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Best Dogs for Empty Nesters: Adding a Dog to Your Life

In Partnership with Noah's Animal Hospitals


YOU DID IT!!! You spent countless weekends at the ball fields, endless nights reading the same bedtime story over and over again and a few terrifying hours in the car teaching your 'baby' how to parallel park! in the 30 seconds it took for them to walk across the stage at graduation, shake hands and get their diploma, you realize that little boy or girl is about to venture out in to a brave new world without you. 

You fill the time you normally spent speeding off to the next game reverting bedrooms in to offices. The hours you spent sprawling out on the living room floor trying to figure out exactly how to fit that one cousin twice-removed in to the classic Senior Year family tree project turns in to finally tackling the attic, but you can't help but wipe a tear from your eye when you find those kindergarten art projects. As proud as you are that you raised an amazing young adult, you miss having that every day contact and worrying over what they're doing at any given moment. You're an empty nester and it can get lonely. Nothing can fill that void, but we think some slobbery kisses and cuddles from a pup can help :)


What are the benefits to owning a dog?

The best dogs for empty nesters can help fill the house your children used to live in.  They can provide companionship and someone to take care of and worry over.  There are even studies that say dogs can lower blood pressure rates and reduce stress.  Plus, walking someone everyday will help keep you in shape.

Choosing the right dog for you is an important choice and there are many things to consider.  First you want to choose a dog that suits you.  Don’t get an outdoor dog is you prefer to be inside.  Don’t get a dog that has a high activity level if you do not.  Don’t get a dog that is known for barking if you want the quiet.  And if you don’t like loose hair or drool over your things, avoid breeds that have those in abundance.

Best dogs for Empty Nesters according to Moberry Pets:

Photo: iStock / Thinkstock

Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are easy companions who are content to spend hours sleeping on the couch.  Their short coats need little grooming, but you will want to check their ears regularly for any signs of infection.

They enjoy long meandering walks where they can follow the scents they pick up.  These dogs are often described as charming, patient, low-key.  They are stubborn but will work for food, making them more trainable than some other breeds.  Because of their easy-going nature, they make great family dogs for when the grandkids come visit you.

Watch out for hip and elbow dysplasia.  Keep obesity in check with long walks to help prevent these issues.

Photo: iStock / Thinkstock

Cocker Spaniels

Cocker spaniels are a small to medium breed that stands about 14 inches at the shoulder, smallest of the sporting breeds.  They are intelligent, playful, happy dogs that make great family pets.

They have a moderate energy level.  Cocker spaniels have a lot of long hair, so there will be some grooming responsibilities regularly.  You will want to check their ears and eyes regularly for signs of infections.

Work with a reputable breeder to protect against genetic eye issues and hip dysplasia.

photo: iStock / Thinkstock

English Setters

English setters are a medium to large breed.  Known as the gentleman of the dog world, English setters have a mellow disposition.  These bird dogs have been bred to hunt birds for over 400 years.  Their temperament is merry and friendly.

They have a medium activity level and love to be around people.  Their stamina and grace are characteristic of the breed.  The coat is medium length and will need to be brushed two or three times per week.  These are generally healthy dogs when they are gotten from a reputable breeder.

Photo: PharmShot / Thinkstock

German Wirehair Pointer

German Wirehair Pointer is a great outdoor dog.  They are a medium to large size that want to be busy.  These dogs have a high energy level and will not be happy sitting on the couch all day.

They are affectionate, eager, and enthusiastic animals that want to please their owners.  The short, wirehair coat makes them easy to groom.  It is also this unique coat that makes them weather resistant and water repellent.  They work just as well in the water as they do on land.  Most of the dogs of this breed are healthy with no major issues.

Photo: beronb / Thinkstock


Poodles are very smart and have a medium energy level.  They come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy.  The diversity of size makes it easy to choose one that would fit in with your home.  These animals are proud and active.  They love showing off their freshly groomed coat to the world.  And that coat will take some daily grooming and regular visits to the pet groomer.

Good news about that coat?  Poodles don’t shed.  This makes them able to be in homes with owners that have allergies.  These dogs need to be an integral part of the owners life and prefer to keep busy.  Watch out for orthopedic issue, epilepsy, eye issues, and immune system disorders.  Work with a reputable breeder to help avoid these.

Noah's Animal Hospitals & the Humane Society for Hamilton County are teaming up to help find loving homes for cats and dogs in local Indianapolis animal shelters.


About Noah's Animal HospitalsWe are a family of veterinary clinics serving the Indianapolis, IN area and surrounding communities. With eight convenient locations to serve you, including three emergency clinic locations,Noah’s is dedicated to providing you and your pet with the best possible health care and exceptional client service, exceeding your expectations with every interaction. In fact, they like to consider themselves “the best friend of YOUR best friend.”


May Animals available for Adoption:


Hamilton County Humane Society - Available Pets: May

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Bird is a 7-years-old big boy (50 pounds), who is already neutered and housebroken. When it comes to smarts, this boy has them! But what is really great about Bird is his sociable, happy nature. Contact info to adopt: hshc@hamiltonhumane.com / 317-773-4974

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