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4 Small Dog Breeds That Make Good Companions for Elderly

If you’re thinking about moving to an assisted living community but are worried about leaving your furry family member behind, you needn’t be.

If you’re thinking about moving to an assisted living community but are worried about leaving your furry family member behind, you needn’t be. Some communities, such as Solterra Senior Living, allow residents to have small pets. We understand that our four-legged friends are like family. We wouldn’t want you to be without them.

On the other hand, if you don’t already own a pet but are considering getting one, we have some recommendations. There are several small dog breeds that make great companions for our senior residents. You simply have to figure out which one is right for you. Allow us to introduce you to a few of our favorites.

1. Bichon Frise

If you’re looking for a dog breed that will help you put some pep in your step and brighten your day, the Bichon Frise is it. Pronounced “be-shahn free-zay,” the name translates to mean curly lapdog. And that personifies the Bichon Frise breed pretty well. This adorable dog breed is cheery, playful, and affectionate, making it the perfect pet companion for the elderly.

There are a couple of things to note if you’re considering adopting a Bichon Frise. First, this breed needs regular grooming and bathing. It requires lots of attention and has a moderate energy level, though it doesn’t need too much room to run around given its size. The breed is also hypoallergenic, making it suitable for anyone with pet allergies looking to adopt a pet.

2. Maltese

Maltese dogs share several characteristics with the Bichon Frise breed. Both breeds are part of the toy dog group and have similar dispositions. Maltese are also hypoallergenic, making them a good option for allergy sufferers. This breed also requires regular bathing and grooming.

A full-grown Maltese typically weighs seven pounds or less, making it the quintessential lapdog. Due to its gentle and affectionate nature, the Maltese may also serve well as a therapy dog. But keep in mind that Maltese are also an intelligent, feisty breed. It often acts as an alert watchdog, barking at the first sign of a disturbance.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is one of the largest breeds in the toy dog group. This breed typically grows to be between 13 and 18 pounds. A sporty breed, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is perfect for someone who enjoys the great outdoors. This breed needs a fair amount of exercise daily so it’s the perfect small dog for someone who enjoys hunting, hiking, or simply taking a brisk walk. Both friendly and active, Dogtime describes the Cavalier King Charles spaniel as a contender for the title of “top tail-wagger.”

4. Beagle

The beagle is a hound dog that enjoys playtime and companionship and has a friendly, agreeable temperament. The beagle is a curious scent hound so it should always be leashed on walks to keep it from wandering off. An explorer by nature, the beagle requires quite a bit of playtime and exercise. Ideally, at least an hour a day. And like the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, beagles really enjoy the great outdoors.

Think one of these breeds would make the perfect small pet? Perhaps, you want to consider some other options. If you want to find the ideal pet for you, Animal Planet has a quiz to help you get started. Whatever small dog breed you choose, we can’t wait to welcome you and your furry family member to Solterra Senior Living.