Dogs are great for your love life. They’re a good conversation starter, small talk fodder during awkward conversation lulls, and master judges of character. Plus, “dog lover” is often a fair indicator that your date is an all-round cool person.
Call us bias, but we’d argue the crossover between kind, fun, playful, and pet-friendly is considerable. With that in mind, let us lead you though all the parts of dating with a dog. From locating this dreamy friend-to-all-animals, to making sure they end up loving your pet as much as you do.
Start by Casually Slipping In the ‘Cat or Dog’ Question
As with so many parts of dating, it pays to go slow. Refrain from jumping in with, “Hello before I decide if I’m going to spend the rest of my life with you can you please give me your take on dogs?”
Sidle up to the big question by asking if they’re a cat or a dog person. This tidy icebreaker easily flows into chatting about childhood pets, favourite breeds, and exchanging cute canine anecdotes. That’s assuming they answer “dog”. If they say “cat” you can ask for the bill. Joking! Honestly loving any kind of animal is a win for us.
Show Them Photos of Your Dog (But Not Too Many)
Listen, if they’re going to be with you they need to get used to looking at pictures of your pet. But ease them into it. Like with people’s kids, a couple of shots is adorable. A whole album can be a bit much. Tell them about your dog, how special they are, and hype them up to (possibly) meet one day. If they don’t seem enthusiastic then you can ask for the bill.
Take Them to a Dog Park
One of the advantages of dating with a dog is the fact dog parks are actually great date locations. Cheap, low pressure, fresh air, lots of things to chat and laugh about. Plus they offer you a first-hand look at how your new squeeze is with animals. Anyone can sit in a cafe and say they’re a total Dr Dolittle, but seeing them interact with dogs IRL is always a real eye-opener. Remember, animals are great judges of character.
Introduce Them to Your Pet
This is one of the most vital parts of dating with a dog. One thing to keep in mind when introducing your true love (dog) and your potential love (human) is to do it in a neutral place. You don’t want your pet to feel like someone is invading their personal space. If your date has a dog too (bonus), remember to take things extra slow. These animals could end up spending a lot of time together so you want them to feel good about it. Start small, a few positive 30 second run-ins will be better in the long term than a stressful hour together.
Once they’re used to a passing sniff, take them to an open space like a park or beach. Don’t force anything, let everyone get used to each other in their own time. It’s crucial that these meeting finishes on a positive note. So reward each pet after a friendly interaction–even if it’s brief.
Do the First Sleepover Right
Staying at someone’s house for the first time can already be a bit nerve-wracking without your pet throwing a fit. Things are easier if your pup is crate trained or sleeps in another room. But if they’re used to only sharing the bed only with you, there might be some awkward moments.
When it’s time for all the pups to sleep over together, get things off on the right foot by making the dog of the house feel at ease with sharing their home. Here are few things to help the situation go well:
- Remove any items that might be a trigger point for conflicts such as food or toys.
- Keep each dog in separate areas of the house/yard while you let the new dog explore. Then swap areas so they get to experience the entire place and your current pet gets used to the new smells in the areas that are typically theirs.
- Keep them in separate areas of the house for the first 24 hours to help them get acquainted. If you crate-train your dogs, then have individual crates, but keep them close so they can get used to each other.
- Feed them separately so there’s no fighting over food.
Good luck! If it all goes well, you can start planning to add a dog to the pack for good!