Dateless On Valentine’s Day? Science Says Get A Dog And Get Love Quick


Valentine’s Day is around the corner. You’re lonely and alone with no realistic date prospects. Dating website algorithms and magic spells just aren’t working. The rest of the year might be just as depressing. What do you do?

Get a dog.

By Cupid’s bow, get a dog right now!

Science makes it clear that owning a pet makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. These are the findings of a recent joint study by and PetSmart. The study recruited 1210 single pet owners: 60% women and 40% men, with 72% being dog owners and 42% being cat owners. Participants took a 21-question survey about the influence of pets in their dating lives. The study is titled The Roles of Pet Dogs and Cats in Human Courtship and Dating, published in the research journal Anthrozoos.

Whatever, dude, you might say. How does a dog help me get Ryan Gosling or Kate Upton?

The animal will help you mainly for courting Kate Upton. According to the study, using a pet as an accessory works far better for single men than single women. Women were more likely than men to judge a date based on how that person reacted to their pet—with 553 women and 277 men saying this would make a difference. Why is that? Dr. Hal Herzog explains the reason in an article for Psychology Today:

A cardinal tenet of evolutionary psychology is that women tend to allocate more resources to child rearing, while men devote more time and energy to mating. Thus, the researchers predicted, for example, that women should be more sensitive than men to how their dates treat their own dogs and cats. Men, on the other hand, should be more likely to use their pets to attract sexual partners.

Furthermore, owning a dog is more of a chick magnet than owning a cat. After all, dogs are generally thought to require more attention and care. This attitude plays right into the maternal instincts of women, at least those not already dating Ryan Gosling. Lastly, as people are parenting their pets more, dogs have become a barometer of how the bro might treat future offspring.

We can just take a look at the study, anyway. It blatantly found that cat owners were less likely than dog owners to judge a date based on their response to a pet; or to think a pet says something about the owner’s personality.

None of this information should be that surprising, though, especially to desperate hopefull singles who have tried everything including magic spells. As an obvious example, the study explains that men are more than twice as likely to admit that they’ve already used a pet to lure a potential date. Dogs were far more used in this romantic tactic.

And they should be. Despite what the internet and its memes might say, this is a dog nation. qSample’s research using our proprietary pet owner sample found that 61% of Americans prefer dogs as their preferred pet, with only 11% favoring cats. No information yet on golf players and Krakens, but that will come.

Alright, you’ve read enough, single peeps. Borrow a dog from your sister—and then storm the park regardless of the weather. Photoshop pictures of you and Beethoven—and then upload them to your Facebook profile. Put on a Cesar Millan costume—and then roller blade with a pack of pit bulls to the nearest Victoria’s Secrets store (and finally to the hospital, perhaps).

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and who let the dogs out will let the love in.


As a bonus, please enjoy our Why We Fall In Love infographic, which gets more into the purely human science of the heart.

Valentines Day Infographic

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