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The Best Dogs for Senior Living

in Senior Lifestyle

Retirement is more rewarding with a furry friend by your side. Here’s how to choose the perfect pup to join you in a senior living community.


Whether you’re looking for companionship, a sweet pup to pet to calm your nerves, or a reason to get out and exercise, the benefits of dog ownership are plentiful. But there are several things to consider when choosing the best dogs for senior living. Just like people, each pup has its own unique personality, but here are some guidelines to consider when looking for great dogs for seniors.


Energy Level

High energy can come in small packages. Many small dogs require as much exercise as large breeds. Smaller breeds don’t automatically equal a lap dog. Consider the general energy level of the pup and if it aligns with your own energy level.


Friendly Factor

Researching the temperaments of various breeds is recommended, especially if you have younger grandkids that visit or other pets. For example, some dogs are notorious for being kid-unfriendly. Of course, as we mentioned, each animal is different, so consider fostering for a month or so to see if you and the pup are a good match.


Grooming Requirements

If you enjoy pampering your pets and a monthly trip to the doggy beauty parlor is on your agenda, then grooming requirements won’t be an issue. But if time or money are concerns, then it’s important to research the extent of grooming needed before choosing your canine companion.


Health History

Certain dog breeds are genetically predisposed to more health issues than others. Because many retirees are on a fixed income, this is something worth researching. For example, some dogs are prone to respiratory issues or hip dysplasia, both aliments often requiring surgery.



Our Top Pup Picks for Senior Living

Adopt a Mutt: Don’t rule them out because they’re not purebred. Mutts — they prefer the term “mixed-breed” — come with a lot of positive attributes and are often the best dogs for retirement living. Due to genetic diversity, they are less likely to have some of the health issues commonly found in certain purebreds. And the shelter will have the inside scoop on the dog’s behavior patterns through first-hand observations. Plus, there’s a special satisfaction that goes along with rehoming a pet who just wants to be loved. Spectrum loves dogs for seniors, and we make it easy to choose your perfect pooch by bringing adoption events right to our senior living communities.

If you’re looking for a particular breed, here are a few notes about temperament and care according to the American Kennel Club (AKC):

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Petite pooches bred to be lap dogs. According to the AKC: “This serene spaniel is surprisingly low-maintenance. Its coat is no muss, no fuss, requiring just weekly brushing. Its energy level depends on you — it can go for a hike or hike on to your lap and requires just one walk daily.”

Toy Poodle: Non-shedding, super smart, and even-tempered. What’s not to love? The AKC shares this bonus: The breed can be littered trained. “You don’t need to take it outside as many times a day to answer nature’s call. That’s great for someone who lives in a high-rise or walk-up and has no urge to exercise.”

Pug: An affinity to children and no need to be constantly coddled. Pugs easily adapt to any living situation and “They function well in confined spaces, and a walk in the neighborhood is usually enough exercise to make them happy,” says the AKC.

Spectrum Retirement loves pets! Whether you have a dog or prefer the feline persuasion, we welcome your companion. Check out all the benefits of moving into a senior living community at Spectrum.