Has your elderly parent expressed a desire to adopt a dog? October is National Adopt a Dog month, sponsored by the Humane Society since 1981. It encourages people seeking out pet ownership to consider adopting a dog rather than purchasing one from a pet store or private breeder. Many dogs need to be adopted and they cover every type of breed. While sometimes finding the exact breed your parent desires may be a bit of a search at shelters, it is possible.
Different breeds of dogs can vary in temperament, maintenance, energy, and compatibility so before you take the plunge into being a dog owner, your parent should do a bit of research on what breed of dog may be best for the type of life he wants to provide the dog. While your aging parent can always get help from you and perhaps a home care provider, in the end, he will be the one mainly responsible for his new dog staying happy and healthy.
Let’s look at some top breeds for seniors and why they can be a great fit.
Topping the list is the adorable little Shih Tzu. Usually weighing around 10 pounds, these sweet little dogs are great lap dogs and are happy to snuggle with your parent on the couch or chair almost all day. They are also often very good with guests and visitors. They do require a lot of grooming so your parent will need to be prepared to groom and care for this dog’s coat. A home care provider can help with brushing when visiting but your parent will still need to pay for regular groomer visits.
This is another small lap dog. Malteses are very good at understanding and reacting to people’s moods and are often used as therapy dogs because of their sweet demeanor. They don’t shed at all but do require regular grooming and daily walks. Having to provide a dog with daily walks is also a great incentive for your parent to get out and exercise as well. When the weather is too cold or too hot, he might want to have a younger family member take the dog for a walk on those days or even have a home care provider do it.
Poodles are intelligent dogs that can be easily trained to follow rules. They also have a huge eagerness to please. It makes them happy to make you happy. Poodles come in three different sizes from the very small toy poodle to the much larger standard poodle, which can weigh up to 75 pounds. It can be a great option if your parent doesn’t want a smaller dog.
Back to small dogs, the bichon frise is a wonderful dog for seniors. They are not high energy and just love to curl up beside a person and keep close to their person. They make sure your parent will never feel alone because they don’t like to let their owners out of their sight!
These are just a few suggestions but in the end, it’s up to you and your parent to determine which is the best dog for him.