The Best Dating Websites & Apps for Dog Lovers
Finding love (or even just a date!) courtesy of your canine cupid
So, you’ve tried regular dating sites like Plenty of Fish and Match.com and eyed doggie parks looking for the perfect match, but ruff luck. It’s not easy to find a soul mate who is also compatible with your dog—or maybe your dog is compatible and you aren’t.
If it’s a deal breaker when your prospective partner doesn’t dig dogs, don’t give up—there are online dating sites and apps geared to dog owners/lovers, each having different templates and algorithms to help you find “the one.”
Although your dog can be included in your profile picture on apps such as Bumble, many traditional dating sites and popular apps don’t allow you to filter to only see dog lovers. Including your dog in your online dating profile is key, so prospects know upfront that your pup is a priority.
Dating Sites With Pets
Chances are, finding romance with someone like-minded when it comes to animals is more likely on a dating site or app designed especially for dog people, such as Dig or FetchaDate.
Casey Isaacson dated someone for two years. Though her partner tried to be a dog person, he didn’t want her Cava-poo in his apartment and he covered the furniture with towels (the dog doesn’t shed). In hindsight, Casey wishes she knew from the get-go that this relationship wouldn’t work.
“I knew Casey wasn’t the only one—many people had similar stories,” says Leigh, her sister. “Being a former investigative reporter I’m inquisitive, so I did some research and found that more than half of single adults in the U.S. are pet owners, and half of those consider dogs as a family member.” Those statistics led the sisters to found Dig, a dating app specifically targeting dog owners and dog lovers.
The dog park is always good for first dates, and Dig is designed to make sure you get out there, whether with your own pup, or your date’s dog (you don’t need to have your own canine, you just need to love them). You can plan a dog-friendly date in Dig’s chat centre and search for dog-friendly dates near your neighbourhood park. Bonus: you can also get a “daily deal” from a local pet store to ensure that you win over their dog with a unique treat.
Since its launch in February 2018, thousands of users have downloaded Dig, available for both Apple and Android users. Their goal is 100,000 by mid-2019, which seems realistic judging from how popular their live parties have been. Casey and Leigh get the word out by introducing Dig city-by-city with a dog-friendly party. “We invite lots of dog businesses from a city to be part of our event, such as pet shops and pet lawyers and even a florist who makes flower collars for dogs, and of course local dog rescues,” says Leigh. “And then we have a party! Some events in New York and Boston attracted over 300 people and their dogs.” Users can look forward to more people to match with—and in more cities—in the following months with further events planned. This past winter saw events unleashed in San Francisco, Austin, and Portland, and Dig plans to party in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Miami, and Atlanta, and more this spring.
“It’s amazing to watch the dogs fall in love first and so much easier to start a conversation and relationship after that initial contact,” says Leigh. “Dogs can make people more human—if you are on a first date and picking up poo you can really understand each other from a more real and personal level. Dogs help break down barriers.” (Available free on the app store at digdates.com).
“The wonderful thing about dogs is how they can lead to humans dating—they are the perfect icebreaker for people to connect for friendships and/or love,” says Sheryl Matthys, the “dog lovers’ matchmaker” of Leashes and Lovers, a bestselling book and FetchaDate, an app and website for single dog lovers. A portion of the latter’s paid membership is donated to animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal organizations. (It’s free for dog lovers to create a profile, but to message one another requires a paid membership that starts at just $12.95/month.)
“As soon as I got a dog, everyone in New York City became friendly,” says Sheryl. “People stopped me in the street and asked about my Greyhound (retired from the racetrack) and I soon figured having a dog was the best way to make friends.”
Like the Isaacson sisters, Sheryl started out hosting live events. “I went to martini lounges in Manhattan and held dog parties,” she explains. “People ask lots of questions at these events and soon I had enough information to write a book about what your dog can teach you about love and happiness.” After writing Leashes and Lovers, the FetchaDate website and app were a natural next step.
Now with over 50,000 members, almost every state, and maybe Canada, has someone you can connect with.
Sheryl says dating through sites like hers attracts people more easily—friendships quickly form. Women have become such good friends they’ve gone to each other’s weddings. “You know you’re part of our club, we all get it,” she says. “And you can trust animal lovers; they are more empathetic and understanding, and more flexible.”
With your dog, you have already made a match. Sheryl notes that a few guys’ profiles say they never went on a dating site before but figured they stood half a chance of meeting the right woman on FetchaDate. “Reading between the lines—and I love reading their stories—they maybe felt intimidated and unsafe on traditional dating sites. Here they found a friendly zone with a better chance at romance.”
A few profiles:
DollyJoJo: “Fit, fun doggy mama to a friendly, outgoing 11-month pup with TONS of energy. Would love to meet some single guys with dogs…seems like I’m the only dog owner in my area who isn’t coupled up…I love hip hop and live for beach days.
Chadly: I’m a gentleman who has a good friend (my dog). I like to go for a walk early in the morning and I like tea.
Christine: A creative, athletic, flip-flop wearing dog lover looking to meet someone new. I have a degree in Forensic Science and a love of technology….when I’m not at the skating rink, I find new adventures with my pup Kobe.
August: I’m a monogamous man who believes in old fashioned values and I’m looking for my big spoon. I love the beach, going to movies and my dog. I want a man who is full of compassion, is daring and considerate. A man who knows how to romance his guy is the ultimate.
Join the FetchaDate single dog lovers community at fetchadate.com.
Kathy (not her real name) tried online dating with Tinder without much success. She dated one guy for four years but he had no interest in her pets, and it put too much of a strain on their relationship. Being recently single, she’s into casual dating—for now. “On my profile I made a few dog and cat comments and they got the most response—more than food or football,” says Kathy, laughing. “People messaged me about their cat or dog, and on one date, whipping out our dog pictures was the first thing we did.”
Although that date didn’t work out, Kathy thinks she’ll have better chances on a dating site that involves dogs. “Even though I’m not ready to dive into a serious relationship, I look forward to meeting like-minded people,” she quips. “I found out the hard way that it’s not easy to connect with someone who doesn’t love dogs.”
Dating by Numbers
Statistics show your dog can help you make a love match
If you’re south of the border, you may be counted in the 55 percent of single adults in the U.S. that have pets. Whatever dating site or app you join, follow up: one-third of people on dating apps never make it to a real date.
A study conducted by Wag, a dog walking company, found that:
- 86 percent of dog owners say they would break up with their significant other if they weren’t into their dog
- 50 percent say they’ve been flirted with while walking their dog,
- 70 percent are more likely to chat online or even go home with people who say they have a dog.
Pet ownership may make or break a relationship, according to a 2015 survey involving over 1200 Match.com pet-owning subscribers. Among the findings:
- Nearly one-third had been “more attracted to someone” because they had a pet.
- More than half said they would find someone more attractive if they knew he or she had adopted a pet.
- Most said they thought their date’s choice in pets said a lot about their personality.
- More than half said they would not date someone who did not like pets.
- About two-thirds said they would judge their date based on how he or she responded to their own pet.
- “That people might let a cat or a dog influence the most important close relationship in their life—that’s phenomenal,” said Justin Garcia, scientific adviser to Match.com.