Puppy love: How dog parenthood impacts your dating life

February 8, 2024 - 5 min read
Dog holding love heart plush

In the realm of modern dating, would-be companions take an early interest in our friends and family members—including the four-legged ones. 

ManyPets conducted a survey of 1,003 dog owners to uncover how their pup affects their dating life. From in-person encounters to navigating the digital landscape, our findings shed light on the role our canine companions play in the pursuit of love.

Key Findings 

  • When on dating apps, 34% of people report being more attracted to someone with a dog in their profile picture. 

  • 35% of people feel that their dog has helped them to make new connections and break the ice with someone they are attracted to.

  • Overall, 86% of people feel that their dog has a positive impact on their dating life. 

  • About 17% of dog owners occasionally keep their pets out of their rooms to secure some private time. 

In-person dating: Breaking the ice with a furry companion 

When it comes to face-to-face connections, dogs have a sizable influence. While not every canine-accompanied companion-seeker gets a romantic boost, more than half do credit their pups for either helping them break the ice or attracting others to them.

Infographic about attracting a date in person30% reported that their dog was a great conversation starter. And when asked if their dog has helped their dating life overall, only 34% said no. 

Furthermore, while about 1 in 5 people said they have not used their dog to break the ice with a potential date, respondents did report that their dog has attracted other people to approach them. Similarly, 1 in 10 dating dog owners reported that their dog has helped them to meet and connect with other singles who also love dogs. 

Of course, there are always a few furry friends who don’t know how to take a hint. For about 6% of dog parents, their pup is mostly a dating distraction. 

Online dating: Dog owners are more likely to get matches online

In the virtual dating world — which these days is the most popular place couples meet — dogs’ become even more effective as digital wingmen, influencing conversations and even attraction. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the dating impacts of showcasing your furry friend online.

Graph about attracting a date onlineFor one thing, dogs make a nice visual contribution. A substantial 34% of respondents find themselves more drawn to profile pictures featuring dogs. Only 20% of people say they’re completely indifferent. (While preferences vary slightly between men and women, the overarching sentiment remains positive.) 

And talking about your canine companion proves to be a wise move as well, boosting your chances of forming connections in the vast landscape of online dating. Only 37% of people wouldn’t be more inclined to meet someone in person after chatting about a dog. But 63% of respondents say that talking about their dog online always (48%) or sometimes (15%) makes them more likely to connect with a potential love interest. 

Maybe it’s the canine-infused air of charm and approachability. Maybe it’s the aura of parental responsibility. In any event, one thing is clear: A lot of people prefer to date people who dig dogs. 

Dating disagreements: Not everyone feels the same about dogs

Needless to say, a lot of people love dogs. But perspectives on our furry friends do differ, which can make certain dating scenarios tricky.

Dilemmas of dating graph and pie chartA majority of respondents (55%) would never date someone who dislikes dogs — full stop. Despite this, a considerable number of dog parents (40%) are confident enough to try and convert their pooch-averse partner into a dog-lover. (5% say they’d be willing to put their dog up for adoption, which kind of makes you wonder whether they liked their dogs to begin with.) 

Overall, the data is clear: When it comes to your dating life, owning a dog is much more likely to be a detriment. In fact, it often serves as a catalyst for deeper connections and shared experiences. 

Deal makers and deal breakers

It’s time to explore how our loyal companions play a role in sealing the deal. From breaking the ice on first dates to navigating some later moments, dogs have become fetching players in the game of love.

Sealing the deal when dating with a dog graph and pie chartsA staggering 86% of respondents say their dogs have a beneficial impact on their dating lives. Woof!

On the other hand, dogs do introduce an element of unpredictability. Some dogs express jealousy or get in the way at inopportune moments. However, it's noteworthy that a significant portion of respondents have found practical solutions, such as preemptively locking their dogs out of their rooms. 

Our survey found that 31% of people say that their dog has become noticeably jealous of a potential love interest. And 26% percent have gotten in the way during romantic moments.  And unfortunately, some of these dogs may act out. From peeing on furniture to chewing up shoes, there’s nothing some pups won’t do to make sure they’re the only ones getting showered with puppy love.

It’s not uncommon for pets to act out when they’re jealous,” says David Teich, Lead Editor of ManyPets. “For anyone introducing a new partner to your longtime pet, it’s a good idea to start off slow. Consistent rewards and a slow progression will keep your dog comfortable, and your date too.”  

As for uninterrupted romance, our survey revealed that about 17% of dog parents now safeguard their private time by locking their dog out of the room.

Unleashing love with Man's (and Woman’s) best wingman

Whether you're a seasoned dog owner, contemplating adding a furry friend to your life, or simply intrigued by the dynamics of modern romance, these findings provide a deeper understanding of the pawsitive impact that dogs bring to the journey of love. 

Looking to make sure your four-legged wingman has the right care and coverage to keep up with your busy dating life? Be sure to check out ManyPets for dog insurance rates and pet health guides. 

Methodology

To gather insights into the dating lives of people with dogs, we used Pollfish to conduct a survey of 1,003 dog owners, exploring their experiences and perspectives on dating. The survey covered various aspects, including in-person encounters, online dating dynamics, dilemmas faced by dog owners, and the overall impact of dogs on their dating lives. The participants were sourced from diverse demographics to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Our survey participants were 53.47% female and 46.53% male. 

Fair Use

Feel free to use the data or visuals on this page for non-commercial purposes. Please be sure to include proper attribution by linking back to this page to give credit to the authors and research team.


David Teich
Lead Content Editor

David Teich is Lead Content Editor at ManyPets. He loves pets, Scrabble, Oxford commas, and typing loudly.