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The Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Dogs are a gift to the soul and spirit. They’re wonderful companions, especially for older people. Owning a dog can be among your best experiences. But to find the perfect match, it’s important to consider the breed’s temperament, personality, activity level and grooming requirements. What are the best dogs for seniors? What are the best dog breeds for senior apartments? Let’s meet seven of them right now. But first let’s look a little closer at the benefits of this very special relationship.

From physical activity to lowering stress, owning a dog is good for your health.

A dog not only adds companionship to life; it may add years to it by reducing the risk of certain conditions and improving overall health. A dog’s unconditional love can do wonders for how we feel. People experiencing depression feel that life has lost its value. But when you’re responsible for another living thing, you regain that sense of value, which is key to breaking free from, and preventing, depression.

The American Heart Association says that being a dog owner may reduce the risk of heart disease, thanks not only to the exercise from taking them on walks, but because petting a dog helps lower pulse rate and blood pressure levels. Other research indicates pet owners tend to have lower levels of cholesterol. A dog can be one of the best stress relievers available. Their unconditional love and companionship help us relax. As for getting out and meeting people? Dogs are perfect for that. People become happier and more socially inclined whenever dogs are around.

Senior man playing with dog in The Ridge's dog park.

Put these health benefits together, and they not only improve the quality of life, but perhaps even add to how long one might expect to live. Pets support our sense of well-being, which goes a long way toward keeping human vital signs healthy and normal.

The best dog breeds for senior apartments.

The size of your living space isn’t the only consideration, because many large-breed dogs have lower activity levels and are more than happy to lounge on the sofa. There are high-energy small-breed dogs that need plenty of space, so they may not be best suited for a smaller apartment. However, some energetic small-dog breeds are satisfied with indoor playtime or a brisk walk. Purebred dogs have more predictable traits, and certain breeds make the best companion dogs and best indoor dogs for seniors because they’re ideal for a more relaxed lifestyle. They’re generally a little smaller with moderate levels of energy. Opinions vary, but these breeds are often considered the best dogs for seniors:

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

This adorable little dog weighs 24 to 30 pounds and makes a great companion. They’re smart, easy to train, and small enough for most people to handle. Corgis are herding dogs by nature, and they need routine exercise — great for your daily walk. They’re the perfect companion dog for active seniors.


Another excellent companion dog for seniors — the poodle — is also one of the smartest. Best of all, you can choose your size. Whether you want the tiny toy poodle, the small miniature poodle, or the larger standard poodle, this dog will be a loyal, affectionate companion. Poodles learn fast and adapt well to all kinds of households. Basic daily walks are enough for most poodles. They do need to be professionally groomed every month or two but are otherwise fairly easy to care for.


This tiny canine package has many admirable qualities, but foremost among them may be portability. The Maltese ​is the quintessential little white lap dog. This breed will love spending time on your lap and going on short, easy walks. They’re fairly easy to maintain, but they do require regular grooming. If you’re looking for a loving, easy-to-handle, 4- to 7-pound dog you can carry around in your bag, the Maltese may be for you.  

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Another excellent companion dog for seniors, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is affectionate and adaptable. They’re always happy just to be with you. They are an especially well-suited dog breed for senior apartment living. They typically weigh 11 to 18 pounds and are easy to handle and train. The Cavalier needs regular brushing, ear cleaning, and the occasional trip to a groomer.

Bichon Frise

With moderate exercise, this affectionate, fluffy little bundle of joy is happy as long as it has your companionship. Weighing 7 to 12 pounds, the bichon frise is extremely easy to handle for most people. Bichons are also relatively simple to train. They need periodic grooming but are otherwise fairly low maintenance.

West Highland White Terrier

Westies make excellent, easy-to-handle companions. At 13 to 20 pounds, the breed is still small, but not as fragile as the Maltese. The Westie does require some grooming but does not need to be trimmed as frequently as other small dog breeds for seniors. Overall, the West Highland White is friendly and fairly low maintenance. 

French Bulldog

Want to lift your spirits? Add a happy little Frenchie to your life. French bulldogs are among the most cheerful of all dog breeds. They are compact, muscular and active. And at 19 to 28 pounds, they’re still quite manageable. Despite possessing good energy, they tend to lack endurance, so moderate exercise is usually just right for this breed. Their grooming needs are ​minimal.

Small, portable and perfect.

These are just some of the great dog breeds for seniors, and there are, of course, many others. But because these breeds tend to be smaller in size with moderate energy levels, they’re among the most appropriate dog breeds for senior apartment living. Most of all, they are all great companions that adapt well to the lifestyles of their owners.

View of the RPINE Dog Park at the Ridge

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly senior living community, look no further than The Ridge Cottonwood in Holladay, UT; The Ridge Foothill in Salt Lake City; and The Ridge Pinehurst in Lakewood, CO. We’re all about active, inspired living. You and your canine friend will love the open air and beautiful scenery of our communities. At The Ridge Pinehurst, you’ll both enjoy the on-campus dog park and playground. The Ridge Senior Living communities are among just a handful of communities in the nation to welcome pets for memory care residents.

The Ridge Senior Living is committed to encouraging the good life for you and your family. Find out about The Ridge community nearest you. Just contact us through our website or call 1.877.894.9008.