The 5 Bestest Best Friends for Seniors

Are you looking for a best friend who is loyal, affectionate, doesn’t talk too much, and is all around good company? Good news – you don’t have to look much further than your local animal shelter. Studies have shown that pets – specifically those of the canine variety – are great for the mental and physical health of seniors. They provide companionship and support for elders living on their own, and encourage seniors to go outside, exercise, and meet other seniors with furry friends. 

If you’re sold on the health benefits of having man’s best friend, you might be wondering which breed of dog is the best fit for you. Dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes with different dispositions, grooming needs, and energy levels, some of which are better catered to the senior lifestyle. Here are 5 canine breeds that are the best golden year roommates.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is often ranked #1 as the most senior-friendly canine because of its amiable and affectionate disposition. As a breed, they get along well with other dogs and small children which is great for when family comes to visit. When you are home alone with them, all they want to do is lavish you with snuggles and kisses. 

Another great quality of the Shih Tzu is its size as it only grows to weigh between 9-16 pounds. This makes transport and travel easier, as they can accompany you on errands and even fly with you on most major airlines. They are also a low shedding breed so there’s no need to concern yourself with extra cleaning or vacuuming. And let’s face it, they’re also super cute!


If a pocket-size pooch isn’t really your speed and you prefer larger breeds, you should consider a Greyhound. While boastful in size, weighing between 60 and 80 lbs, the Greyhound has a rather gentle disposition. They are known to be independent which is preferable for a more independent senior, but they also love a good cuddle. 

While the Greyhounds’ nature is top-notch, they are a short-haired breed and require the occasional brushing. As they have been bred for hunting and racing, they also need to stay active and like longer walks for exercise. It’s important to note that during walks or visits to the park that you keep your Greyhound on a leash at all times, as they have a high drive for prey. 

All in all, Greyhounds make for amazing pets that are the perfect match for active seniors. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of posh and personality, you should definitely consider a King Charles Spaniel. This adorable canine is intelligent, friendly, patient, and highly adaptable. They can be a forever lap dog or an active pup, they’ll let you take the lead. This breed’s adaptability is what makes it perfect for the senior lifestyle because as long as your King Charles is with you, she’s happy. 

The Cavalier caveat is definitely its grooming needs. King Charles have long, silky hair that requires brushing several times a week. A monthly visit to the groomer is also suggested. 

If the grooming needs don’t put you off, then the King Charles is a fabulous option for your new furry friend. 


If you want an affectionate and highly intelligent dog who learns fast but you’re undecided on size, check out the Poodle. The Poodle is one of the most popular breeds and comes in 3 different sizes – toy (4-6 lbs), miniature (10-15 lbs), and standard (45-70 lbs). The Poodle’s general disposition is extremely loyal and nurturing, and they are known to bond with multiple people which makes them great for senior couples. 

While the Poodle is a non-shed breed, it’s soft, curly coat does require good grooming every 1-2 months. It’s also important to make sure that your poodle gets ample exercise as its muscular body and energetic spirit requires more activity. 

If you’re up for moderate activity and an unbreakable bond, the Poodle could be your next soul mate. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

You might be surprised because of its short and stocky stature, but the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is great for seniors who are looking for an enthusiastic companion to join them on outdoor activities like hikes. The Corgi’s disposition is extremely sociable and happy, and they will no doubt need an owner who matches their bubbly personality. This little breed is also protective and makes for a great miniature watchdog. 

The corgi’s amazing temperament definitely makes up for it’s high-maintenance grooming needs. Its double coat will require regular brushing and you can expect to break out the vacuum a bit more frequently. The Corgi is also highly active, so they’ll need regular stimulation and enjoy a variety of toys and games to keep them busy. 

This short-legged canine might be little but they have the biggest and brightest hearts!

No matter what the breed, a furry friend could drastically improve your Senior lifestyle; however, it’s also important to pick the best match for you. When choosing your new family member, keep age in mind as you might be surprised by how well senior dogs complement senior hoomans. Either way, adopting a dog is always exciting and it’s a sure fire way to gain unconditional companionship. 






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