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4 Great Dog Breeds for Seniors

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.

Shih Tzu

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.

Bichon Frise

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.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Cave Creek, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

How To Pick A Great Cat For Your Senior Parent

June is National Adopt A Cat Month and it’s a wonderful time to find a new feline friend for your senior parent. Cats are great companions for seniors. They don’t need to be walked and they love to cuddle. The purr of a cat can be very soothing for seniors with anxiety. And seniors who have dementia often find comfort holding and stroking a patient cat. There are many cats who need homes, so adoption is a better option than buying a cat. If you’re worried about your senior parent’s ability to care for a cat, remember that home care can help seniors look after pets.

A home care provider can fill food and water bowls and make sure that the cat goes to the vet when necessary, if those things are too difficult for your senior loved one.

But not every cat is going to be a good fit for a senior. Ultimately your senior parent will need to spend time with any cat that they are considering adopting, but there are some things you can do to weed out any unsuitable cats before they meet your senior parent. In general cats that are a good for seniors are:


Senior cats are the best cats for senior people. A senior cat is any cat over the age of nine. There are many senior cats in shelters and adoption centers that were left there when their families replaced them with kittens. But kittens are not a good fit for seniors. Kittens are too high energy and their little teeth and claws can cause injuries to seniors who usually have thin skin. Adult cats can sleep for up to 18 hours per day. Senior cats who prefer to sleep all day rather than run around are a good match for a senior’s lifestyle.


Just like people cats have their own unique personalities. Some cats are very high strung and don’t like to be held, picked up, or petted. Those cats aren’t great for seniors. A good cat for a senior should be “bomb proof” and one that doesn’t mind being handled, picked up, hugged, and petted. That way you will know that the cat will be a loving companion for your senior parent and won’t mind getting tons of attention from your senior parent.


Cat with chronic health conditions can live a long time with proper treatment so in general people shouldn’t disqualify adopting a cat with health issues. However, for seniors it may be too much to handle a cat with a chronic health problem. For example, a cat with diabetes needs regular blood sugar monitoring and insulin injections daily. That could be too much for a senior that is struggling with their own health. Look for a senior cat with a clean bill of health who really wants to live a quiet life of pets and snacks. That’s the ideal cat for a senior, and there are lots of them just waiting to be adopted.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!