Best Dogs for Seniors in Apartments

Adding a dog to your family in your retirement years can be a rewarding experience, with plenty of furry and loveable adventures. Whether you’re a senior looking for a furry friend or helping an older adult find a companion, it’s essential to find a pet that best fits you or your loved ones’ lifestyle and activity levels. This guide will help seniors choose the right breed for their needs.

The best breeds for seniors living in apartments vary depending on several factors. For starters, consider personal health and activity levels. Some retirees prefer large, more active breeds that can join them on frequent walks and hikes. While seniors with medical conditions may choose a lap dog to cuddle up with while reading their favorite book.

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Pets for Those in Senior Living Apartments

Some may think that owning a dog is restricted to people with yards and large houses. However, that is not the case. Enjoy your golden years with a pet that fits your lifestyle and space. On this list, we have various dog breeds that are quiet and social, so there is no barking to disturb your close neighbors.

If you’re moving to a new senior living community, note that some communities may not be pet friendly or have breed/weight restrictions for some pets. Brightwater, a luxury retirement community in Myrtle Beach is proud to welcome pets of all shapes and sizes.New Members are encouraged to bring their pets from their previous homes as they are a part of the family.

Choosing your furry friend

Make sure you choose a breed that won’t have safety concerns or excessive maintenance. For example, a large energetic dog that tends to pull on its leash may contribute to a fall, or a dog with a long coat may require more grooming than anticipated. While smaller breeds are recommended for apartment dwellers and seniors, it’s important to do your research because some small dogs require more exercise and grooming than others. We have compiled a detailed list of different dog breeds that may be suitable for seniors who are living in apartment homes.

When living in an apartment, people tend to picture smaller dogs. But don’t worry, a few larger breeds adapt well in apartments and are senior-friendly. Long-haired, high-maintenance breeds are not preferred for seniors unless, of course, you don’t mind devoting your time to regular brushing and bathing.

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Low Energy Breeds

If your hobbies include reading books, watching movies, and making a good cup of coffee then these dog breeds are perfect for your lifestyle.

French Bulldog – Also known as “Frenchies”, this breed is considered one of the best dogs for seniors who live in apartments. These are low-energy and low maintenance dogs that are loyal to their owners. Frenchies will happily climb into their owner’s lap and cuddle with you, while you watch your favorite show or read your favorite book. Their short coats hardly require grooming, making them great for seniors who want to cuddle more and groom less.

Bichon Frise – Most known for their curly white coat that doesn’t shed, these dogs are small and have lots of love to give. Their hypoallergenic nature requires regular visits to the groomers to keep their coat under control. However, they are gentle and cuddly dogs. Bichons are not considered barkers, which is excellent for apartment living. They only need short walks to keep them healthy, making them great for seniors in apartments.

Shih Tzu – These dogs are playful and welcoming to family and strangers, making them great for seniors who often host gatherings. Shih Tzus require little exercise from a short walk or a game of fetch. They have a gentle and loving attitude which is great for seniors in apartments that enjoy frequent guests.

Yorkshire Terrier – This tiny terrier, also known as a “Yorkie”, is a small dog weighing around 7 pounds with a 13-15 years life expectancy, making them the perfect companion. These tiny pups are suited for apartment life and don’t require much exercise. They would much rather curl up with their owner while you watch your favorite show. Their coats require some brushing, but they do not shed, which is excellent for seniors with allergies.

Boston Terrier– Boston Terriers are quiet dogs that adapt well to apartment living. These dogs are considered suitable for seniors because of their laid-back attitude and loyalty. Their low maintenance, short coats are great because they require minimal grooming other than an occasional bath. These are the easiest breed for seniors if you want companionship without extra work.

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Active Breeds

For seniors that love to be out and about, you may prefer a dog whose energy matches yours.

Miniature Schnauzer – With low grooming needs, this dog is perfect for seniors on the go. Schnauzers are obedient dogs that love to please their owners, making them easily trained loyal companions. They are very playful dogs that need daily exercise. Schnauzers love daily walks and being with their owner. This makes them a great companion for car rides, cuddles, and everything in between. These dogs are considered to have low maintenance grooming, maybe an occasional trim every month or two.

Poodle – Poodles are intelligent dogs that are easy to train and love to please their owners, making them great companions for seniors. While these dogs can thrive without exercise, they quickly adapt to their owner’s lifestyle. Whether you want to go on one walk per day or 3 walks per day, your poodle will be more than happy to join. Poodles are ideal for seniors because they are gentle and come in various sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Teacup. While these dogs don’t shed, they require grooming every month or two.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi – Originally bred as herding dogs, Corgis require more energy expenditure than other dog breeds on this list. However, Corgis are intelligent, fun-loving dogs that love to be around their owners 24/7. These dogs enjoy daily walks, hikes, and trips to the dog park. Corgis can be on the larger side and weigh up to 30 pounds. Corgis are prone to shedding, so daily brushing may be required.

West Highland White Terrier – These dogs are also known as “Westies” and are loyal, sweet, and quick thinkers. Westies are easy to train and don’t require much grooming, making them suitable for apartment living. Westies need daily exercise because of their energetic attitude. A walk once a day is ideal for Westies, but they are always up for longer hikes with their owner.

Chihuahua – This tiny breed can be easily exercised indoors, making them great for apartment dwellers. Chihuahuas are a spunky breed that can easily be picked up and fit easily on a senior’s lap. Their fun-loving personality makes them easy to be around, and they love to stay warm with their owners. Chihuahuas don’t require much grooming. An occasional bath and putting them in a cute sweater make them easy to take care of.

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Large Breeds

Greyhound – The Greyhound is also known as a race dog, but they are actually big couch potatoes. Greyhounds love to lay around and require minimal exercise, such as a game of fetch. Their sweet temperament and laid-back attitude make them just as loyal as smaller dogs. Their short coats do not require a lot of grooming, making them a maintenance breed that is great for seniors.

Retrievers – Retrievers are known for their loyalty and gentle demeanor. Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever varieties are brilliant and loving, commonly used as service and therapy dogs. Retrievers comfortably adapt to an apartment lifestyle and love to lay around. However, compared to small breeds, retrievers require more exercise and frequent grooming. This makes them more suited for seniors on the go.

Mixed Breeds – Check your local shelter!

A local shelter is a great place to start searching for your “furever” friend. Adopting an adult dog not only gives you a new furry friend, but it gives them a loving and comfortable home for life. We recommend that seniors adopt an older dog, so most of the hard work of owning a puppy has already been done. Adopting an adult dog means you don’t have to stress potty training, crate training, and obedience training. Mutt variations are cost-effective and can combine great qualities of different breeds.

Benefits of Seniors Owning a Dog

Companionship makes a big difference to seniors’ physical and mental health. Adding a dog into their life can bring joy, happiness, and plenty of laughter. With more time at home, retirees make the best pet parents. At Brightwater, we love to see our new members bring their pets with them while they move into our villa apartments. As a pet-friendly community, we can’t wait to meet you and your furry friend.

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