Regardless of how old you are, dogs are the best companions. Dogs can keep you company and can help you fight off feelings of depression, loneliness, and stress. They can also encourage you to work out and exercise regularly, keeping your physical and emotional well-being in check.
If you want to get a dog after retirement, make sure to find a dog breed that can adapt to your lifestyle and habits and one that you are capable of looking after. Some dogs require too much care, maintenance, exercise, and grooming. Moreover, you must consider their energy levels and size.
Here are some of the best small dog breeds for seniors that are easy to train and do not require too much energy:
1. Shih Tzu
These dogs have small bodies and cute-looking faces that make them absolutely adorable. They are bred to the best companies and enjoy the company of their masters.
These dogs can easily adapt to different environments, including senior living environments. However, they do need some regular exercise and grooming. Moreover, they tend to be a little stubborn and may start barking at their owners. If you train your Shih Tzu from a young age, your dog will end up being friendly and sweet.
Weighing only 3 to 6 pounds, Pomeranians are extremely affectionate dogs that give off good vibes and have high energy levels. They love attention and enjoy playing with toys.
If you are someone who tends to get lonely, Pomeranians would be great for you as their energy is infectious. These dogs have a long, thick coat that needs to be brushed regularly so that matting doesn’t occur. However, this will keep you busy, along with their constant yappy attitude.
A healthy pug can weigh anywhere between 14 to 18 pounds and have a height of about a foot. If you are a senior considering downsizing, the pug is perfect for you.
Pugs have the cutest Q-tails and squashed-up noses that make them super cute to keep around. They are lazy dogs who have fun lying on the couch all day. However, they do require some moderate activity, such as slow walks. This keeps them energetic and fun. Keep in mind that these dogs do not like high humidity. If you live in hot areas, it is better to make them exercise at home.
4. Golden Retriever
Not an incredibly small dog, Golden Retrievers are medium-to-large sized dogs. However, since they are known to be the best companion dogs, they are perfect for seniors. These dogs weigh between 55 to 75 pounds, based on their gender. Golden retrievers are affectionate dogs that think of themselves as lap dogs.
Golden Retrievers need to exercise every day, making them perfect for seniors who love to spend time outdoors. When training your dog, make sure they do not exhibit any unwanted behavior and that they remain friendly. This won’t be hard as Golden Retrievers are known to be affectionate, loyal, and sweet creatures who are amazing at making friends with any person or animal they come across.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Spaniels are great companion dogs who settle in well with seniors. They are known to be adaptable, flexible, and good-natured. These dogs make the ideal companions, especially for those looking for gentle, graceful dogs.
Cavaliers weigh about 12 to 18 pounds on average. They have a medium-length coat that feels extremely silky. If you have a small house or apartment, you will find that these dogs will adapt perfectly. They are super easy to train and are extremely affectionate and snuggly.
6. Bichon Frise
The cutest dogs, these weigh about 7 to 12 pounds and are bound to make you smile the second you look at their fluffy, white-haired smiling face. Even though they have bits of cream or apricot on their coats, bichons look like small cotton balls. They are extremely sweet and joyful dogs that are a pleasure to keep around. The best part? They are hypoallergenic!
They are known to be friendly dogs that do not understand the concept of strangers- they think everyone they meet is their friends! Hence, if you have people visiting you often, these are the best dogs to keep. All they need are moderate levels of exercise and periodic grooming.
7. Yorkshire Terrier
Also commonly known as Yorkie’s, these are the perfect lap dogs who love being around their masters. Yorkie’s are about 10 pounds in weight, making them super light for seniors to hold, walk, or even keep in their laps.
Yorkies are known to have a voice, but they are smart, eager-to-explore dogs who see treats as an incentive. This makes them a delight to train. Moreover, they usually bark whenever new people enter the home. This helps seniors who live alone feel more secure. A Yorkie’s hair resembles human hair, which means that you will never forget to groom and manage their hygiene.
8. Miniature Schnauzer
These dogs have a reputation for being friendly, smart, and obedient. They are also hypoallergenic, making them perfect for seniors. A healthy miniature schnauzer weighs between 11 to 20 pounds, which means that they are perfect dogs to live in apartments and small spaces.
Even though their double coat calls for visits to a professional groomer, Miniature Schnauzers do not shed much hair. They have moderate energy levels and love playing with their masters. They always want to please the people around them, making them fun to train. If you are looking for a small, cute, and fun companion who can uplift your spirits, the Miniature Schnauzer is the one for you!
Retirement tends to feel lonely, overwhelming, and exhausting. However, having a pet, especially a dog by your side, can help you feel more energetic and good-natured. Playing with pets is scientifically proven to put people in a good mood. Don’t worry; your furry friend will make you feel better!