Studies show, that having a pet in the house can improve health and reduce loneliness and boredom. If you are a senior citizen or will be approaching your senior years in the upcoming years then you should consider some basic characteristics including temperament and size.

Whilst it is not necessary to exclude all large dogs, generally smaller dogs are better for ageing owners. They are easy to transport or lift, are mostly happy to lay on a lap and enjoy cuddles and patting, and can be easier to manage on a lead.

On the other hand, homeless older dogs also provide wonderful companionship. They are often loyal pets, are happy to rest at your feet and have at least some basic skills or training. This hopefully means you can enjoy the nature of a well behaved companion who is not tempted to chew on shoes, put holes in the garden or leave little surprises indoors.

If you are thinking about purchasing a new dog, here are 5 breeds which make great pets for households with senior citizens.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The largest of the toy breeds, the Cavalier is a lively, intelligent dog, compact enough to fit into the smallest household, yet sturdy enough to withstand activity should little ones visit. With centuries of domestication behind them, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel takes naturally to living indoors and is truly a delight to have around the home. He makes a lovely family pet, being gentle, friendly, affectionate and obedient, with a great love of people.


For a small dog, a Pug has a lot of love to give. The pug demands attention and adoration, but returns both in greater measure. Their overwhelming reason for living seems to be that of being close to and pleasing their parents. In their old age, they become very much the rather wheezy old relation, sitting in the most comfortable chair in front of the fire!

Miniature Dachshund

The Miniature Dachshund is wary of strangers, giving loud and early notice of their arrival, but is exceedingly affectionate with his/her own family. Despite their small size, they are nevertheless strong, hardy and ultra game. They are obedient and responsive to training. Like all Dachshunds, they should avoid rough games, jumping down from furniture or in and out of cars, for fear of possible back injuries. The Miniature Dachshund enjoys company, liking nothing better than to be included in family activities and outings and is an ideal pet for gentle children or the elderly.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie is a tiny dog with lots of spunk. This breed is happy to spend their days lounging on the sofa, and loves and needs to be groomed. They fit comfortably into the smallest household and despite their diminutive size, are good mini watchdogs. The Yorkshire Terrier is loyal, affectionate, opinionated and highly entertaining.


The Chihuahua is portable, affordable to feed and easy to groom. They require a small amount of room, are relatively odour free and need very little exercise. Chihuahua owners enjoy the comfort of having their own mini watchdog as they are fiercely protective and alert as well as being devoted and graceful.

This is just a selection of the wonderful breeds that make great pets for senior dog owners. Just remember there are good dogs and bad dogs in every breed. Each individual dog can demonstrate their own, unique personality traits which may or may not fit into your household.

There are many breeds of dogs suitable for senior citizens, these are just a few.

Related Articles