What Breed of Dog is Best for You?

Dog ownership is full of benefits to seniors. Those who choose to own a dog tend towards being more active. Seniors who own a dog are usually more active. Studies suggest that owning a pet lowers doctor visits for the senior by 21 percent. Many seniors report feeling less lonely and depressed when they have a pet. Seniors often benefit from the routine that comes with taking care of a pet. Other seniors report that it is easier to make friends when they have a dog because the dog helps break the ice. 
With over 3.9 million dogs in animal shelters across the United States and even more available from breeders, it is relatively easy for a senior to get a pet. It is vital to choose the right breed, however, as different ones are truly unique. If you are a senior or someone who loves one going through the following 10 questions will help you to be ready to choose a new dog. 

  • Q: What are some dog breeds for seniors who are looking for a security dog?
    A: Some mature individuals may want to consider getting a dog to help ensure that they stay safe in their home. The soft-coated wheaten terrier is large enough to intimidate most criminals, but he will require the senior to learn to groom them daily, and he requires trips to the pet salon about once a month. If the senior would rather go for long walks than spend time grooming, then a weimaraner may be the answer. This dog, however, requires lots of activity and intellectual stimulation. Finally, if the senior is looking for a quiet dog who will still be protective, then he may want to consider a Chinese shar-pei as they are usually quieter dogs that are still protective. 
  • Q: What are some dog breeds for seniors who are looking for a lap dog?
    A: Many seniors love a dog that will lay by them all day long. Pugs usually weigh less than 18 pounds, and they have a quiet temperament. Seniors may also want to consider Boston terriers as they usually weigh less than 28 pounds, and they are usually happiest when they are right beside their owner. Cocker spaniels often weigh less than 35 pounds, and they love mature people who will throw a ball and do other low-level activities with them.
  • Q: What are some dog breeds who do well on long walks?
    A: Many seniors love to go on long walks with their dogs. Despite their short legs, most basset hounds love to go on walks. Seniors who live in larger homes may find that the English pointer is the perfect walking buddy along with the breed being very willing to learn other tricks. Those who live in smaller apartments may want to consider chihuahuas, but their barking may be too much for some owners, especially those with close neighbors.
  • Q: What are some dog breeds that do well with grandchildren?
    A: Many grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren. While some breeds of dogs may be highly protective of the senior, there are others who love to romp with the grandchildren. Bulldogs often make a good choice for these seniors as they seem to work hard at being amusing while still being quiet enough for the senior to handle on days when there are no children to chase. Seniors looking for a larger dog may want to consider the Newfoundland because they are strong enough and patient enough to help take care of young grandchildren. 
  • Q: What are some good breeds for hunters and fishers?
    A: If the senior enjoys hunting and fishing, then a dog may be the perfect companion for them. Taking a dog, like an English pointer, Labrador retriever and many others, out to hunt may be a great exercise for many seniors. Other seniors may find that a dog is an outstanding companion for a fishing trip. Cattle dogs often make a great choice because they are easy to train and extremely loyal. 
  • Q: Why may a mutt make a great dog for a senior?
    A: While some mature adults may prefer a purebred dog, a mutt may be the perfect dog for a senior. These dogs often have characteristics from two or more breeds, so it is important to consider the dog's temperament, size and activity level before making a final decision. Many mutts are often available at animal shelters allowing seniors to choose from many different dogs including large and small breeds.
  • Q: What is required to take care of a dog?
    A: All dogs need food and water on a regular basis. Some dogs require daily grooming while others only require an occasional bath. Seniors should also make sure to think about the activity level that is right for them especially as they continue to age and may become more limited in mobility. Most dogs will require some activity daily, with many requiring daily walks. Seniors often find that pets with low energy levels fit their lifestyle better.
  • Q: What age-group of dogs is right for seniors?
    A: While some seniors may prefer the challenge of training a new pup, but many seniors find that an older dog makes a great companion. Older dogs often have a harder time getting adopted from shelters, so often their adoption fee is lower. Additionally, the senior dog may already know basic commands making them easier to take care of on a daily basis. Keep in mind that senior dogs are more likely to have health issues.
  • Q: How much does it cost to own a dog?
    A: Seniors need to consider the cost of owning a dog before making the commitment. The average cost of owning a dog is $1,270 during the first year. Then, many seniors spend at least $500 annually on their pets. Dog food, grooming, veterinarian care and other expenses can all add up quickly. Seniors need to think about these costs before adding a dog to their family. 
  • Q: Can a senior get a service dog?
    A: Seniors may qualify for a service dog because of a number of health conditions. Visual, hearing and mental health issues are among the many reasons that seniors qualify for a service dog. Others find that they can train a dog to alert them when they are about to have a seizure or have low blood sugar levels. Getting a dog registered as a service animal allows the senior to take the dog anywhere with them. 

Many seniors can benefit from owning a dog. It is important to choose the right breed to match the senior's lifestyle.

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