Best Dog for Older People

The Best Dog for Older People: Meet our 10 Canine Friends That Will Make Retirement Even Better

What if you could choose the best dog for older people to help make your retirement years much better? We did the research and came up with 10 perfect match-ups that will be sure to improve both your physical and emotional health. 

The decision to bring a dog into your life is not only a delightful one but also a significant commitment. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best dog breeds for seniors, ensuring you find the perfect canine companion that suits your lifestyle. Whether you're an active senior seeking a daily walking partner or someone who simply wants a loving lap dog, we've got you covered. Read on to discover the absolute best dog breeds for seniors and the joy they can bring to your life.

Summary: Key Takeaways

  • Consider Individual Needs: Choose a dog breed that aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and the unique needs of both the senior and the dog.
  • Top 5 Breeds for Seniors: Explore breeds like Beagle, French Bulldog, Havanese, Chihuahua, and Miniature Schnauzer, each offering distinct qualities for different preferences.
  • Companion Dogs: Opt for breeds known for loyalty and affection, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, and Shih Tzu.
  • Low-Maintenance Options: Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Chihuahuas are excellent choices for seniors who prefer less grooming and more companionship.
  • Daily Walks for Health: Breeds like Beagles make great walking partners, promoting cardiovascular health and maintaining joint flexibility for both seniors and dogs.
  • Training Enhances Bond: Dog training, even for older individuals, strengthens the bond, provides mental stimulation, and fosters a positive and enjoyable experience.
  • Adapting to Changes: Dog ownership in the golden years requires adaptability, regular veterinary check-ups, and holistic care to address the changing needs of both seniors and dogs.
  • A Lifelong Bond: The joy of sharing life with a loyal canine companion transcends age, creating a unique and enduring bond between humans and their furry friends.

Best Dog for Older People: Smaller Breeds for Limited Mobility and Space

When it comes to the best dog for older people, smaller breeds are often an ideal choice, especially for those with limited mobility and space. Here are our top picks:

BreedTraits and CharacteristicsSpecial Considerations
BeagleFriendly, easygoing, perfect for seniors.Energetic, intelligent, short hair, 10-15 years lifespan.
French BulldogCheerful, energetic, minimal grooming.Ideal for short walks, playful, affectionate.
HavaneseEnergetic, intelligent, loving, and helpful.Requires frequent brushing, a great companion.
ChihuahuaLively, spunky, loyal, adapts well.Amusing personality, a short, thin coat, and cold weather training.
Miniature SchnauzerLow-maintenance, energetic, good obedience.Ideal size for walks, easy to groom, 12 years lifespan.
MalteseSmall, white, easy to train, requires grooming.Gentle, patient, affectionate.
PugLow-energy, easy to train, affectionate.Best for indoor living, minimal exercise needs.
Yorkshire TerrierEasy to carry, ideal for less active lifestyles.Requires regular brushing.
Boston TerrierFriendly, mild-tempered, easy to train.Short coat, low maintenance, 12 years lifespan.
Bichon FrisePlayful, joyful, affectionate.Hypoallergenic, moderate exercise needs.


Best Dog for Older People

Beagles are a friendly and easygoing breed that enjoys long walks with their owners. They are also bred as hunting hounds to track down scents, making them great for seniors who have trouble navigating due to age-related conditions such as poor vision or hearing loss.

Beagles are energetic, active, and intelligent dogs that love to play all day. They can be a variety of colors such as white or lemon with red or brown markings on the back and tan markings around their eyes. Because they have short hair it is low-maintenance when grooming time comes along because you don't need to brush them often.

Beagles are a type of dog that typically have short, smooth fur and a long muzzle. They live for an average of 10 to 15 years, with a height ranging from 13 to 15 inches and a weight of around 20-30 pounds. 

French Bulldog

Best Dog for Older People

French bulldogs are a great companion for an elderly individual. They are very cheerful and energetic, but they lack endurance. Grooming needs are minimal as well, making them a good fit for older people with limited time to spend on grooming.

French bulldogs are great companions for an elderly senior because they require minimal grooming and can be taken on short walks or played in the yard. French Bulldogs are small but not tiny like other breeds such as Chihuahuas, making them ideal to look after for seniors who need the convenience and simplicity that comes from owning one animal instead of multiple ones.

