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Pandemic Pets

Richard Hammond (popular with the ladies by all accounts) of Top Gear famously stood on a popular London street next to an open top sportscar, with a cute baby in a pram and a puppy. The idea was to see what attracted passers by. There may have been some editing but every single person who stopped was only interested in the puppy.

A lot of people have bought pets during the pandemic, either for company, lowering stress and/or reducing blood pressure. However, this surge of pet buying has spawned a new culture for pet owners. It’s worth researching because if you’ve bought, or your prospective partner has bought a dog or a cat during Corona, you’re buying into a fifteen year commitment of your dating life with a pooch or moggie in the mix. And that is a hefty chunk of time. Some of the rules have changed, some will stay the same (cat people v dog people).

If you bought a puppy and you just love it to death (and didn’t just buy a pandemic pet and hand it back) , especially if you are a first time owner, here is  some knowledge:

66% of men and women would not date someone who didn't like pets, 27% of women find pets in photos a turn on, 70% of singles think their dates’ reaction to their pet is important, 72% of single women say a dog is the ‘hottest pet a guy could own’ and the golden oldie most telling stat is that while 66% of dog owners would date cat people, 97% of cat owners would date dog people.

In a nutshell, men with dogs are statistically well set up for dating and cat people are more flexible than dog people. Pet adoption is a new hot plus. Arranging walks with pets ranks amongst the best first date activities for future success. A big no no is passing yourself off as a dog lover for dating purposes. Animal lovers can spot the pseudos and newbies a mile off.

More pointedly, a real dog person will not necessarily appreciate a partner who has bought their first puppy (however cute and adorable) during Corona. The generally held assumption that pets protect us from worsening mental health and loneliness is not supported by research - the owner simply inherits a different set of problems. Dog people know that dogs absorb what their owners are feeling and that owners stressed by isolation will pass it on to their dog. If dog people find out that your new dog is showing signs of stress like increased barking, fear of loud noises and anxiety when at home alone you may find yourself on the street or worse. 
Research indicates that the best dating pet to get is an adopted or rescue dog. Going through the process of adoption demonstrates that the purchase is not just a whim to buffer loneliness and, to a partner who feels the same way, this ranks amongst the best common ground on the market. On the other hand, some people will simply not date those with dogs. It’s a deal breaker.

It’s therefore worth giving some real thought whether you are really are a dog or cat person and not just someone who bought a pet to stave off Covid loneliness, because if you aren't and you pretend to be, the chances are it will be bite you down the line. The dog is in the details!