Decide On The Best Dog For Your Senior Living Situation

Tim Watt  |  December 30, 2014

Study after study has found that owning a pet has proven to benefit people in general, especially senior citizens. Animals ensure that their owners keep moving, requiring individuals to keep up with them and partake in all kinds of physical activities. Pets offer a certain degree of companionship and an ample amount of affection, which promotes mental health and lowers stress levels. In addition, taking care of an animal usually leads to more opportunities for interaction, which gives people a social outlet. With all of that said, those in senior living communities should choose wisely when it comes to picking the best pet possible.

Pick the best breed for your needs
There are a wide range of breeds that could fit the bill and then some in terms of what you're looking for in the perfect pet. Oftentimes, it is recommended that individuals who are in the later stages of their lives go with smaller dogs, as they tend to be easier to handle and do not take up as much space. However, that still leaves a diverse selection of breeds, and you have to consider your personal preferences before settling on a specific type.

Not all small dogs are created equal. For example, Jack Russell terriers are tiny, and yet they are overly energetic, mischievous and rambunctious. Woman's Day recommended that you find a dog with a balanced temperament, willing to play if you're ready, while still able to settle down and cuddle when you're tired.

First, the source suggested that you seriously consider getting a pug, which are lively and friendly, but also easy to train and calm when needed. If that breed is not to your liking, you could always go with a Yorkshire terrier. Equally as small as pugs, this dog also boasts desirable traits, as they are usually quite bright and extremely affectionate. If you are more active, and are searching for a pet that can match you, then explore the possibility of owning a cocker spaniel. These dogs are on the slightly bigger side as far as small breeds go, but they make up for it with their natural sense of loyalty and attachment.

Other aspects to consider
Vetstreet states that regardless of the type of dog that you eventually choose, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For example, you would benefit from picking up an adult dog rather than a puppy so that you don't have to train it. Additionally, you need to explore any past or potential medical problems relating to a pet. This way, you can guarantee that you're able to enjoy many relaxing and stress-free years together.