Five telltale signs you like your pet more than your partner

March 22, 2024 - 6 min read
A young mixed race couple cuddling their beagle dog, the woman has curly hair and is smiling at her man with brown short curly hair on a neutral background

Have you ever devoted full focus to your pet’s latest belly rub as your partner tried to tell you something or other about their new promotion?

Are you scheduling date nights around your pet’s feeding and training schedules?

Have you ever momentarily forgotten there was another human in the house? 

It might just be the case that your pet is your #1 love—much to the chagrin of the person you’re sharing your life with. Here are five signs that your furry friend comes first in your affections.   

They get fed before your partner (or you)—and get way more treats

Have you ever found yourself meticulously preparing a gourmet feast for your furry friend while you and your partner planned another round of microwave magic? Is your pet’s high-end kibble or fresh tuna the highest-quality food in your home?  

It's not just about timing—i.e., feeding your pet before your partner (or yourself). It’s also about making sure they’re dining in style and luxury, even as you and your significant other veg out with half-frozen cuisine while you’re binge-watching Netflix. 

And this only accounts for mealtime; your pet is undoubtedly receiving the treat jackpot daily — maybe the homemade kind. From training nibbles to those "just because you're adorable" snacks, your pet is truly living the dream. 

Your other half, not so much. 

You take more pictures of your pet than your partner

Smartphones reign supreme. Unfortunately, your pet doesn’t have the right body parts to snap selfies (unless you’ve adopted a capuchin or something). Since your furry friend can’t take their own glamor shots, it’s on you to pick up their photographic slack—over and over and over.

As you scroll through your photo library, you might notice a curious trend: Your four-legged pal is hogging the limelight, outnumbering the snaps of your sweetheart by a margin of 100-1. 

It’s understandable. From their zany zoomies to those "I'm-too-cute-for-words" naps, pets turn even the most mundane moments into photo-ops. Your partner might be cute, too, but they may not be as photogenic as your furry friend. Who ever could be? 

Here’s a fun game: Tally up the ratio of pet snapshots to partner pictures and see which one comes out on top. In shots with both pet and partner present, the tiebreaker goes to pet. (Sorry, we don’t make the rules.) If your pet finishes ahead on points, that’ll tell you everything you need to know.

You have nicknames for your pet, but not your partner

Porkie mixed breed dog

You know how you call your pet by about a dozen nicknames, ranging from Princess to Emperor-Sniffs-a-Lot? It’s almost as if you’ve got a special name for all their moods and mischief modes. 

What's truly amazing is watching your pet’s nicknames evolve. These pet names weave stories and capture memories; a new one might pop up after a particularly playful afternoon or an adorable new habit. 

Now think about what you call your partner. We’ll grant you “sweetie” or “babe,” but does it just kind of end there? The times you shout “hey” from across the room don’t count. 

Don’t be surprised if your furry friend memorizes all of your nicknames for them. Or maybe their ears are simply perking up no matter what you say—they’re the center of your world after all, and they probably think you’re addressing them all the time. 

And if your pet trots over to you looking for attention even when you say “sweetie,” “babe,” or “hey,” fair enough, your partner can wait. 

You greet your pet first when you walk through the door

Dog training

There's something timelessly heartwarming about being greeted by an exuberant critter when you return home. That moment when you step through the door and your pet greets you like you're the best thing since kibble? Pure magic. 

For many pet parents, this rapturous welcome beats your significant other’s feeble “hi, how was your day?”

Sorry, partner—you gotta spout baby talk at fluffy, then we’ll talk. 

Wrapped up in these everyday hellos is something deeply special—a pure, uncomplicated connection. It's a reminder that, amid the hustle and bustle of human life, there's incredible warmth in the straightforward love and loyalty of our pets. 

The human dialogue can wait. 

You can't stop talking about your pet


"Oh, you climbed Mount Everest? Cool, cool... But did I tell you about the time my cat, Sir Purrs-a-Lot, scaled the kitchen cabinets to reach his catnip?” — You, probably.

Let's be honest: Your pet is pretty much the star of the show, and you're their number one fan. Whether you’re boasting about the latest trick they've mastered (or the one they mastered five years ago),  or you’re simply melting over how cute your dog looks while they’re sleeping, you can make these stories last a lifetime. 

And to your partner, it probably seems like you’re doing just that.

Not just in person, either. Your social media is likely a digital shrine to your pet—a deluge of snapshots, videos, and anecdotes celebrating their furry existence. There’s no shame in that; it's your way of letting the world know just how awesome your pet is and how unimportant everyone else is by comparison.

Why are you head-over-heels for your pet?

“Why do I love my dog so much?

“Why do I love my cat so much?”

Age-old questions. But you might as well ask why you love an awe-inspiring sunset or The Beatles; you love your pet because they’re amazing. And also, because they send the affection back your way. 

Your dog might shower you with wet kisses and wag their tail like a helicopter blade the moment you walk in. Your cat might prefer to deliver a gentle headbutt or to curl up in your lap, purring like a little engine. 

"You're my fave,” they seem to be telling you. And even as your partner looks on forlornly, you can truthfully respond, “Same to you.” 

Does my pet love me back?

It’s fair to ask: How do you know if a cat loves you? Or a dog?

Keep in mind that pets have their own unique ways of showing love and affection. Dogs may demonstrate their love through wagging tails, excited barks, and eager kisses, while cats might express affection through purring or nuzzling. Pets often have their own unique love languages

These behaviors signal trust and comfort, showing you that your pet not only recognizes you as their caregiver but also as a source of love and safety. Observing your pet's behavior and recognizing these signs of affection can reassure you that they love you as much as you love them—if that’s even possible. 

Is my love for my pet impacting my dating life?

Dog holding love heart plush

Now that’s a more complicated question. 

If your human companion has tolerated second-place status for this long, odds are there’s no amount of furry favoritism that could possibly tear them away from you. But what if you’re a single (pet) parent?

ManyPets recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 dog owners and found that your four-legged friend might just be your best wingman, especially online. 34% of singles admitted that a dog in someone’s profile picture boosted their attractiveness. 

But it's not all wagging tails; while 86% feel their dog positively spices up their dating life, the path to romance isn't free of hurdles. Some find their pet's jealousy a tricky obstacle, with 31% of dog owners noticing their furry friend gets a bit envious of their dates. (Alas, a lifetime of treating your pet like the center of the universe can do that.)  

The bottom line: Finding someone who shares or respects your affection for your pet can lead to a more harmonious relationship. Bonus points if they can embrace second-fiddle status with grace. Worst case scenario: you can build a miniature wooden house in the backyard.

And your partner can live in it. 

How pet insurance can help

In the dance of dating and pet ownership, pet insurance is your behind-the-scenes support. It helps your furry lifemate stay ready for any adventure, covering unexpected accidents and injuries, so you can focus on sparking new connections or focusing on the old ones—within reason.

David Teich
Lead Editor

David oversees content strategy and development at ManyPets. As Lead Editor, he focuses on delivering accurate information related to pet care and insurance. David’s editorial background spans more than a decade, including a pivotal role at Digiday, where he wrote content and managed relationships with media and tech companies. As an Associate Editor at Cynopsis Media, David wrote the Cynopsis Digital newsletter and interviewed executives and digital marketing experts in the TV industry. His background also includes film journalism. His diverse experiences in journalism and marketing underpins his role in shaping content within the pet care industry.