We’ve got three little words that could turn your swipe lefts into swipe rights: just add dog. Yep, ditch that self-help book, skip that spin class, and cancel your appointment with the psychic matchmaker and focus your time instead on a new selfie that includes your pooch. Then take said pooch out for a walk and start chatting up all the attractive people in your path. Because, according to research, that’s likely to make a big difference.
Psychologists from UNLV, Rutgers and Indiana University studied data from a 2014 survey of Match.com subscribers and found that pets play a big role in how people assess another person’s attractiveness. Yeah way.
A few of their conclusions:
●75% of women said they wouldn’t consider dating a man who doesn’t like pets
●Men are more likely to use a pet as a wingman to attract women
●Both men and women are more likely to be attracted to a person with a pet
And all of this backs up a 2008 French study in which psychologists sent a “handsome young Frenchman named Antoine” (best research detail ever) out to approach 240 women and ask for a potential date. Half the time Antoine was alone, relying entirely on his French handsomeness, and the other half, he had an adorable dog named Gwendu with him.
Spoiler alert: Gwendu increased Antoine’s “oui” rate from a meager 10% to a whopping 30%.
(The study does not inform us what Antoine did when he had to follow up with approximately 48 women for drinks, but it sounds like a good reality show.)
So what does all this mean? For one thing, it could be an easy way to screen for psychopaths. We tend to think that dogs have a good read on people, and a devoted dog might lend a certain credibility to an owner’s character. And beyond that, it suggests a caring and nurturing side of a person. Dogs are less pets and more family members these days, which gets our evolutionary instincts kicking in. If he’s good at caring for his dog, it’s easier to picture him changing the diapers of your future 2.5 children.
And just in case you’re wondering if this theory is dog-specific, the answer is pretty much yes. This graph shows the responses of nearly 600 women. A dog is literally the sexiest pet you can own with cats a distant second and lizards and rabbits down in “Lives in Parents’ Basement” levels of attractiveness.
So, if you’re looking for love, don’t forget to take advantage of your best asset: your dog. (No offense to your engaging personality, razor-sharp sense of humor or charming smile, of course.)