Senior woman enjoys time with her dog in her pet friendly senior living apartment.

Owning a dog can be a great source of joy throughout our lives. When we lavish love on our fur babies, they return unconditional and devoted companionship that’s hard to beat. Dog-friendly retirement communities such as The Marshes of Skidaway Island recognize the positive effects our furry friends have on our quality of life. From healthy dog treats at our reception desk to shaded walking trails to a summertime doggie parade, our dog-friendly senior living makes it easy for residents and their pets to feel happy and at home.

Pooches Perk You Up

Studies have found that owning a pet, especially a cat or a dog, boosts your mental and physical well-being. Dog ownership can be a healthy lifestyle choice that :

Adds exercise. Walks and hikes with a dog are a rewarding way to fit daily exercise into your schedule that’s good for you and for your dog.  

Reduces loneliness. The companionship of a dog can be very comforting. Caring for a dog helps you feel needed and wanted and gives you the opportunity to focus on something other than yourself.

Adds friends. Having a dog by your side makes it easier to strike up conversations with people, especially other dog owners.

Reduces anxiety. Stroking a dog can calm you and lower your stress. And because dogs live in the moment, they help you be more playful and appreciative of the present, instead of worrying.  

Adds structure. A regular routine of feeding and exercise is good for your dog and shapes your day, getting you out of bed and off the couch.

Canine Considerations

Before moving into a dog-friendly senior living community, ask about breed, size or weight restrictions the community may have. You want to be sure your pooch can live comfortably and safely in your residence. While there’s no “best dog” for seniors, small or medium-sized dog breeds with a calmer temperament do better in a community setting. Here are five of the most popular breeds we see out and about in our community:

  • Maltese – Very small, mild tempered and easy to carry around. 
  • Poodle – Smart and sociable, with sizes that range from toy to standard. 
  • Pug – Gentle, affectionate, and prefer non-strenuous exercise.
  • Shih Tzu – Spirited but very clever and easy to train.
  • Terrier – Friendly and energetic, they love their daily walk. 

If you’re looking to adopt, consider an older dog. Older dogs are usually housetrained, more mellow than active puppies, and a wise choice for seniors with mobility issues. We’d suggest starting at the Savannah Humane Society. By rescuing an unwanted animal, especially an older one, you give it a chance for a better life. Retired older adults who adopt a dog also have more time to devote to its care and exercise. There couldn’t be a better match. 

On the Leash in Savannah

For active seniors and their dogs, pet-friendly Savannah offers many places to visit and things to do. Small dogs are welcome on the trolley that takes you on a tour of the historic district. Forsyth Park, Bonaventure Park, and Skidaway Island State Park are popular pet-friendly destinations. Huey’s is a New Orleans-style restaurant with four dog-friendly tables that overlook River Street. Service Brewing Co. is just one of many Georgia breweries where you can enjoy happy hour with your pooch in tow. There’s even a historic dog walk tour where you can learn about Savannah’s colorful history accompanied by your furry companion.

At The Marshes of Skidaway Island, we welcome pets. If you love dogs, you’ll be in good company here. Our streets, trails and beautiful grounds offer you wonderful time outside where you can meet other dog owners. We even offer dog walking services if you need them. Call us to get the details of our dog-friendly senior living at 912-598-5030.