Best Companion Dogs for Seniors

Best Companion DogsThe best companion dogs you can choose as a senior should result in a good match that keeps you safe and provides your new dog with the best home possible which means you may need to eliminate breeds like Newfoundlands or Great Danes simply because they could knock you over… and even worse you could trip over a hyperactive dog like a Jack Russell Terrier when all you really want is a companion dog to keep you company and not be the cause of a terrible accident or injury.

This dog health article gives you 10 loyal breeds to choose from as a companion dog for a senior. I hope after you’ve read this article you’ll be able to select the right dog. 

10 Best Companion Dogs for Seniors

You may already know that an adult dog from a shelter is a good place to start when you look for a companion dog.

An adult dog is usually house trained, requires less exercise and may be better suited to live with you than a puppy who is more active and needs lots of attention.

You can choose from these 10 breeds of adult dogs for the best companion dog.

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – A small loyal companion,Best Companion Dog the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be a good match.  This gentle breed is affectionate, doesn’t require a lot of exercise and loves being a couch potato.
  2. Shih Tzu – This Chinese toy breed is a perfect lapdog, will worship you as her owner and is one of the best companion dogs for seniors. Shih Tzus tend to be friendly towards strangers, children and other animals. You’ll also be able to easily care for this short-haired breed.
  3. Pekingese – Another toy breed from China, the Pekingese, could be a perfect choice as your companion dog.  Pekingese dogs can be trained to use puppy pads instead of going outside to piddle and poop.  This means you won’t need to walk this breed every day for elimination of urine and bowel movements.
  4. Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkshire Terrier, small enough to carry in your purse, was specifically bred as a lapdog andBest Companion Dogs continues to be one of the best companion dogs. This breed will enjoy being at home with you and loves to lay around for hours.   
  5. Lhasa Apso – Kept by Tibetan Buddhist monks in monasteries, the Lhasa Apso makes a great watchdog and will alert you when strangers are on your property. Lhasa Apsos are another great breed for you because they love to lounge around and take naps.
  6. Toy Poodle – This popular tiny breed might be a good option because Toy Poodles don’t shed.  You do need to handle toy poodles with care, however, since they are fragile and their bones can break easily.
  7. Maltese – Another small breed who sheds very little is the Maltese who can either be long-haired or clipped short. Like the Bichon Frise and Havanese, the Maltese breed was developed to be on the list of the best companion dogs
  8. Pug. – Playful and attentive, Pugs can be a fun dog.  Pugs crave attention which makes them a great lapdog and companion for all ages.
  9. Chihuahua – This tiny dog tends to thrive on a single owner household and will be extremely loyal and protective.  Chihuahuas love to snuggle so they will stay by your side as a great companion.
  10. Pomeranian – Give a Pomeranian dog a few toys and some Best Companion Dogstreats and he’ll be your friend forever.  The Pomeranian is another fun dog who loves attention and will make a great companion.

5 Useful Tips for Seniors with Dogs

As a senior, you may not be able to take your dog out for walks in bad weather or if you have health issues like arthritis, early signs of dementia or feel like you have a cold.  Even the best companion dogs need to be cared for when you can’t do it yourself.

  1. Puppy Pads – You can train your adult dog to use puppy pads for elimination indoors which will save you from daily walks in bad weather or when you don’t feel well.
  2. Dog Walkers – Arrange for 2 or 3 dog walkers to pitch in when you can’t take your dog out for walks.  This way, your dog will get exercise and fresh air.
  3. Diet – Make sure you have plenty of healthy food for your dog and you don’t overdo it with treats and table food that could result in your dog’s health problems, obesity or diabetes.
  4. Grooming – Make monthly appointments with your local groomer if you can’t brush your dog or clip her nails.
  5. Veterinarian – Set up annual wellness visits with your local veterinarian to keep your companion dog healthy.

Best Companion DogsNow you’ve read about 10 of the best breeds to choose as a companion dog. There are many other breeds that could be a great match as long as your safety takes priority.

Share this health article on the best companion dogs for seniors with your friends and family so they all have the information they need when they search for a dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

Brachycephalic Dogs: 6 Possible Health Issues for Pugs

Brachycephalic dogsBrachycephalic dogs like Pugs and Pekingese are blessed with sweet faces and lovable personalities, however you would be wise to understand your short-headed dog’s list of potential health problems so you’ll be well prepared with a good strategy to handle unknown dog health medical expenses and home care needs before you’re surprised by the number of things that could go wrong with your lovable dog.

