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Top 5 Best Small Dog Breeds For Seniors

Owning a dog as a pet can improve health and quality of life. Pets are also good for seniors to reduce anxiety and increase physical fitness. You might not have been aware of the best small dog breeds for seniors.

Do you know that a retired pet parent is the best companion for any dog? They have much time and a flexible schedule to spend and devote to the pet. Dogs are considered a good companion for older adults because they can reduce their loneliness.

Whatever the reasons for getting dogs, there are choices for you to opt from. We have made a list of the top 5 best small dog breeds for seniors in your home.

What Are Small Dog Breeds For Seniors?

Small dogs are amazing pets for senior citizens due to their compact size. The size of small dogs is usually 7 inches to 15 inches, and the weight lies between 5 pounds to 22 pounds.

Dogs come in all big, small, and medium-size or shapes. Some breeds that are recognized for their good behavior with everyone are:

  • Maltese
  • Pug
  • Bichon Frise
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pomeranian

In the golden years of life, they need wonderful companions. And it becomes complimentary when the dogs are compact and easy to care for.

Generally, senior people thrive for smaller dog breeds, which are easy to travel along. Even dogs should be low tempered, friendly, and low-maintenance when choosing for old people. Also, as you already know, senior people can’t groom a dog every day, so breeds should be selected accordingly.

Top 5 Best Small Dog Breeds For Seniors

Finding the best small dog breeds for seniors is not an easy task. So in this list, you will explore the shape, size, cost, and appearance of small dogs. Additionally, you will be able to compare their characteristics and much more.

MalteseAlert eyes, white fur, long and silky hair. 8 inches to 10 inches4 pounds to 7 pounds$1,000 to $3,000
Pug Smooth touch, short height, cute face, and black or fawn color. 10 inches to 13 inches14 pounds to 18 pounds$600 to $1,500
Bichon FriseCurly hair, soft touch, compact size, and white color.9 inches to 12 inches7 pounds to 12 pounds$1,000 to $1,500
Shih TzuAdorable, short hair, can be seen in black, blue, white, liver, or gold color combinations.8 inches to 11 inches9 pounds to 16 pounds$500 to $1600
PomeranianEasy to handle, affectionate, compact size, and smooth hair dog.6 inches to 7 inches3 pounds to 7 pounds$500 to $3,000
Appearance, size and price comparison chart of small dog breeds for seniors


best small dog breeds for seniors
A Maltese dog breed on a chair

South-central Europe originated dog breed Maltese is popular in the world. They don’t have any ancient or scientific relationship with Malta island. So don’t get confused by their name.

They have dense, silky, shiny, long, and glossy hair coats. The Maltese are small in size, with 8 inches to 10 inches, and weigh 4 pounds to 7 pounds.

Maltese is one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds that shed or drool hardly. These dogs are lively and friendly breeds. The dogs mostly respond to positive reinforcements, easy-to-train, and are so people-oriented. At the same time, the puppies are of calm temperaments such as being full of happiness, curiosity, and playful nature. They love to be held by their master and family members.

This dog breed loves to walk every day and spend time playing. They are very active, so they demand many exercises. Remember, you need to brush their coats at least once in 15 days.

You can purchase a Maltese puppy at $1,000 to $3,000. They have so many characteristics, which makes them best suited for seniors.


Pug small dog breed for seniors
Pug small dog breed for seniors

In the Sixteenth century from Europe, the breed of dog Pug was brought to China. The Pug is a sweet and charming dog breed that has been existing since 400 B.C. At that time, dogs were the Chinese emperor’s treasured pets.

The size of Pug is 10 inches to 13 inches and weighs 14 pounds to 18 pounds. Due to their compact size, they are mostly loved by senior citizens.

In the historical period, Pugs breeds were developed to be companions for guiding families in China. Pugs dogs are popular as very sociable and gentle companion dogs.

