Senior’s Best Friends: 5 Most Caring and Loyal Dog Breed Companions

By GoReach

A senior’s life tends to get lonely. When our kids move out, and your loved ones and friends pass away, there’s no one to keep us company. In fact, for most of us, caregivers are the only company we have and the only people we can talk to throughout the day.

A lot of companies like A Better Way in Home Care can help us find a good caregiver who can help us around the house and be a great friend to talk to. But, in the evening when they are gone, all that’s left is the eerie silence.

Social isolation can be a dreadful thing and can lead to conditions such as depression. And while everyone has a different story, isolation seems to be a recurring theme for most seniors.

And while we cannot expect our children to give us their full, unconditional support now that they have their own children to care for, not all hope is lost.

Why Seniors Love Dogs

Dogs are known as the “man’s best friend,” and for a reason!

Their loyalty, undivided attention and constant support are just what most of us need. On those lonely days, their eyes full of admiration are all we need to make it through the rough patch.

Studies also show that pets can have more than just psychological benefits. In fact, dogs can have a calming effect on their owner and even improve their physiological condition. An American Heart Association study concluded that seniors who had a surgery recovered better if they interacted with dogs.

A study at Australia’s Baker Medical Research Institute shows that pet owners exhibit lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Another study conducted at the Queen’s University in Belfast with 138 pet owners suffering from diabetes concluded that dogs reacted to their owners’ drop in blood sugar level.

Dogs can also react to other medical conditions and serve as a reminder that we should look for medical assistance.

Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

While all dogs provide unconditional love, some are more compatible with seniors than others. Small breeds have certain traits that make them a perfect fit for any lonely senior soul. In this article, we’ll list five breeds that make the perfect senior companions.

Maltese

These little furry delights are perfect as they adore people and spend most of their time in your lap. They prefer the indoors, making them the perfect match for anyone who does the same.

They usually weight between 5 and 8 lbs. when fully grown. They don’t exhibit any troublesome behavior, which is why they are often used as therapy dogs.

The best part is that they are hypoallergenic and rarely suffer from any health issues. The only downside is that they require frequent grooming so their fur can stay soft.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

These puppies also enjoy spending their time curled up in your lap but enjoy the outdoors as well. However, they don’t take spending time alone too well and can become anxious. This makes them ideal for seniors with the same problem. They are easy to train and enjoy traveling.

Shih Tzu

Loyal and affectionate, Shih Tzus were bred to be the perfect lap dog and a loyal, cuddly buddy. They are perfect companions for seniors as they are devoted and alert. They also require frequent grooming, although some owners prefer to keep their fur trimmed short.

Poodle

Whenever you picture a senior and a dog, that dog is almost always a poodle. There’s a reason they are so popular among seniors. They are fun, intelligent and loyal. On top of that, they shed very little and enjoy showering their owners with love.

Havanese

The Havanese are a very playful and social breed that require very low maintenance. They are very well mannered towards guests as well, but they tend to devote all their loving to their owners. They are very intelligent and even able to master the litter box. This is ideal for seniors who cannot get out too often.

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired two decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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