French bulldogs are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They also thrive off of giving love, which makes them a great family pet!


Best Dog for seniors

Havanese dogs are a breed that is known for being energetic, with a coat of varying lengths and textures. This breed has been known to be helpful and loving, making it the perfect dog for older people.

Havanese are a type of dog that is intelligent, easy to train, and get along with other dogs. They tend to be happy in their owners' company and they are very playful.

The Havanese is a long-coated dog that requires frequent brushing. The coat can be short or wavy, and the hair comes in either silky straight strands or wavy ringlets.


best dog for retired

The Chihuahua is a breed of small, short-haired dog with a long body and the characteristic apple head. It has an expressive face that often carries its signature expression: half squinting, half smiling.

The Chihuahua has been known to adapt well in different areas. Chihuahuas are lively, spunky, and loyal companions. Their personality makes them good pets for seniors who might not have children at home anymore.

The Chihuahua has an amusing personality. They have short, thin coats and ooze with loyalty and sass. The dogs are not particularly known for their ability to come when called, but they will happily follow you from room to room if you're around.

They need to be trained for the cold weather, but they can still enjoy walks or other outdoor activities as long as they are not left outside when it's below freezing.

The Chihuahua's coat ranges in color from tan to gray and white while typically sporting black or brown spots on their back and legs that resemble Mexican sombreros.

Miniature Schnauzer

best dog for old people

The Miniature Schnauzer is a low-maintenance dog that requires little grooming and sheds very little. This size makes them easier to take on walks or tote around town. They live up to an average of 12 years old, which is longer than most breeds of dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer dogs are energetic like to chase their ball and have good obedience skills that make them a match for seniors with active lifestyles. They can be as small as 11-20 pounds, but it is important to note the double coat of fur they possess.

Miniature Schnauzers are great for seniors because of their size, but they do require a lot of attention and exercise.


best dog for seniors

The Maltese are a small white dog that needs regular trips to the groomer. They are easy to train, and they can be carried in a bag. Maltese are the quintessential lapdogs who enjoy being close to their owners at all times.

The Maltese have a short coat and prominent eyebrows. They are known for being gentle, patient, and affectionate towards their owner. The Maltese require brushing and bathing daily. They are also very friendly to people and other animals they may come into contact with as well. They love to go on walks and play around the house.



Pugs are great for people who don't want a lot of energy. They are also easy to train and have a high level of intelligence. Pugs are a small, short-haired dog that is often mistaken for being mean. On the contrary, they are known to be gentle and loving with people of all ages and other dogs too.

Pugs are the best small dogs for seniors because they don't require much exercise and they spend much of their time indoors. They're very loyal and affectionate.

Pugs are excellent for lazy people. They love to eat and can easily become overweight.

Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkies are easy to carry, walk, and hold in laps. Yorkies have a small size which makes them ideal for older people who need a less active pet. They also have hair that is similar to human hair, so they are more likely than other breeds of dogs to feel comfortable with their new owner.

A Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog that has been bred to live indoors. They are not too high maintenance and they need daily brushing, but weekly baths.

Yorkshire Terriers are typically high-spirited, lap dogs. They may be the perfect match for someone who is looking for an active companion who can also do well with children or senior citizens at home.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are friendly, mild-tempered, and easy to train. They have a life expectancy of 12 years and a short coat. Boston Terriers don't do well in hot weather so they might not be the best dog for someone living in Miami or Palm Springs.

Boston Terriers are very friendly and social. They have a variety of colors, including black and white with different shades of brown mixed in. The coat is low-maintenance because the hair does not shed as much as other breeds do.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a playful, joyful, and affectionate breed. They make an excellent companion for seniors because they are relatively easy to train and love snuggling with their people. Their average weight is about 7-12 pounds.

Bichons are a breed of small, fluffy dogs that have an incredibly intelligent and obedient nature. They make perfect companion animals as they don't bark or need too much attention. Bichon Frises are hypoallergenic which means they won't cause allergic reactions in people with allergies to dog hair or dander.

They are highly compatible with other household pets and have moderate exercise requirements as well as periodic grooming needs.

Which is the best dog for older people?

