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What Are the Benefits for Senior Citizens Owning a Dog


By Carolin PettersonPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Getting old is not easy. The majority of things that we could have done in our youth will be bounded to us as we get older. Muscles deteriorate, our body gives away, and even our mind will tend to abandon us. But it doesn’t all have to be bad. There are certain things that could make people happy even in their latter part of life. Pets, especially dogs, have proven to be a very beneficial source of entertainment and exercise for elderly people. In fact, dogs have a lot of good qualities to them that can help elderly people.

There are many questions that can be posed here. What breed is the best? Can an elderly person provide enough to care for the dog? What are the dog’s needs? Is this really a good idea? The answers to these questions differ depending on how you view them. But the fact still remains that dogs will spruce up your grandfather’s or grandmother’s life and provide them with so much more than a human could in this stage of their lives.

Many people are under the impression that only small dogs are good for senior citizens. This is a common misconception because senior citizens can keep various kinds of dogs, not caring about their size. A breed like a Bichon Frise is favorable in many ways, mostly because of their size. But there are no problems for an elderly person keeping a much larger dog. Generally speaking, it all depends on their needs and living conditions.

Let’s analyze this topic a bit more thoroughly and see what benefits a dog has for a senior citizen.


Human beings are sociable and for the most part do not like to be alone. This becomes more apparent when we get older. Unfortunately, a generation gap can sometimes separates children from their parents or grandparents from their grandchildren. There is also the case of one spouse passing away prematurely, leaving the other one without a friend in need. This can all be alleviated with a loveable companion in form of a dog.

Dogs can help an elderly person fight off depression, isolation, and loneliness. If an elderly person is living alone or even in an assisted care, a dog is a perfect companion that can brighten your day up. A cheerful dog will allows be there by your side to keep you company and will make sure that you never feel lonely again.

Help with Mental Conditions

As we get older, there is a bigger chance that we are going to suffer from certain mental conditions. Our bodies are not the only thing that deteriorates, as our minds will also do the same. Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are just some of the illnesses that people can suffer from. This leads to a very hard life, not just for the person suffering from it, but also for the family around them.

But there is a way to alleviate stress which comes with mental conditions. Dogs have proven to be very helpful when it comes to helping people cope with this affliction. They can relax a person and allow them to feel more free and comfortable even in this kind of state. Dogs will stimulate elderly people in a way like no other things can.

Keep Them Active

Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of getting old is not being able to move like when we were young. This gets worse and worse the older we get. It becomes much harder and people tend to give up on their bodies since their movement becomes bounded. But elderly people still need to exercise. Not the same way as when they were young, but still some physical activity is recommended and can only do well for them. This is where a pup comes in.

Taking a dog for a walk or simply playing with it will give an elderly person enough exercise. They can’t really move much, but doing a little bit of work with a dog will be quite enough. This way dogs can invigorate a person and provide them with enough exercise and training in their old days.

Brighten up the Mood

Not being in a good mood is a trait that not just elderly people go through. A lot of younger people have the tendency to be moody, but we are all people, and this is a human trait. Some would say that this becomes much more frequent when we get older. A lot would say that senior citizens are moody without any apparent reason. Nevertheless, it does not have to be that way all the time.

Dogs are an instant mood boost. The smaller and happier the puppy is, the better a person will feel. This becomes increased specifically with elderly people. A dog will brighten up their day, make them feel wanted, and give them all the entertainment they need. You will see a smile on your grandparent’s face much more frequently than without a dog.

Heart Benefits

Elderly people have a much larger tendency to suffer from heart disease and conditions. The strongest muscle in our body can give up on us with age. But there are ways of helping it and enabling it to function properly even in a stressful environment.

Recently, a study has been released on benefits about owning a dog and helping heart conditions. Patients that owned a dog performed much better than the ones without one. A dog will calm a person down and lower the heart pressure. Eventually it leads to a healthier life and does not affect the heart so much.


Senior citizens are not as active as they once were. Unfortunately, getting old means that it gets harder to protect yourself. This becomes much harder when you are living alone and some elderly people become a target to various robbers. But this does not have to be this way if you own a dog.

A watch dog or a guard dog is perfect to protect the property and a person. No robber would think of attacking a house where there is a dog. You do not even have to get a big or vicious dog. In most cases, a small one will suffice. Either way, having one will help you protect yourself and will make you a much harder target for all the hoodlums lurking around.


About the Creator

Carolin Petterson

Carolin Petterson is a businesswoman and content marketer with years of experience under her belt. She has had the opportunity to contribute to a number of popular business and marketing websites.

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