A dog can be the best friend you’ve ever had and whether you’re young or elderly, caring for one of these intelligent, loyal animals can bring an almost indescribable amount of joy into your life. For seniors, a dog can be an especially welcome addition to their lives, offering companionship, affection and health benefits in the form of reduced stress and anxiety and alleviating feelings of loneliness and isolation. In fact, many studies have been published suggesting that pet owners are likely to live longer and indeed, happier lives.
There are many people who would suggest that at least for most elderly people, a small, easy to care for dog is the obvious choice. However, there are just as many who would argue that for many older people, a large dog can be a great fit. Some people just prefer larger dogs, but there are some good reasons to consider large breeds as pets for seniors as well. Many larger dogs are actually calmer and easier to care for than their smaller counterparts and there is one other important health benefit which is more strongly associated with having a large breed of dog as a pet rather than a smaller one – exercise.
Having a larger dog gives seniors an excellent reason to get active. Larger dogs will rarely be happy with a simple trip around the block two or three times a day like a smaller dog will, so choosing large breeds as pets can help the elderly to get the regular exercise that they need to stay in good health. Larger breeds are also more likely to enjoy playing fetch and engaging in other activities which give both pet and owner some much-needed physical activity.
Naturally, this isn’t to say that every large breed of dog is necessarily a good choice as a pet for a senior citizen. Some large breeds are extremely active, just as is the case with smaller dogs, but even these breeds may make good pets for seniors who are more active. If you’re an older person considering adopting a pet dog, it’s a good idea to do some reading up ahead of time to learn about the characteristics of different breeds so that you know what to expect. You should also give some thought to what you’re looking for in a dog and how your new pet will fit into – or change – your lifestyle.
There are individual variations within any breed of dog, large or small and because of this, it’s a good idea to meet any dog you’re thinking of adopting before you make your decision so that you can get to know them. You may end up meeting a dog and falling in love with them, even though you may not have been particularly interested in getting a dog from that breed before meeting that particular animal. With that said, the following are some of the large breeds of dog which elderly prospective dog owners may want to give some consideration to.