by Sarah Halfpenny
The companionship of canines has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase activity and may even prevent depression. For seniors – many of whom have smaller living quarters – a breed that’s small in size with moderate energy levels usually makes the best fit. Here are five dog breeds to consider when choosing your next best friend:
West Highland White Terrier
These small and sturdy dogs need only moderate exercise and don’t shed much fur. They are full of character and like to be a full participant in a household, greeting visitors and enjoying playtime.
If you’re happy with a dog that will want your companionship through the day, this may be the breed for you. They adapt well to most homes and love their walks, especially chasing games like chasing and retrieving a ball. Their wiry coat doesn’t require much grooming. A good choice for a more active senior.
Intelligent, affectionate and excellent watchdogs but also non-aggressive, the toy poodle has a lot going for it. Plus, if you have allergies, they are the lightest-shedding, most hypoallergenic of all dog breeds. They do require regular clipping but you don’t need to get it done like the stereotypical poodle we’ve all grown up seeing in cartoons and movies!
A classic ‘hand bag pooch’, this fluffy breed is happy, affectionate and inquisitive, with a high level of self-esteem and spirit. A definite lapdog that will love to snooze but also play with toys. Confident owners are required to make sure the strong-willed Pomeranian knows who is in charge!
No, that’s not a misprint! Though we immediately think of them as racing dogs, Greyhounds are actually couch potatoes! At home they will be calm and quiet and seek out the comfort of their owners. If you like larger dogs, they are easy to handle and will enjoy daily walks. And best of all, you can help re-home an ex-racing dog that might otherwise have a very sad fate.