As seniors enter their golden years, the companionship of a dog becomes increasingly valuable. The emotional and physical benefits of having a furry friend by your side are well-documented. Dogs not only provide unconditional love but also encourage regular exercise, reduce stress, and offer a sense of purpose.

Choosing the right dog breed is crucial for a harmonious companionship. Factors such as size, energy level, and grooming requirements play a vital role in determining the compatibility between a senior and their canine companion. The right dog can contribute significantly to a fulfilling retirement, providing joy, companionship, and a reason to stay active.

Companion Dogs: Tailoring to Your Lifestyle

Companion dogs, by definition, are breeds that excel at being constant and loving companions. For seniors, choosing a companion dog is a strategic decision that can significantly enhance their quality of life. Companion dogs are known for their loyalty, affection, and adaptability to various living situations.

One standout quality of companion dogs is their ability to form strong bonds with their owners. These breeds thrive on human interaction, providing emotional support and companionship. Some popular companion dog breeds include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, and Shih Tzu.

Companion dogs are well-suited for seniors who may be looking for a furry friend to share their daily lives. The joy and comfort these breeds bring make them invaluable companions for older adults seeking a constant and loving presence.

Low-Maintenance Dogs: Finding the Perfect Match

Seniors who want low-maintenance dogs are often looking for breeds that require minimal grooming and can adapt easily to their lifestyle. Grooming needs can vary significantly among different dog breeds, and for seniors, choosing a low-maintenance option can be a practical decision.

Pugs, with their short coats and easygoing nature, are often considered low-maintenance dogs. Regular brushing and occasional baths are typically sufficient to keep them clean and comfortable. Additionally, French Bulldogs and Chihuahuas are known for their low-maintenance grooming requirements, making them suitable choices for seniors who prefer less time spent on grooming and more time enjoying the company of their furry friends.

Choosing a low-maintenance dog ensures that seniors can focus on the joys of companionship without the added stress of extensive grooming routines.

Daily Walks and Exercise Dogs: Keeping Both You and Your Dog Healthy

Daily walks and exercise are crucial for both seniors and their canine companions. Regular physical activity not only promotes physical health but also contributes to mental well-being. For seniors, having a dog that encourages daily walks provides a routine that fosters an active and healthy lifestyle.

Breeds such as Beagles, known for their energetic and active nature, make great walking partners for seniors who enjoy outdoor activities. These dogs not only provide motivation for regular exercise but also offer companionship during walks, turning a daily routine into a shared and enjoyable experience.

Incorporating daily walks into the routine benefits both the senior and the dog, promoting cardiovascular health, maintaining joint flexibility, and enhancing the overall well-being of both pet parent and furry friend.

Conclusion: Best Dog for Older People

The bond between seniors and their dogs is a testament to the enduring love and companionship that dogs bring into our lives. From puppyhood to the golden years, this relationship evolves, offering joy, comfort, and a sense of purpose.

Choosing the absolute best dog breed for seniors involves considering individual preferences, lifestyle, and the unique needs of both the senior and the dog. Whether you opt for a playful Beagle, a regal Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or a low-maintenance Pug, the key is to find a furry friend that complements your life and brings immeasurable joy.

As you embark on this journey of dog ownership in your golden years, remember that the joy of sharing your life with a loyal canine companion transcends age. Cherish each moment, adapt to the changing needs of your furry friend, and revel in the unique bond that makes dogs man's best friend.

Best Dog for Older People – FAQ

What are the best dog breeds for seniors?

Seniors looking for a dog breed should consider companion dogs that are low-maintenance and make great lap dogs. Some popular choices include pugs, cavalier king charles spaniels, or small dogs that still require a daily walk but are well-suited for older adults.

What type of dog is best for older people?

The right dog for seniors is typically a small dog or a companion that serves as a great therapy dog. An affectionate dog can be a furry friend and provide daily joy for older people.

What are the 5 best dogs for older people?

When it comes to choosing the right dog, the 5 best breeds for older people include pugs, cavalier king charles spaniels, lap dogs, and small dogs that make great companions for active seniors.

Why are small dogs the best choice for older people?

Small dogs are often the absolute best choice for seniors because they are low-maintenance, affectionate, and well-suited for daily walk activities that seniors can manage in their golden years.

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