Does Owning a Dog Make You More Attractive to Others?

Working in the animal welfare field, I often get animal-related articles sent to me—some I read and some I set aside for a rainy day. A few weeks ago one popped up on my computer that peaked my interest. It was about whether having a dog increased your chances of finding a love match. I have been single for the past ten years and played around with multiple online dating services, not realizing I might have effective matchmakers in my own backyard.

This article referenced research conducted by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, that said having a dog could indeed increase one’s chances of finding a love match. Out of the 700 respondents to their recent survey, 60% said that owning a dog can make people more attractive, while 85% thought people are more approachable with a hound at their heels.

Starting a conversation with someone new is tough for most people, but the survey participants said (over 95%) that they would feel more comfortable speaking to someone they didn’t know, if they had a dog. Of those who gave a reason for this, two thirds said dog owners seem friendlier; they are also perceived as more approachable and trustworthy. So even if you don’t find love, a canine companion can help you broaden your friendship circle.

I love to take my three labs to the dog park in my neighborhood and it is always easy to strike up a conversation with other pet owners—whether it’s admiring the various dogs frolicking about or sharing common experiences from our daily lives. While I can’t say that my dogs have ever found me a date, they have made the communication lines flow easier and there is an instant connection with fellow dog lovers.

Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, commented in the article: “This research shows that not only are dog owners perceived as more approachable and friendly, but that having a dog can make you more attractive. With canine companions making such great ice breakers too, they really are the 21st century cupid!”

After reading this, I wondered if my chances were three times as great since I have three cupids living with me. But whether this matchmaking scheme works or not, I can always rely on my canine clan to snuggle up with me on the sofa with a warm fire burning, a glass of red wine in hand, and a romantic movie on my big screen TV. I have to say that this is hard to beat!

Events that Help Homeless Pets:

Adopt a Lovable but Less-Adoptable Pet: Adopt a shy, older, sassy or special needs pet and adoption fees are waived March 20 through April 8 at Nevada Humane Society. For more information, call Nevada Humane Society at 775-856-2000 or visit 2825 Longley Lane, Reno.

Help Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary: On March 28 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm,Animal Ark is hosting An Evening with El Santo, a one-time only event to benefit the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary. For more details or to reserve a seat (recommended as space is limited), call 775-722-8323 or visit

Consider Taking Home a Less-Adoptable Pet

Recently, at the Nevada Humane Society shelter, we were looking at the pets who have stayed the longest. These are the dogs and cats that been passed over for adoption. They tend to be older, shy, sassy, hyperactive, or have some sort of special need. Those of us who see these animals every day know their charms, but they may not show themselves off well to visitors or need something extra from the person who takes them home.

Darla, a calico kitty, has a bit of spice in her personality, but her real adoption challenge is a food allergy. She does well on a special diet, but if she gets into other food, she will develop a bald patch.

Jasmine is an older dog, a bit plump with a grey muzzle. She is sweet and charming but needs a quiet home without other pets.

Mason Gray has recovered from the neck wound with which he arrived, but when people come into the room, he withdraws. This kitty is affectionate once he gets to know you, but that takes time.

Zeus arrived with a broken hip. He’s recovered now and is an active, high-energy dog, perhaps for some, a bit too active. He needs an exercise buddy and someone who will provide him some training.  

We are asking people to consider adopting a cat that may live under the bed for a while or a dog that needs a little extra time and patience. The effort put into these animals comes with an amazing pay off in the form of a deep and rewarding bond.

Two years ago, I adopted a cat named Millie that I could not pick up and could barely touch. It took nearly a year to win her over, but she has become a delight. She’s talkative, affectionate, and playful. In winning her trust, I feel like I won a prize.

We are now making it easier to adopt some of these adoption-challenged pets. For example, Darla, the kitty with food allergies, comes with a full year of free specialty food and after that you can buy it at cost from us. Some pets we have dubbed Angel Pets. These animals are either seniors or ones with chronic health issues and their vet care, related to their special condition, will be covered in our clinic at cost for life.

Giving love is one of life’s true joys. For those of us who believe that, there can be no more wonderful companion than one that really, really needs us.

Events that Help Pets

Adopt a Lovable but Less-Adoptable Pet: Adopt a shy, older, sassy or special needs pet and adoption fees are waived March 20 through April 8 at Nevada Humane Society. For more information, call Nevada Humane Society at 775-856-2000 or visit 2825 Longley Lane, Reno.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a new pal. Adopt an adult cat for $25 or an adult dog for $50 through March 18 and receive a $5 gift certificate to Archie’s. Visit Nevada Humane Society at 2825 Longley Lane in Reno or call 775-856-2000.

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