Sharing The Love
Singles Awareness Day is coming up and Samantha Daniels a professional matchmaker and dating expert created a four-step guide to finding that special someone for single pet parents and pet lovers this February to co-incide with Petco's National Adoption event coming up this weekend.
Step One: Get Out There
Pets encourage people to get out and get active, and whether it’s taking a dog for a walk or a shopping trip to pick up pet products, sharing a common love of animals can create natural connections. Daniels says, “Your love for your pet will shine through immediately, and that’s attractive to other animal lovers.” People with pets have something to bond over instantly when they meet, so look for places where other pet lovers will go. “For dog parents, the local dog park or dog-friendly coffee shop is a great place to meet a potential mate, because other dog lovers will be there, plus dogs can be a great conversation starter and ice-breaker,” suggests Daniels. “It can be difficult to walk up to a stranger alone, but a sweet dog eager for attention suddenly makes it easier to connect.”
Step Two: Put Your Best Face Forward
First impressions are important when attracting that special someone. “Keep in mind, potential mates may judge you on appearances, so your pet’s grooming and hygiene can be just as important as your own when it comes to dating” says Daniels. Petco recommends giving dogs a fresh haircut, brushed coat, and fresh nails and paws at your local grooming salon to help grab a potential mate’s attention. And don’t let bad pet breath affect a potential love connection. I
Step Three: Flirting and Courtship
Once an initial connection has been made, it’s important to keep the conversation going. “If someone approaches you to greet your adorable pet, remember it may have been an easy excuse to talk to you,” says Daniels. She suggests switching into flirt mode, remembering to smile, laugh, keep eye contact and ask questions. “If you’re interested, be sure to let them know without seeming too eager,” recommends Daniels. “Hint about things that may be fun to do together, like a pet play date or a hike with your dog.”
With the first date set, remember first impressions count at home, too. Ensure your place smells clean and fresh when your date arrives, be sure cat or dog hair isn’t covering the furniture, and habitats for small animals, like hamsters or reptiles, are spotless. “If your date is a pet lover, go ahead and take the opportunity to make introductions with your pet. Your dog, cat or other pet could score you bonus points before you even leave the house!” says Daniels. “However, if you know your date is iffy around animals, you may want to hold off on introductions until you are more comfortable around each other,” cautions Daniels. While out on the town, keep pets safely contained and occupied at home with puzzle games, toys and fresh water so the date won’t have to end early.
Step Four: Long-term Romance
Moving from casual dating to a serious commitment can take time and pets can play a big role in whether or not a relationship will work. A common misconception is that a dog person and cat person won’t be a good match. “Cats and dogs can live harmoniously in the same household and, if your relationship is strong, you can definitely work through any initial hesitation from your animals,” says Daniels.
Some people can be squeamish around certain pets like snakes or other reptiles. However, Daniels says, “If the person is right for you, they won’t see it as a deal-breaker as long as you can establish some boundaries.” For example, a snake may have to stay in its habitat whenever the person is at your place or the habitat may have to be in a room that the other person doesn’t frequent. “Of course, over time, as the relationship progresses, the other person may learn to love that pet because they love you,” says Daniels.
If a pet has behavior issues, it can hinder the relationship from moving forward. “Your partner may be reluctant to move to the next step, like moving in together or an engagement, until these problems are addressed. “You and your love interest can work together with the help of a veterinarian or behavior specialist to solve any challenges with merging your two households,” suggests Daniels. A couple who can problem solve together is a couple that stays together.
For those looking for love and the love of a pet this Valentine’s Day, find the perfect match at Petco’s National Adoption Weekend February 8-9, 2014. For more information visit www.petco.com/adoptions.