For seniors looking to adopt a dog, certain breeds have specific genetic traits making them the perfect lap companion. While there are a countless amount of pups (including lovable mutts!) that can be great for seniors, we have chosen 5 small breeds that stand out for their compatibility. Keep a look out at your nearest shelter for one of these furry friends to become a new cuddle companion you or your loved ones!

 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are content with indoor lap time and love the outdoors just as much. Cavaliers can become anxious if left alone for long stretches of time, especially if they are the only dog in the home. This makes the Cavalier an excellent companion for active, retired seniors with a yard or who enjoy taking daily walks. These smart pooches are a breeze to train, well mannered and are happy to travel along with you wherever you may go!



Poodles are one of the most popular breeds among senior citizens. So, what makes them so attractive to older adults? Besides the fact that “poodle” is just fun to say, they have a fun personality to match! They also range in size from miniature to standard and are intelligent to boot. This breed is known to be very clean, have minimal shedding and enjoy entertaining their owners and showering them with affection.


The Maltese adore humans and crave to be by your side, on your lap or even perched on your shoulder while you sit on the couch! They are perfect for the senior who spends much of their time indoors. The Maltese is a small breed typically between 5-8 lbs. as an adult. They are very well mannered and are often used as therapy dogs at hospitals, assisted living and nursing homes. These cuties are hypoallergenic, shed very little and are known to have few health issues. Grooming is a must, but in return you get soft fluffy hair you can run your fingers through for hours!


Playful and social, the Havanese are a small breed that are easy to care for and maintain. Like the Maltese, they are also great for stay at home seniors. They generally have a peaceful and gentle disposition towards their owners and visitors. The Havanese tend to attach to one person who they become lovingly devoted to. They are very smart and can even learn to use an indoor littler box for seniors who are not able to do frequent potty outings. This healthy breed is a great option for seniors looking for pet companion who will be content in just about any environment as long as it’s a loving one!

Do you have a dog who would make an excellent companion to a senior? Tell us what makes your breed (or mixed breed) special in the comments below!




  1. Christina Britton Conroy

    I’m looking for a dog to keep my aging husband company – thanks so much for this!

    Christina Britton Conroy

    • Kristin Angulo

      Thank’s for reading Christina, I hope your husband finds the perfect pet pal!

  2. Kerry Dominguez

    Thanks for sharing. Pet dogs can give an emotional support to seniors. Seniors can cut down social isolation by adopting a pet for themselves. Older age can make some seniors feel lonely and depressed. Having a pet can help seniors to reduce boredom.

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