar to their petite cousins, these dogs sleep the majority of the day, and do not require much exercise. They are incredible apartment dogs, as they are often calm tempered and quiet.
Greyhounds do not shed much and are great with kids. They should be taken for a run every once in a while, and will be great for seniors with eager grand children. Greyhounds love a good game of fetch!
Pugs, so long as they are healthy, are fantastic companions for elderly people. They do not require much exercise, as they can’t breathe very well through their shortened snouts. These dogs would much prefer to spend the day lounging on the couch and going for short walks once a day.
Pugs are prone to health issues, and should not be overfed. However, they can be low maintenance, and very entertaining for their elderly owners.
6. Welsh Terrier
Welsh Terriers are slightly more active than the other dogs we have mentioned, but are great pets for seniors who still wish to explore. These dogs enjoy their downtime, but are still very much terriers at heart. They hardly shed, and are considered to be fairly low-allergenic.
Welsh Terriers are low maintenance, and a lot of fun for kids to play fetch with!
7. French Bulldog
French bulldogs are similar to pugs in the sense that they can be low maintenance, so long as they are healthy. These dogs are prone to health issues, but are otherwise easy to care for. They don’t eat much, and rarely need to be groomed. They also are not able to participate in strenuous physical activities, and are usually best in homes that can provide up to 15 minutes of exercise per day.
French Bulldogs are fairly even tempered, and can be incredibly entertaining for their human companions!
8. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frises are the most common dogs among elderly people, as their coats are seemingly hypo-allergenic. This means that the dogs rarely shed. Bichons are popular purse dogs, and require little physical exercise. They do need to be groomed, and are well known for “eye gunk” or “tear stains,” but they are much lower maintenance than many breeds.
Bichons can be quiet and timid with the right owners, but it’s important to discourage frequent barking. They tend to get a bad reputation for “yapping!”
9. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are historically lap dogs, giving them the appeal of being very low energy. These dogs are master nappers, like greyhounds, and enjoy hanging out with their companions indoors. Lhasas do require some grooming, but can be fitted with short haircuts to lower risk of tangling. They are happy to go for short walks when the weather is cooler, or even just to be carried around outside for a while.
These dogs are generally well mannered, and low key, making them great companions for senior citizens.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are generally higher maintenance than some of the other dogs we have mentioned, but their size makes them ideal furry friends for elderly people. They do require grooming, but not much, as they don’t usually weigh more than 10 lbs, and are considered to be hypo-allergenic.
Yorkshire Terriers are lower energy dogs, but do require daily exercise. Fortunately, they are small enough that a short walk can tire them out!