There are numerous benefits of having pets, including better physical, mental and emotional health. This is especially the case for individuals living with dementia, where having pets have been shown to help with their memory. Moreover, taking care of pets can combat feelings of loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression. Dogs are a popular pet choice because they are comforting and provide excellent companionship. While choosing dogs for dementia patients largely depend on personal preference, certain breeds may be better than others in terms of dementia support. If you are looking for a dog for your loved one with dementia, look no further. Here are five breeds of dogs best suited for them.
Small in size but big in personality, chihuahuas are wonderful pets for those with smaller homes and limited space. They enjoy interacting with people and are loyal and protective pets. Due to their diminutive stature, chihuahuas are naturally easy to take care of and do not require much strength to handle. They are active dogs with boundless energy, so if your loved one enjoys having a chihuahua as a pet, they will get to move around more. Being active will help to improve their physical health.
Pugs are lively and enjoy social interaction, although they can be mischievous at times. They are suited for any type of homes such as a house or apartment. They like being around people and are very comfortable with physical contact, making them especially ideal for dementia support. Pugs shed hair, so regular grooming and cleaning are a must. If your loved one lives alone, this can be pretty challenging. Otherwise, pugs are a superb option for dementia patients.
Shih Tzus were once popular in ancient China as companion dogs. Nowadays, this small breed is usually bred to be lap dogs and thus is suitable for big as well as smaller homes. These furry friends enjoy staying close to their owners and are great companions for people with dementia. They are usually healthy and have a long life expectancy. Their luxurious and long coat requires grooming, which is something to take note of.
Compared to the breeds mentioned before, the cocker spaniel is a much larger breed of dog. Due to their happy nature, cocker spaniels are popular as dementia support dogs. There are two types of this dog breed, American cocker spaniels, and English cocker spaniels. Both have long coats and even temperaments. However, do note that cocker spaniels may tend to develop health issues such as eye diseases and ear infections.
Schnauzers are another ideal choice, especially the miniature variety. They enjoy physical contact and are comfortable being held for extended periods of time. This makes them especially suitable for dementia patients with mobility issues. They are generally friendly and are fine in both home and outdoor settings. If left, their coat can grow long. Therefore, occasional grooming is required. Nevertheless, their care and maintenance are easier as compared to many other dog breeds.
So there you have it, five excellent dog breeds you may consider for your loved one with dementia. Whether they are living in their own home or in a pet-friendly retirement community, the joy of having pets is sure to bring a smile to their face.