What Your Feelings About Pets Say About Your Dating Life

Who knew a person’s affection for pets could give a closer look at their dating attributes.

Talk about an odd couple.

Match.com and the self-described country’s leader in pet adoptions, PetSmart Charities, just joined forces to uncover the deepest of mysteries—what pet owners want in a love partner.

In other words, they surveyed 1,000 single adults on matters around pets and how they factor into dating. The results were made public this week. Even though the press release highlighting findings was littered with puns about the “dog-eat-dog” nature of dating nowadays and keeping a partner “on a short leash” there were some intriguing data points worth highlighting.

Here are the top facts I gleaned from  the survey:

1.  Match.com users and pet lovers are nearly one in the same.

Altogether 80 percent of users of the dating website self-identified as pet lovers. This doesn’t mean pet owners but still the population doesn’t exactly despise animals.

2. A good deal of them are using the pets that they do have to attract the opposite sex—especially in the case of men.

Ladies take their pet out for a spin in hopes of getting the attention of a man 6 percent of the time. Comparatively 22 percent of men use the tactic. I’d guess we’re mostly talking about canines as bait, but it’s not spelled out.

3. Pets amplify desirability.

Apparently 35 percent of the single women that took part in this exercise confessed that knowing a guy had a pet waiting at home for him made him sexier. Well, “sexier” wasn’t the precise word they used but the point was it helped amp up interest in him.

Pet ownership, assuming the man’s not a lousy, inattentive keeper of an animal, could show tenderness, a big heart, an ability to give a damn about something besides him. So I can understand this.

4. Cat owners will gladly go  out with dog owners; dog owners, not quite as much with cat enthusiasts, though.

The numbers come out to 97 percent, in terms of the amount of cat people who would be good with pairing up with a dog person and 66 percent for the reverse—dog people willing to hook up with a cat-loving counterpart.

5. Purse-size pooches are a turn-off to some men.

About 28 percent of them, to be exact. These men indicated in the survey that a canine tiny enough to fit in a purse was a deal breaker. Sorry, Paris Hilton.

6. Adopting a pet wins out over purchasing one.

In the eyes of the singles probed, almost 60 percent of them had a stronger affinity for a dog, cat or other animal that a love interest had rescued as opposed to bought for a large sum. Again, this seems to speak to the assumption of a pet owner demonstrating a big heart by their very existence.

Clearly, this is a survey with a very pro-pet group as a force behind it. So results that showed anything but positivity for owning an animal would have been just a teensy bit surprising.

Still, I might need to borrow a friend’s dog in my future romantic pursuits.