This news brief explains the health issues with dogs that have pushed-in faces like Pugs, with a personal story about a Pug named Jake, so you can take better care of your dog and love them even more.

Brachycephalic Dogs: What Makes These Dogs Different?

  • Head shape – The term Brachycephalic means ‘short-headed’.  Dog breeds that have short muzzles and noses include Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese and Pugs.  The result is that these dogs tend to have flattened throat and breathing passages which makes it difficult for your dog to breathe.
  • Windpipe – Your dog with brachycephalic syndrome could also have a narrow windpipe and be at risk for larynx problems if your dog’s cartilage blocks his airway.  This may make him a fussy eater because of the trouble your dog has when he swallows.
  • Nostrils – Your dog’s nostrils may be narrow and prone to collapse inward when your dog inhales which makes it difficult Brachycephalic dogsfor your dog to breathe.  Be aware that brachycephalic dogs may not want to exercise in hot and humid weather or even worse, your dog could collapse.
  • Soft Palate – Your dog’s soft palate may be too long and interfere with the flow of air into your dog’s lungs. Symptoms to listen for are noisy breathing and your dog may gag when he swallows.  Your dog may prefer to sleep on his back which allows him to breathe easier when the soft palate tissue does not block his larynx.

Note:  You may want to investigate dog health insurance when your ‘short-headed’ dog is a puppy as a dog health strategy to help you with unexpected medical expenses as your dog gets older.

Brachycephalic Dogs:  6 Common Health Issues for Pugs

  1. Allergies – Your Pug’s folded and wrinkled skin can trap moisture that leads to yeast and  bacterial skin infections for your dog.  Other skin problems are Demodectic Mange, tumors and mast cell tumors.  A good strategy is to check your Pug’s body weekly and call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has lumps or infections.
  2. Encephalitis – Your pug could inherit this terrible disease which is inflammation of the brain.  Symptoms can appear early before your dog is 1 or 2 years old and develop  when your dog is older.  Be aware of changes in the behavior of brachycephalic dogs and watch for a stiff neck, wandering in circles, a shaky gait and if your Pug presses his head against a door, wall or furniture.
  3. Hip dysplasia – Pugs have a very high rate of hip and elbow dysplasia according to the Orthopedic Foundation of America.  You also want to watch for another disease called luxating patella or loose knees which is also common for Pugs.
  4. Eye problems – Pugs can develop problems with their eyes like corneal ulcers from scratches, dry eye, pigmentary keratitis or a dark dot on the white of your dog’s eye, eyelash problems, cataracts and possible ‘popped-out’ eye if your dog is pulled too hard on his leash or if your dog is involved in rough play.
  5. Heart disease – Some Pugs may be predisposed to a slow and irregular heartbeat called syncope due to their short face.
  6. Miscellaneous – Pugs are also prone to these diseases:  Epilepsy, Dental Disease, Collapsing Trachea, Liver Shunt and Hydrocephalus in Pug puppies.

Brachycephalic Dogs:  Jake’s Story Told by his Owner, Donna Warnick

Jake is a black Pug that lives in Maryland with his owners who love him dearly.  One of his owners, Donna Warnick, connected with Dog Brachycephalic dogsHealth News and mentioned 3 areas of concern she had for Jake:  itchy skin, picky eater, and comfort.  As you can see from the above list of health problems for Pugs, Jake may have these symptoms based on his pushed in face, wrinkled skin and narrow passages for breathing and swallowing.

Donna wants to help other people who have brachycephalic dogs like  Pugs so they can take better care of their dogs too. So she created a blog to share (and brag… yes, she admits it!) what they’ve learned together about pug living & loving. You’ll find photos, little stories and events involving Jake & the family. If interested you can visit with them at Pug Chronicles. Donna and Jake welcome comments and would love to hear what others have learned during their journey loving their babies. Thank you to Jake’s owner for the love she gives to her dog and her passion for Pugs all over the world.

Here’s some personal comments directly from Jake’s owner, Donna Warnick:

  • Itchy Skin is an ongoing issue we’ve been dealing with for some time now. It seems as though this is not uncommon in brachycephalic dogs like pugs. You may read about the particulars and our many attempts to solve or at the very least ease Jake’s discomfort on the blog.
  • Picky eater is another ongoing issue but I believe the answer to this conundrum lies with the fact that Jake’s Daddy has always and always will give him people food, thus ruining Jake’s appetite. Daddy lacks the capacity to understand the difference between giving Jake what is best for him (dog food specifically created to meet a dog’s needs) and what Jake wants (human food which may be harmful to dogs). Also Daddy believes Jake is the cutest, best, most adorable pug on the face of the earth and saying no to that little face is impossible for him.

