King Charles Cavalier Dog

The Five Pets for Seniors

Pets provide us with seemingly endless love and affection. They’re always happy to see us and can often lift our spirits with a simple snuggle. Our pets also offer us so much more than just “feel good” moments. There are concrete health benefits that come with pet ownership, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some of those benefits include decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and feelings of loneliness. Pet owners also have greater opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.

For seniors, it’s important to choose the right pet for companionship. You want a pet that is relatively small, gentle and doesn’t require a lot of grooming.

Here are the five best pets for seniors:

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – This breed is known for being affectionate and good with young children, which provides peace of mind when your grandchildren visit. Spaniels do equally well with active owners and homebodies, according to the American Kennel Club. At roughly 13-18 pounds, they’ll also fit perfectly on your lap and draw you in with their sweet, gentle and large round eyes.
  2. Maltese – Gentle, playful and charming, Maltese make for a hardy and adorable pet. Although they are known for their show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are actually among the dogs who shed the least, especially if you choose to get their hair cut short. They take pride in being a watchdog so expect to be alerted whenever your Amazon packages arrive. Under seven pounds, you can take this breed with you nearly anywhere or simply lounge at home with them on your lap.
  3. Yorkshire Terrier – Don’t be fooled by their small stature. This breed is known for being tenacious, brave and even bossy. They are affectionate and great with young children, but may get into a yapping match with other dogs at the park. Yorkies also have a long life expectancy and are considered hypo-allergenic, as their coat is more like human hair than animal fur. At roughly seven pounds, they are easy to take for walks or to sit with on your favorite recliner.  
  4. American Bobtail – Devoted pets, American Bobtails are incredibly loving toward their human families. They provide their owners with warmth and love during good times and bad — and also entertainment in the moments between. This breed is known for their love of games and playing fetch or hide and seek for hours on end. Overall, they are quiet and easy going cats, who get along well with people and even most other pets.
  5. American Shorthair – For a gentle companion and a playmate for grandchildren, look no further than the American Shorthair. They’re known for their sweet personality and ability to get along well with other family members — human and animal alike. They love to cuddle and are good pets for people living on their own, the elderly and people living with disabilities, according to the International Cat Association (TICA).

If you’re a senior looking for a dog or cat, consider adopting one from a local shelter. There are lots of pets looking for a good home — and someone to share their love and companionship.