Which are the best dog breeds for seniors and retirees? 

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Knowing which dog breeds for seniors requires careful consideration. We know that dogs are ideal ‘pet’ners for humans as they provide their parents, regardless of age, with various health and social benefits. 

Taking care of a dog as a family member will offer a sense of pleasure and can even provide a purpose for some older dog owners. Your canine companion will keep you company throughout the day, allowing you to fend off lonelyness or isolation, stress, and even sadness. They will also encourage you to be healthy and exercise regularly, which is good for your physical and mental wellbeing.

best breeds for seniors

The best dog breeds for seniors

Dogs are our wonderful companions for all ages, but as we become older, often, the kind of dog that suits our lifestyle will change. While dogs are loyal and offer unconditional love, certain dog breeds can be daunting for those with a less active lifestyle – especially those with a lot of energy. 

Our blog will find a canine that better suits your lifestyle, mainly the best dogs for seniors and retirees! 

Things to keep in mind before choosing your pet dog: 

Matching energy levels: A dog with reduced energy levels would be a perfect companion for seniors who lead less active lives. Some dogs need only one or two short walks a day, which is a perfect way to keep both of you safe and manageable! Dogs with lower energy levels are often more likely to want to cuddle up with you while you enjoy the weather! 

A small or large dog?

It will be much easier to handle smaller dogs. You won’t have to think about them jumping up on you and running you over, or pulling on their leash too hard. If you are off on a road drive or taking them to the veterinarian, they are much easier to carry. As an additional perk, their treatment bills are cheaper as compared to large breeds. 

Adult or a pup? 

Puppies have relatively high levels of energy and need a lot of care and attention. They need to be house-trained. Adopting an elderly dog that is already trained is a smart choice for many families. You can also choose to adopt a senior dog less likely to find a new home as most people like to foster puppies.

Community Rules 

There may be community rules for the kinds of pets you are permitted to keep in sheltered accomodation. Some areas only allow pets up to a certain height, and some breeds may be prohibited in some locations.

Below we have assembled a selection of best dogs for older people that are easy to handle and have low energy levels. Of course, this list is not definative, and many other breeds may fit well for elderly owners as long as you can determine their energy levels and treatment and how the dog will match with your lifestyle. 


The Maltese is raised to be a great lapdog and service animal and is very manageable. Maltese seem to be extremely affectionate and wise, making them very open to learning. For someone who is looking for a caring, loving snuggle buddy, this is a perfect companion!

Average Weight: 4 to 7 pounds

Average life expectancy: 15 to 18 years

Breed Related Challenges: Health issues faced by this breed are glaucoma, liver abnormalities, and “shaker dog syndrome.” Maltese are hypoallergenic, similar to Bichon Frise, the Shih Tzu, and the Havanese.


Pugs are an exceptionally sweet, lovable breed whose playful, curious behavior makes them a precious and lovable pet. They love to go on walks, but they’d also like to cuddle up with you. In fact, because of their respiratory difficulties (which arise from their snubbed noses), pugs shouldn’t indulge in the intensive activity.

Pugs are not hypoallergenic and are a low-maintenance and cost-effective choice if you are looking out for the best dog breeds for seniors. 

Average Weight: 14 and 18 pounds

Average life expectancy: 13 to 15 years old

Breed Related Challenges: They may suffer from eye problems and breathing problems. Also, keeping an eye on their weight is important since they are fussy eaters.


Beagles are a nice, gentle, friendly, and active dog breed. Beagles can be adventurous when they are intellectual, but good training sessions can control their behavior. They have medium to high energy levels that enjoy walks or running around in the backyard. Beagles are friendly and typically do well being around other people, making them a pack dog! For someone looking for a friendly hiking partner, this will be a fine breed!

Average Weight: 14 pounds

Average life expectancy: 14 years

Breed Related Challenges: Keeping a check on your beagles’ diet is vital as they seem to enjoy their food!


Chihuahua’s are a fun, friendly, eccentric breed with a wide spectrum of personality characteristics. This breed can be a cuddly, affectionate snuggler ideal for anyone who is not looking for a dog who wants a lot of exercise or long walks, very compact, and easy to bring or transport.

Average Weight: 3 to 6 pounds

Average life expectancy: 18 years

Breed Related Challenges: Since Chihuahua’s are small, their bladder is small as well. It becomes necessary for them to relieve them now and then. So, you can try keeping a litter box or pee pads in the house at a convenient location. Due to their nervous nature, they can be susceptible to barking if not trained properly. 

Italian Greyhound:

Popularly known as “Iggies,” is a great companion for seniors! The Italian Greyhound might be the wonderful addition to your household if you’re looking for a compassionate and friendly lap dog. They are manageable due to their tiny size. Besides, they are hypoallergenic but are low-maintenance. These pups not only rarely shed; they still have practically no grooming requirements.

Average weight: under 11 pounds

Average life expectancy: 14 to 15 years

Breed Related Challenges: They may be vulnerable to skin cancer. Make sure they sleep under shaded places. If your pup grows older, he can suffer from uncommon diseases such as patellar luxation for small dogs. By going to a trustworthy breeder, the possibility of more popular complications, such as hip dysplasia, should be decreased.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, adventurous, responsive, and pleasant, will make a perfect pet, whether in a rural environment or your city apartment. They have a long and silky coat which needs grooming. This small dog is very sweet and polite, even though this breed has strong watchdog abilities and is certain to alarm you to any trespassers. If you enjoy a very active lifestyle or have a large backyard, this dog might be ideal for you. 

Average Weight: 13 and 18 pounds

Average life expectancy: 9 to 14 years

Breed Related Challenges: Susceptible to multiple health disorders such as cardiac diseases, eye/skin conditions, and neurological conditions.

Find the perfect dogs for seniors.

The best dogs for seniors are those that strongly complement the skills and interests of their parents. 

Make sure you keep the following in mind before adopting or buying one: 

  • The dog’s traits
  • What you need in a dog
  • Your limitations and wellbeing 
  • Where you’re staying 
  • Your Lifestyle 
  • The expenses involved

So, go on and bring home a perfect, loving, loyal, furry companion that will fill your life with merriment! 

About the author:

The Dog Bakery began with a mission to bake up the most delicious dog food treats for dogs everywhere.

*PIN ME – The Best Dog Breeds for Seniors*


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