Therapy dogs are all the rage these days! Once only consider companions to aid the visually impaired, canines are now being adopted to sense when seizures are starting to occur, an individual’s blood sugar is getting low, or to calm even the most severe attacks of anxiety and panic! Even if none of these is your need, a dog just might be the perfect companion for you in your senior years, and there are some breeds that are the frontrunner choices in senior living facilities.
Consider the Pomeranian! Essentially a 3-to-5-pound puffball, this pretty pet is known for its luxurious long coat and petite features. Pomeranians make the ideal lap dog and adapt to the smallest living quarters. This breed is highly intelligent and can be taught tricks that are showstoppers. Because it is high energy, the Pom needs a lot of exercise…but because of its compact size, that exercise can easily be fulfilled in a few laps around the living room!
The French Bulldog is a senior living favorite simply because it is a constant source of comic relief! There will never be a dull moment with this choice, that tops out at about 25 pounds. Although a small dog, this breed is not considered “yappy” as other miniature breeds. It’s pouty snout and bat-like ears are complimented by a very mellow disposition that draws a crowd quickly.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a great pick for the active senior who wants an emotional AND an exercise companion! Although its coat needs regular grooming, it is considered hypoallergenic. Weighing a max of 20 pounds, the Schnauzer is a loving companion and will never say “no” to several outdoor walks a day!
Although there are endless choices of small breeds that thrive as companion pets, none ranks as high as the Pug. With a maximum weight of 18-20 pounds, the pug has a virtually care-free coat and relaxed temperament that is perfect for the senior who enjoys relaxing at home with some constant fur to cuddle. Its adorable, squished face is complimented by its tightly curled tail, which tends to lead its entire body in a people-loving wag. The only complaint here is an occasional snore, which is commonly cured by a gentle nudge to the ribs!
Dogs are a fabulous choice for seniors who want a pet for companionship, exercise, and often some amusement. When choosing a breed, always check first with your local Animal Shelter. There just may be someone there who needs you just as much as you need him!