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  • Melrose Meadows

Best Dog Breeds For Seniors

Are you a dog lover but unsure about having a canine companion of your own? If you do decide to adopt a dog, you may find that the benefits are far-reaching. New research proves that pet owners enjoy higher levels of social interaction, lower levels of loneliness, and better cardiovascular health. It must be because dogs keep us on schedule, get us out of the house, and give us more opportunities to meet people and stay active.

Right now, we are lucky to have multiple dogs in residence at Melrose Meadows, as well as some staff members who bring their pups in to work to visit their favorite people and explore our beautiful campus and walking path. Our community enjoys dogs so much that it’s not uncommon to see someone walking another resident’s pup, whether it's to help a neighbor or simply because they’re an animal lover.

Are you thinking about having a dog in your life? It’s undoubtedly a big decision. Here are some things to consider first:

The Age of the Dog and Activity Level

Puppies are adorable, but they are very active and can be destructive. Suppose you are not available to exercise, house train, and monitor a puppy around the clock. In that case, it’s best to seek out an adult dog who has a lower energy level and hopefully some house training.

Safety Concerns

Could a dog be a falling hazard? Most adult small dogs have learned to get out from underfoot, but puppies can cause a fall. Some herding dogs nudge and herd their people too, which could be dangerous.


Quieter dogs make better neighbors. Some breeds are much more vocal than others, so it’s best to investigate a breed’s propensity for barking before making the commitment.


Save yourself a lot of stress by choosing a breed of dog with a calm temperament. Aggressive or difficult dogs make interaction with others tense and can cause problems in community settings.


If you suffer from allergies or are not a fan of vacuuming, you’ll be much happier with a low-shedding or hypoallergenic dog.


Can you exercise a dog daily? Even small dogs will need regular walks and potty breaks in all weather. Can you lift your pet if it needs help or medical attention?


Some dog breeds and older dogs have more medical issues, which means higher vet bills. You’ll also need to budget for grooming, food, and supplies. Doing some research will help you project those costs.

Size of Dog

Although small and medium-sized dog breeds are best for apartment dwellers, some larger breeds require less exercise and are happy in an apartment.

Some Of The Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

Of course, choosing a canine companion is a very personal decision, and there's more to a dog than its breed. But here are some of the dog breeds that tend to work out best for seniors!

Bichon Frise

These fluffy little charmers are low maintenance and don’t shed much. They’re a popular choice for seniors.

Cavalier King Charles

A sweet lap dog with silky hair and beautiful eyes, the Cavalier King Charles loves to chill and only requires a short walk each day.


Pugs love attention, cuddles, and naps. Plus, they were voted one of the best breeds for apartment life.


Loyal and calm, these sweet pups were bred to be companion dogs. They’re happy to sit on your lap and have your company.


The Havanese is a social breed that loves people. Their silky hair requires regular brushing, but they’re happy to have the attention.

Miniature Schnauzers

These sturdy, intelligent little dogs were originally bred for farm life, but they are happy anywhere they find affection and attention. They get along well with other dogs and with children.

Toy Poodle

Voted the best hypoallergenic dog for seniors, the poodle comes in three sizes: Teacup, Toy, and Standard. They’re bright and affectionate and don’t shed.

Shih Tzu

A non-barking breed, the Shih Tzu is a lot of personality in a small package. They’re confident, happy, and have a stubborn streak.

French Bulldog

It’s easy to see why the French Bulldog is the second most popular dog in the U.S. These mid-sized, mostly quiet companions are one of the easiest dog breeds to have, and they are happy with a less active lifestyle.


Everyone knows Greyhounds for their speed, but less well-known are their sweet and sensitive personalities. Combine that with minimal grooming needs and their love of laying around, and they make excellent pets for seniors.

The best dog breed for you depends on your living situation and your preferences. But with so many choices, there is sure to be a pup that’s a good fit. With a bit of luck and training, you and your new best friend will enjoy many years of fun and companionship, and Melrose Meadows will have a new resident that everyone will enjoy meeting!

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