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


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