At this point let me stress Daddy does pay attention when told specific foods are particularly harmful and/or poisonous to Jake. His intention in giving Jake human foods is not to harm Jake. It’s Daddy’s way of expressing his love for Jake by doing anything to make him happy. Daddy was the same with our human children but for the most part left the Mommy decide what was best. Actually he expresses his love in the same manner for the humans he loves, i.e. myself, our now grown sons, granddaughters, etc. At any rate, though I believe I have the answer, this is one issue that will never be solved… at least not at our house. But you might keep that in mind if you have a picky eater or when you bring a new baby into your life. One of my many philosophies: If you don’t start it, you don’t have to stop it. 

  • Comfort is more an ongoing concern for brachycephalic dogs rather than an issue. As I’ve stated many times, Jake is my baby. I want to ensure my baby is comfortable. An important factor for consideration of Jake’s wellbeing is the weather. Pugs are not good candidates to be outside for extended periods of time. 

Too Cold

While the effects of brief exposure to cold temperatures are not as deadly as those of warm ones, there are still dangers and consequences that come along with the cooler weather. Just like our hands and feet, a dog’s paw pads and nails can become dry and cracked. Heating our Brachycephalic dogs homes removes much of the moisture from the air. Less humidity in the air, coupled with mandatory trips outdoors, tends to dry out a pup’s skin. Our human bodies react in a similar manner during winter months. But treatment of dry skin is much easier for humans then dogs.

I can tell when Jake is too cold by the way he acts.

  • Jake visibly shivers,
  • Jake seeks to get physically closer to me,
  • Jake asks (in his way) to be allowed under the covers.

With the challenge of Jake’s ongoing skin sensitivities, I want to avoid adding dry skin to his list of skin irritations. Yes, I do recognize that these are minor irritations. But even the most minor irritations can lead to bigger issues.

Too Warm

Too warm temperatures can pose an even more serious threat. Allowing  brachycephalic dogs like Jake to overheat can result in serious health related emergencies or even loss of life. The briefest contact with hot pavement can burn a pup’s feet. Black dogs, like Jake absorb more of the sun’s rays making body temperature rise faster than lighter colored dogs. Most of us know that dogs don’t perspire as we humans do. They cool down by panting. A pug with his smooshed face, has a shorter nose and smaller air passages in both his nose & throat making it difficult to pass air through their airways. This means when panting to cool his body, Jake is laboring just to breathe. It’s not much of a leap to realize difficulty breathing hinders the cool down process. An overheated pug can suffer from cardiac arrest or organ failure, which of course can lead to death.

I’m constantly aware of Jake and how his surroundings affect him. I guess you could say I monitor him based on the weather and temperature.

Cooler temperatures… If I suspect he is too cold inside the house or out, I dress… yes you heard me… I dress him accordingly. I practice much the same ideology with Jake as I did with my children: If I need a sweatshirt to go outside to be comfortable, so does Jake.

Warmer temperatures… I pay attention to Jake to see if he’s panting more than usual. If I notice Jake having any breathing difficulty I take the following steps to ease his discomfort:

  • Activity is stopped.
  • We find a place that’s cooler for Jake.
  • Fans are directed at him and air conditioners are turned to cooler level.
  • Water is offered to Jake.

Summary

Brachycephalic dogsJake, like all brachycephalic dogs is especially sensitive to environmental temperatures. He simply is not suited to extreme cold or heat. As his caretaker and pet parent, it is my responsibility to ensure that Jake is comfortable at all times. But it goes beyond just loving him and wanting him comfortable. By choosing to share my life with our pug Jake, I made a commitment to do all I could to ensure his safety, health and happiness. In short his total wellbeing. In exchange for my commitment Jake has given me a new perspective, a more active lifestyle and a direction to focus my love and attention.

Oh yeah, and I don’t think a day goes by that the little fellow doesn’t give me something to smile about. 

This news brief, personal story and original photos from Donna Warnick about a lovable pug named Jake gives you a full picture of health issues and solutions for Pugs and other brachycephalic dogs so you can watch for symptoms and find strategies to take better care of your dog. 

