What should I consider when getting a dog for a senior?

Look for breeds that are mild mannered and stay at home dogs (like Border Collies and Shelties). You may want to avoid breeds of hunting or bird dogs whose nature it is to roam, and dogs with aggressive and high risk behaviors. 

Also check to see if the senior has any allergy to dogs. Some breeds of dogs are less allergenic than others.

Getting the right dog will help keep the senior, more active, and motivated to exercise. It is known that dogs/pets are good for stress relief, and companionship.

Dawn Marcus
When considering adding a dog to a senior's home:

  • Make sure the senior wants to have a dog
  • Be sure the senior can care for a dog - physically, mentally, and financially
  • Arrange for plans to care for the dog if the senior becomes unable to keep the dog
  • Avoid toy breeds and stubborn dogs like terriers that may get underfoot and precipitate falls
  • Consider older dogs that are already trained and less active

Seniors can get benefits from dog companionship by volunteering at animal shelters or having pet therapy visits.
Fit As Fido: Follow Your Dog to Better Health

More About this Book

Fit As Fido: Follow Your Dog to Better Health

Let your dog teach you to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life! Companionship with your pet can be used as a means and a motivator to increase your own physical and mental fitness....

Continue Learning about Healthy Aging

10 Things That Don't Age Well
10 Things That Don't Age Well
1. Eyes. “Can I have a light with that menu?” Presbyopia will hit you after the age of 40. You will notice it's more difficult to focus on objects u...
Read More
Are there any hormone therapies to slow the aging process?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
No. Estrogen therapy in women and testosterone therapy in men may have short term benefit, but also ...
More Answers
How do vaccinations slow aging?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Getting immunizations probably won't save you years of aging, but it might, and it's simple to d...
More Answers
7 Years Younger: The New Rules for Anti-Aging, Pt 3
7 Years Younger: The New Rules for Anti-Aging, Pt 3

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.