5 Best Dog Breeds For Seniors – And Their Traits

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dog breeds for seniors

I know that pet ownership can provide numerous benefits, especially for seniors.

Choosing dog breeds for seniors can be a challenging task due to various factors. For instance, seniors may have specific requirements when it comes to their pet’s temperament, size, exercise needs, and grooming requirements.

Additionally, the senior’s living situation can also play a significant role in choosing the right breed.

Seniors who live in apartments or small homes may need to consider a smaller dog that doesn’t require a lot of exercises, while seniors who live in larger homes with yards may want a dog that can be more active.

Moreover, seniors’ health needs should also be considered. For example, seniors with allergies may need to consider hypoallergenic breeds, while those with mobility issues may need a dog that requires minimal grooming.

Ultimately, finding the perfect breed for a senior citizen requires careful consideration of all these factors to ensure that the senior and the dog can have a happy and healthy life together.

I share here a list of what, in my opinion, are the best five dog breeds for seniors, including the pros and cons of each breed.



Poodles are an excellent choice for seniors, particularly miniature poodles. They are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs that do not shed much. They also have a long lifespan of up to 18 years.

Nevertheless, their grooming needs are high, requiring regular trimming and brushing, and they may be prone to some health issues such as hip dysplasia.



Beagles are a friendly, curious, and loving breed that is great with seniors. They do not require extensive grooming, and their exercise needs are moderate, making them ideal for seniors who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

Nonetheless, they can be prone to obesity, and their howling can be loud and disturbing to some.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are gentle and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. They do not require much exercise and have low grooming needs. They are also good with children, making them ideal for seniors who have grandchildren visiting regularly.

However, they may be prone to some health issues such as heart problems and syringomyelia.



Chihuahuas are tiny and adorable dogs that are perfect for seniors who live in apartments or small homes. They require minimal exercise and grooming and can be fiercely loyal to their owners.

Realize, they may not be suitable for families with young children and may be prone to dental issues.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are affectionate and charming dogs that make great companions for seniors. They are small and require minimal exercise, making them ideal for less active seniors. They are also low shedding, making them a great choice for seniors with allergies.

That being said, they may require regular grooming to maintain their long, flowing coats.

In conclusion, choosing the right dog breed for a senior citizen requires careful consideration of the individual’s lifestyle, living situation, and health needs. Poodles, beagles, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzus are all excellent choices for seniors, each with its unique set of pros and cons. Ultimately, the perfect breed for a senior citizen will depend on their personal preferences and circumstances.

5 Best Dog Breeds For Seniors – My Opinion

There are many more dog breeds that are a good match for when you get older but I decided to narrow it down to a top 5.

I had a few dogs in my life and the dog breed I choose at that time fitted well into the lifestyle I had at that part of my life.

It also forced me to get out and take the dog for walks, and we know that walking is a low-impact exercise and good for seniors.

At a young age, I had very active dogs that needed a lot of running to get rid of their energy. Since we lived in the country at that time that was no problem.

Later in my life, I had a smaller dog that was not so high-spirited and had a calm temperament and that was great when I moved into a house in town.

When I had kids I helped them raise a dog that was very good with children.

Now I am retired I have no dog anymore. Not that I would not like to have one but for the simple reason that I am too busy to give a dog all the attention that it needs.

Where To Get A Dog?

There are breeders for every dog breed you can think off but there are also other options to find a dog.

Being a senior it might be not easy to handle a puppy. I have several people in my family who got their dog at the local animal shelter.

The advantage is these dogs are fully checked and had all their shots. You also have the option to choose a little older dog that might fit your current life better.

Eddie Vandam

Eddie Vandam, the voice behind the Senior Citizen Website, is a retired internet marketer and proud senior. With a passion for helping fellow seniors navigate the complexities of aging, Eddie shares his insights on health, independence, products, and enriching hobbies. He’s committed to making senior years both fulfilling and enjoyable. Read more about Eddie Vandam.

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