Dogs are traditionally called “man’s best friend” for a reason. They are loving and playful, providing great company to people of all ages. Of course, depending on which stage of life you're in there are certain breeds that will fit better into your life. The best dogs for seniors are calm, affectionate and low maintenance.

When the children leave the home and the grandchildren start growing up and getting busy with their own activities, senior adults can experience loneliness and boredom.  A dog makes a great companion and friend.

In fact, several studies have shown that dogs improve health of the elderly.

Of course, as we get older we don't have the energy to keep up with our canine companions like we used to. Our drive to care for a hyperactive dog is gone. Most seniors don't want to tame the mane or a grooming intensive breed either.

Many of the best dogs for seniors are also very affordable. After retirement our budgets become tighter, but that doesn't mean that we can't financially support a furry friend.

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10 Best Dogs for Seniors & How They Benefit the Elderly

Best Dogs for Seniors

1. Havanese

The Havanese is a great dog. They are playful and social. A small breed, they are easy to care for and maintain. Havanese love to get attention and are great for stay at home seniors.

They are peaceful and gentle, providing great companionship for those who maybe can’t get out as much for walks. Considered to be a pretty healthy dog, this breed makes a great all around house pet and is certainly one of the best dogs for seniors.

2. Papillon

Best Dogs for SeniorsPapillons are small breeds, making them easy to bathe and transport. They are intelligent which makes them easy to train. Papillons have a silly personality that will entertain their human companions.

This breed is very energetic. They need to be in a home with adults that are still active, willing to play and take their dogs for walks. They can be possessive with their owner, so it is best to have this dog as the only one in the house.

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3. Poodle

Best Dogs for SeniorsPoodles are still a very popular breed among senior adults. They are very regal looking. Their intelligence makes them easy to train. You will never be bored when you own a poodle.

Their playfulness and energy make them a very entertaining dog. They are one of the best dogs for seniors because Poodles are clean dogs and have minimal shedding. They come in 3 varieties: standard, miniature, and toy. You are sure to find one that fits your situation.

4. Bassett Hound

Best Dogs for SeniorsAlthough Bassett Hounds are larger dogs, they are still perfect for seniors. This breed is very intelligent. Many will say they are the most pleasant dogs in terms of attitude.  Laid back and calm, they just go with the flow.

Bassett Hounds are lazy dogs and great for the person who likes to stay in. These hounds were bred to be hunting dogs, so their keen senses make them perfect watch dogs. If you don’t mind taking a little more time to train, this dog may be the perfect one for you.

5. Maltese

Best Dogs for SeniorsMaltese were bred specifically to be a companion dog. They are gentle and loving. Their small size makes them one of the best dogs for seniors who may be lacking in strength.  Maltese shed little, which makes for quick cleanup.

Their hair is long, but most people keep their coat short so it is manageable. If you don’t mind daily brushing, you can let your pet's glorious mane flow. Good health is one of the Maltese's strongest features. These lap dogs also love learning tricks and pleasing their owners.

MORE BREEDS: 30 Breeds That Are Good House Dogs

Best Dogs for Seniors

6. Shih Tzu

Another lap dog, the Shih Tzu is the perfect size for people who may be lacking in arm strength. Shih Tzus are intelligent and easy to train. Like the Maltese, they have long, luxurious coats that you will want to keep trimmed if you do not want the hassle of almost daily brushing.

They shed less and have less dander than other dogs, so the Shih Tzu is one of the best dogs for seniors with allergies. They are generally healthy, so require fewer trips to the vet. They make excellent companions. The Shih Tzu is happy on their owner’s lap, or playing with some toys.

7. Shar-Pei

Best Dogs for SeniorsThis is a great dog for an older adult who doesn’t want the typical lap dog. They are medium size. Shar-Peis are one of the easiest dogs to housetrain. They usually do not like strangers and make excellent watch dogs.

Shar-Peis are very independent.  They are good for owners who may not be home all the time.  If you still enjoy getting out and taking walks often, a Shar-Pei is the perfect companion for you.  They have short hair, so grooming is kept at a minimum.

MORE DOGS: 14 Best Watch Dogs That Are Good Guard Dogs

8. Labrador Retriever

Best Dogs for SeniorsIf you have a good size yard for your dog to run around in, the Labrador Retriever maybe for you. They have short, easy to care for fur.

Labradors are very intelligent, meaning they train fast. They are gentle and loving, making for excellent companion dogs for seniors.

They are active and will keep their owner busy playing fetch. Labradors are one of the most popular breeds in America, so they are readily available and easy to find. Labs are great working dogs and perfect for seniors who have retired to the country.

9. Pomeranian

Best Dogs for SeniorsPomeranians are virtually scent-less. Due to this reason, these dogs make excellent indoor pets. They are affectionate and docile. Pomeranians do need brushing a couple times a week. These dogs do well in apartment living.

Although they are active, they do fine with no yard as long as they get frequent walks. If you need a motivator to exercise, this little dog could be for you. Pomeranians are a toy breed meaning they are small and easy to pick up and handle. They are very lively and inquisitive and provide good entertainment to lonely seniors.

10. Beagle

Best Dogs for SeniorsAlthough Beagles are traditionally hunting dogs, they can make excellent companions for seniors. Beagles are a healthy breed with easy to care for coats. Their short fur means brushing can be kept to a minimum.

Beagles are fun and affectionate. They are friendly and loyal to their owners. Beagles are energetic and need a small yard and toys for playing. If no yard is available, they will need daily walks.

Dogs can make excellent companions. If you take your time and do a little bit of research, you can make sure and find one of the best dogs for seniors. Dogs can motivate you to get exercise, and provide lively company for nights spent alone.

You can also make sure to find a breed that will be a companion to you while still being a friendly dog to the grandkids. Talk to your local vet if you have any questions or concerns about the dog breeds you are interested in.

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