The pug breed has physically distinctive characteristics of a wrinkly and short-muzzled face with a curled tail. Similarly, Pug dog breeds were famous throughout the Song Dynasty in the Imperial court.

The best things are Pugs dogs are low-maintenance indoor pets and need moderate exercise or playing. Moreover, they can’t survive in hot areas or temperatures. It is necessary to keep your dog in the open air or air conditioning room.

You can purchase a Pug breed for $600 to $1,500. For senior citizens, it is a compact and portable breed that can be kept along while traveling.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog breed
Photo of an adorable Bichon Frise dog breed

France originated dog breed Bichon Frise is one of the most adorable pets. In ancient times, this breed was used as herding dogs and sailing dogs. But after a few decades, French citizens started petting them as lap dogs. Bichons have four categories: the Maltese, the Bolognese, Tenerife, and Bichon Frise.

The Bichon Frise stands for 9.5 inches to 11.5 inches. And it weighs approximately 7 pounds to 12 pounds. Due to its compact size, it is a perfect choice for senior citizens.

Bichon Frise is a sensitive, well-mannered, playful, and affectionate dog. For decades this breed has been popular for its intelligence, beauty, and charm.

They have short curly hair which should be brushed and groomed. You need to comb their coat, but still, it’s a relief that their hair will not fall down.

You can purchase a Bichon Frise dog breed from $1,000 to $1,500. The cost is fair for a charming dog breed.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog breed
Shih Tzu dog breed

The Shih Tzu is one of the most demanded toy dogs in Asia. It originated in Tibet. The Chinese language word “lion” has derived from the word Shih Tzu. It is said that the dog breed Shih Tzu is similar to the lion.

The size of this dog breed starts from 9 inches to 10.5 inches. Their weight is approximately 9 pounds to 16 pounds. Due to its small and compact size it is a well-known pet for senior citizens.

Shih Tzu is a small, playful, naughty, and curious dog breed. These dogs have a calm personalities and friendly nature. And the best part is this breed can adapt to all weather conditions.

You don’t need to regularly brush your hair. However, Shih Tzu demands 20 minutes of walking or exercise every day.

To buy this breed, you have to invest $500 to $1600. It is recommended to choose this breed for old people in your family.


Cute Pomeranian dog breed
Cute Pomeranian dog breed

The Pomeranian dog is also called Pom. It is a Spitz-type dog which is named for the Pomerania region in north-east Germany and north-west Poland in Central Europe. The origin of the Pom breed is Pomerania. This breed is best known as a toy dog due to its compact size.

The size of the Pomeranian dog is 6 inches to 7 inches and weighs 3 pounds to 7 pounds. Pomeranians are good pets for families and seniors but not for small children.

Pomeranians are curious, smart, feisty, bold, and energetic dogs. They love to play and be the center of attraction.

The Pomeranian dogs are active indoors and are good choices for people living in an apartment. Even they need a short playtime and walk regularly.

The cost of a Pomeranian is $500 to $3,000. And the black Poms cost more than the white ones.

Tips For Choosing Right Dogs

The senior stage of life demands faithful companionship and love. So you should choose the dogs carefully for senior citizens.

1. Small size dogs

As you know, senior citizens are not physically strong, so they can’t handle a big giant dog. Choose a small and compact dog for senior citizens.

2. Friendly Dogs 

Old people need love more, so a dog should be friendly and loving. Keep this point in your mind to check the temperament of the dog you are choosing. 

3. Care requirements

Some dog breeds demand extra care than other breeds. Senior citizens can’t do much care for a dog, so it should be low-maintenance.


You might have got some idea of choosing an ideal dog according to senior people. So now you will be able to select wisely.

The guide for choosing the best small dogs for seniors would help you in many ways. A pet can help to reduce stress, increase happiness, and enjoy life. 

Do you have any of these breeds in your home? Or which breed do you like the most? Please tell us in the comment section. 

Thank You!

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