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The Best Dog Breeds for Seniors in Independent Living

The Best Dog Breeds for Seniors in Independent Living

For many seniors in independent living communities, life is already filled with joy and connection. But sometimes, a furry friend can make an even bigger difference. Beyond companionship, many studies have shown that owning a pet can provide many benefits to older adults, including reducing stress and feelings of loneliness and promoting a more active lifestyle.

However, with all the wonderful dog breeds out there, choosing the right one for your lifestyle is key. This blog will guide you through some of the best dog breeds for seniors, taking into account factors like activity level, living space, and overall needs.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Dog in Independent Living

Finding the perfect canine companion for your independent living lifestyle is all about compatibility. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Living Space: Apartment life offers a wonderful sense of community, but square footage can be limited. High-energy breeds might not be the best fit. Consider a smaller dog with moderate exercise needs who can be content with indoor playtime and shorter walks.
  • Activity Level: Matching your activity level with your dog’s is crucial. While some seniors may enjoy daily walks and playtime, others may have limitations. Choose a breed with a similar energy level to avoid frustration for both you and your pet.
  • Grooming Needs: Long, high-maintenance coats can be a challenge for some seniors. Opt for breeds with short hair, low shedding, or hypoallergenic coats that require minimal grooming.
  • Temperament: Independent living communities are social environments. A gentle, friendly breed that gets along well with other residents and staff will create a positive atmosphere for everyone.
  • Age: While a playful puppy might be tempting, remember they require a lot of training, attention, and supervision. Opting for a slightly older dog can provide a calmer, more established companion.


Top Dog Breeds for Independent Living

Small & Calm Companions:


Playful and full of personality, pugs are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short coats and compact size make them well-suited for apartment living, and their moderate energy levels are perfect for gentle walks and playtime indoors.


Bichon Frise

Known for their spunky personality and white-as-snow fur, Bichons are excellent retirement companions. Bouncy, fun, and friendly, these dogs don’t shed, maintaining their good looks and low-maintenance vibe.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Gentle and adaptable, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a popular choice for seniors. They enjoy walks but are content with shorter stints of exercise, making them perfect for seniors with average activity levels.


Yorkshire Terrier

Friendly and funny, Yorkies are the true definition of a lapdog. Faithful to the end, these small dogs are the perfect companions to cuddle with while watching TV.


Medium-Sized & Moderate Activity

French Bulldog

These charming pups are calm and easygoing indoors but love to play and explore when outdoors. Their short coats require minimal grooming, and their moderate activity level makes them a good fit for seniors who enjoy regular walks but don’t require a high-energy companion.



Friendly and full of personality, Corgis are always a welcome addition to any social environment. Thanks to their manageable size they are happy with indoor playtime and shorter walks that are easier on a senior’s mobility.



Don’t let their fancy haircuts fool you! Poodles come in various sizes, from the toy poodle perfectly suited for apartment living to the standard poodle offering a more substantial presence. Poodles are intelligent, hypoallergenic, and highly trainable, making them adaptable companions for a variety of senior lifestyles.


Pet-Friendly Senior Living in Nashville

At Blakeford Senior Living, we know the joy a pet can bring to your life. That’s why our Nashville communities are designed for both you and your furry companion to thrive. Imagine spacious apartments with room to play, leisurely walks on our beautiful grounds, and even an on-site pet grooming salon (because pampering isn’t just for humans!).

Ready to experience the Blakeford difference? Contact us today to schedule a tour and discover how our vibrant community can enrich your retirement for years to come.