Share this article with your friends and family so they will have the information they need to know about their Pug or any short-headed dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like easy to follow news briefs to Get a Handle On Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs, claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Family Dogs: 10 Breeds That Love a Busy House & Kids

Family DogsFamily dogs thrive on the hustle and bustle that fills your home so they aren’t bothered by loud music, constant movement and lack of attention because the dog breeds that do best in a household of people and pets usually have a personality that allows them to let everything roll off their back, reduces your stress and lets you enjoy your time with the whole family.

This news brief gives you a list of family dog breeds you can choose from if you already have a household filled with humans and pets.

Family Dogs: 10 Friendly Breeds That Love a Big Household

  1. Beagle – This breed that originates from England may not be great as an apartment dog, however your Beagle is great with kids, is very healthy and will do anything for a treat.  You may need to give your beagle extra baths and put up with barks and howls but your beagle works out great as a family dog.
  2. Family DogsBernese Mountain Dog – An easygoing breed that comes from Switzerland, your Bernese Mountain Dog matches strength with a gentle, calm and loyal behavior that makes this dog a perfect find for your family including strangers and other pets.
  3. Boxer – The playful, curious and energized character of the Boxer is one of the best choice for family dogs.  The Boxer originates from Germany, was bred to be a guardian, is good with household pets and easy to train.
  4. Collie –  This beautiful, gentle and intelligent dog hails from Scotland where it was bred for sheep herding.  As a family dog, your Collie is mostly mild-mannered although you may see a stubborn streak and extra barking if you don’t give your Collie enough attention and exercise.
  5. Golden Retriever – An English dog that wins you over with a smile, your Golden Retriever is high on the list of the best family dogs.  One unique trait of your Golden Retriever is the soft mouth that allows your dog to be extremely gentle.  This breed is easy to please, enthusiastic and obedient.  Golden Retrievers love to have a good run, carry toys and balls in their mouth and they usually don’t bark as much as other dog breeds.
  6. Great Dane –  This stately dog comes from Germany and was bred to be a hunter.  Today, your Great Dane is a great companion and has won a place in the top 10 of family dogs.  This breed needs to have lots of space for exercise, loves to be with other pets and is good with children.  On the down side, your Great Dane has a short life span and is prone to health issues like bloat.
  7. Labrador Retriever – From Canada, your Labrador Retriever was bred to retrieve water fowl and fish and has webbed paws along with an otter like tail.  You can be sure that your Labrador will be a great family dog because of it’s gentle nature, soft mouth and is eager to please.  One health issue is hip dysplasia but has a very long life span.
  8. Newfoundland – Another calm and gentle breed that comes from Canada is the Newfoundland.  This breed is on the list of family dogs because your Newfoundland loves to be around people and is very protective.  A lover of water, the Newfoundland is an all-purpose water dog with full webbed paws like a duck.
  9. Poodle – Apart from the fact that poodles tend to bark a lot, the Poodle, that originates from Germany, is one of the most popular family dogs.  This breed is easy to care for and is good with children, pets and strangers.  Poodles have low dander, don’t shed and are a playful, eager to please and intelligent dog.
  10. Pug – From China, this playful breed was bred as a lap dog.  This means that your Pug is the perfect companion and belongs on Family Dogsthe list of family dogs.  Health issues abound related to your Pug’s eyes, nose and wrinkles so keep your dog’s face and body as clean as you can.  Your Pug is a great source of entertainment for the whole family even though your Pug may be a bit stubborn.

You now have a list of 10 ideal dog breeds that are good for your busy household so you’ll have an easier time when you look for a dog that is safe with children and other pets.  You may also want to look at dog health insurance when you add your dog to your family.

Share this article with your friends and family so they will be informed about the best family dogs that work in a household with children and additional pets.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like easy to follow news briefs to Get a Handle On Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs, claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Best Apartment Dogs: Breeds & Traits for Tight Quarters

best apartment dogsThe best apartment dogs have behavior and other qualities that are more suited for small spaces if your living quarters are under 1,000 square feet so you may want to carefully consider what dog breed will work the best in your apartment or condominium because you don’t want to find out that your dog’s health is at risk in your tiny home and she develops chronic problems like separation anxiety or obesity that will add to your dog health budget and affect your dog’s quality of life.

This news brief gives you a list of dog breeds that are best suited for small spaces and what traits to avoid so you can make the best choice when you’re looking for your next apartment friendly dog.

