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Best Small Breed Dogs For Older People

Maltese dog in park

Selecting the best small breed dogs for seniors

is a decision that needs to consider both the needs of older individuals and the characteristics of the canine companions.

At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, nestled in the serene landscapes of Cheshire, we recognise the importance of this decision-making process and understand the unique bond that can form between seniors and their furry friends.


“The best breed for an older person is the dog that matches their energy and attention level. If you want a dog that can go running with you, choose an athletic dog with endurance. If you prefer a calm lap dog, then it’s best to avoid high-energy dog breeds. You may lean toward a lower-maintenance dog breed as your first one, especially if you do not have time for lots of grooming.” Dogs Trust


One of the top choices for seniors is the Maltese.

These small dogs are known for their gentle and affectionate nature.

They require minimal dog walks and exercise, making them suitable for older people with a less active lifestyle.

Their silky coats do require regular dog grooming, but their companionship and adaptability are often worth the effort.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are another excellent option for seniors.

These dogs are friendly, sociable, and enjoy spending time with their owners.

Their moderate exercise needs make them manageable for seniors, and their easy-going temperament can bring joy and comfort to older people.

The Pomeranian is a small breed known for its lively personality and is a great choice for seniors.

While they may require a bit more grooming, their energy can be contagious and provide seniors with companionship and entertainment.

Their small size makes them easy to manage, and they often form strong bonds with older people.

Pugs are known for their affectionate and gentle disposition, making them a fantastic choice for seniors.

They are social dogs that thrive on human interaction. While they do require some exercise, they are generally adaptable to the activity levels of their older owners.

For seniors seeking a slightly larger small breed, the Shetland Sheepdog could be a wonderful choice.

These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them suitable for seniors who enjoy training and mental stimulation. Their size is manageable, and they often become loyal and affectionate companions.

In conclusion, the best small breed dogs for seniors

tend to possess qualities such as adaptability, affection, and manageable exercise needs.

These furry friends can bring joy, companionship, and a sense of purpose to the lives of older people.

While each dog's personality is unique, the bond formed between seniors and their small breed companions can be deeply rewarding.


Which small breed dogs are known for their calm temperament? 

Certain breeds are good for senior citizens because of their placid and amiable temperaments, such the Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

What are the benefits of owning a small breed dog for seniors?

Owning a small breed dog can provide companionship and a sense of purpose and even help reduce stress and anxiety.

Regular walks with the dog can also promote physical activity and social interaction.

Are there small breed dogs that require less physical activity? 

Yes, some small breed dogs such as the Pekingese, Bulldog, and Shih Tzu are known for their lower energy levels, making them a wise option for anyone who wants a more laid-back way of living.

What factors should seniors consider when choosing a small breed dog?

Factors to consider include the dog’s energy level, grooming needs, health issues common to the breed, and the dog’s temperament. It’s also important to consider the senior’s lifestyle and living situation.

Can owning a small breed dog improve the quality of life for seniors? 

Yes, owning a small breed dog can significantly improve the quality of life for seniors. These dogs offer unconditional affection and company, which can lessen feelings of loneliness and enhance mental health in general.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

mary puppins small dog breeds uk

Mary Puppins, best small dogs, older people

mary puppins small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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We provide free, useful information for pet parents of small dog breeds UK. 

Please be aware that our opinions may differ to yours and that's ok. We encourage healthy, positive discussion. 


We all love our small dogs! And want them to live a long and happy life. 

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