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8 Awesome Dog Breeds for Older Adults

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Spending time with a loving dog can stave off depression, loneliness, and lethargy and reduce anxiety, hypertension, cholesterol, and stress. Here are a few dog breeds that are ideal for older adults.

1. Maltese

Despite its small size, the Maltese is surprisingly confident and a keen watchdog. Seniors with allergies often buy these dogs, as they don’t shed too much fur. To keep the dog’s white coat soft and pristine, ensure daily brushing and monthly professional grooming. Maltese dogs are moderately active indoors, and they may require short daily walks. The average life expectancy for these dogs is 12 to 15 years. 

Caring for a dog is not the only way older adults can receive mental and social stimulation. For families living in Bethlehem, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is calm, cuddly, friendly, and adaptable. Whether your loved one wants to play inside or stroll outdoors, the dog may gladly oblige. Although rather quiet, the cavalier bonds well with young and old family members. The average cavalier weighs around 15 pounds and lives roughly 10 to 14 years.

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are polite and outgoing, and they’re widely used as therapy dogs. Apart from fetching, these dogs enjoy greeting people and snuggling, and they can be trained easily. Their fur is hypoallergenic, with minimal shedding. However, these dogs are prone to heat stroke and hypothermia and they need protection from extreme temperatures. Weighing between 10 and 25 pounds, Boston Terriers typically live to age 15.

4. Pug

Pugs are loyal and laid-back dogs that can easily adjust to household activity. These dogs are fairly affectionate and love to cuddle. Just make sure to monitor playtime. With a short nose, vigorous romps may get the dog overheated and breathless. Also, pugs should be shielded from high temperatures. Regular brushing keeps shedding manageable. To prevent infections, the dog’s facial wrinkles must be cleaned daily. Although not barkers, pugs frequently snore and snuffle endearingly. Weighing between 14 and 18 pounds, they live to an average of 13 years. 

Engaging in pet therapy is known to boost quality of life, but seniors often require additional assistance to remain healthy and happy while aging in place. Older adults who need help maintaining a high quality of life should consider professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Bethlehem Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

5. Bichon Frisé

People can’t resist kissing the innocent face of a Bichon. In turn, the pup is generous with affection. Although friendly to all, the Bichon is known for favoring one family member. Bichons are quick to sense and console discomfort, and they weigh between 7 and 12 pounds. Their velvety coats are non-allergenic and non-shedding. To maintain their elegant fluffiness, they need brushing three times weekly, along with monthly professional grooming. Daily moderate exercise helps Bichons stay healthy. Life expectancy for these dogs averages 15 years.

6. Havanese

The Havanese lives to please its family members, including seniors, children, and other pets. Smart and inventive, this dog breed thrives on making people laugh. Although lively, the Havanese is rather soft-spoken and doesn’t bark much. The Havanese coat spans a range of colors, such as silver, champagne, black, cream, and gold. While low-shedding, this breed needs daily brushing and occasional expert grooming. These dogs can weigh up to 13 pounds, require plenty of exercise, and live to 15 years of age.

7. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland white terriers are fairly independent and rarely insecure. However, when people are home, these dogs seek attention. These terriers are also alert, verbal, and protective and respond respond well to firm discipline and food-based training. The wavy fur sheds minimally, but it does need regular brushing and trims. Having a strong prey drive, this breed keeps backyard rodents at bay. However, since these dogs find digging irresistible, gardens are off limits. To satisfy a West Highland white terrier’s curiosity, ensure daily walks and playtime. Also, to channel its joyous energy, stock up on dog toys. These dogs average 15 pounds in weight and generally live 12 to 16 years.

8. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a novel combination of lapdog and watchdog. Though lightweight, the dog is a brave sort, quickly announcing visitors. However, once guests are inside, they’re warmly received. The Shih Tzu requires training, daily brushing, and occasional grooming. These dogs have minimal exercise needs, and daily walks and some playtime should suffice. Average Shih Tzu life span is 15 years. 

From caring for their dogs to preparing meals, seniors may need help with a wide variety of everyday activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Bethlehem, PA, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.