Best Apartment Dogs: 27 Popular Dog Breeds that Love Tight Quarters

  1. Basenji – This breed works well in a small space however your Basenji may get mischievous if left alone for too long.
  2. best apartment dogsBichon Frise – A bonus with this breed is that the Bichon Frise is great for people with allergies and also fits well in tight quarters.
  3. Boston Terrier – You can count on your Boston Terrier to become your close friend in your apartment or condo however she might be on the hyper side and need extra outdoor exercise.
  4. Brussels Griffon – Another breed that qualifies to be on the ‘Best Apartment Dogs’ list because this dog thrives on snuggling is the Brussels Griffon.  This fluff ball of a dog will be extremely happy in a small apartment as long as you pay lots of attention to your dog.
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – One challenge with this breed is house training however your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a calm dog and loves to cuddle.
  6. Chihuahua – One of the smallest breeds, the Chihuahua can be untrusting with strangers and bark often although your dog will feel safe and happy in a small apartment.
  7. Chinese Crested – The best apartment dogs are perfectly happy to just hang out.  If you want a laid back dog that adapts well to members of the family that may need extra care or be bedridden, the Chinese Crested is the dog for you.
  8. Coton de Tulear – The Coton de Tulear is just plain happy and will settle into your tight quarters with ease.
  9. Dachshund – It’s easy for this adorable breed with short legs to be comfortable in your small apartment.
  10. English Cocker Spaniel – The lovable English Cocker Spaniel wants to be social and doesn’t need a large home to roam around in.
  11. best apartment dogsEnglish or French Bulldog – These breeds are one of the best apartment dogs because they are compact in size and rarely bark.
  12. Fox Terrier – If you want a dog to cuddle with in your apartment, a Fox Terrier is a perfect choice.
  13. Great Dane – The biggest surprise of all is that your Great Dane is a great roommate if you want a full size lazy companion in your small scale apartment.
  14. Greyhound – Surprisingly, this elegant breed with lanky legs is perfectly happy in a small apartment as long as you give your Greyhound one good run outdoors each day.
  15. Havanese – Be prepared to spend time with your dog because your this small dog wants to be with you 24/7.  Your Havanese is high on the list of best apartment dogs because he’s easy to please and doesn’t require long walks every day.
  16. Japanese Chin – A low maintenance breed, your Japanese Chin moves around with catlike agility and is quite at home in tight quarters.
  17. Lhasa Apso – This tiny breed is a good fit in a small apartment and all you need to do is brush your dog weekly.
  18. Maltese – Your beautiful Maltese doesn’t shed however, she may have separation anxiety and needs lots of company.
  19. Manchester Terrier – This breed is great in small spaces except for a tendency to bark and be destructive when left alone.
  20. Miniature Pinscher – One challenge with your Miniature Pinscher, even though this breed is on the best apartment dogs list is that she’s not great with kids and is also suspicious of strangers.  A good plan is to work on socialization with a trainer.
  21. Pekingese – This breed does bark at strangers and may be happier as the only dog in your apartment although you can socialize your Pekinese with a little training.
  22. best apartment dogsPomeranian – You will have an independent, high energy co-dweller that needs frequent brushes and may bark a bit more than other breeds.  According to a local resident in Gloucester, Massachusetts, your Pomeranian dog will be a great listener and may ask you to carry him around with you instead of cuddling on the couch.
  23. Poodle – The toy and miniature poodle win praise on the best apartment dogs list because they are extremely smart and work well in a small living space.
  24. Pug – This playful and loyal breed needs your company and will be very happy in tight quarters.
  25. Shih Tzu – An affectionate lap dog that will fit well in your apartment and simply requires love and attention.
  26. Silky Terrier – Another great terrier breed for your apartment that may have a barking problem.
  27. Yorkshire Terrier – This breed is small and filled with energy however your Yorkshire Terrier may yap quite a bit and become a nuisance to you and your neighbors.

This news brief gives you a long list of the best apartment dogs that may work for you if you have limited space in your home.  Be prepared, however, because one third of the dog breeds on this list may bark at strangers, bark when left alone or yap all day long in your apartment or condominium.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have this helpful list of dog breeds that will work best in a small apartment.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

FREE DOG WELLNESS VIDEOS: The Secrets To Keeping Your Dog Well And Reducing Your Vet Bills
Free Instant Access