If you’re looking for love, it seems pets make you more attractive to potential partners.
According to a recent survey from Aussie dating site eharmony, one in two Aussies say they’re more attracted to a person who owns a pet, especially if it’s the same type of pet as they own themselves.
And if it’s a rescue rather than bought from a pet shop, that's even better.
You should also put your pet in your profile picture for some added swoon.
You’ve got to have the right type of pet though - the most attractive animals for a new love match are dogs, cats, birds and rabbits. If you own a dog or cat, you’re seen as dependable, loyal, affectionate and smart.
But crocodiles, snakes and rats are a real turn-off. (Seriously, who has a pet crocodile...apart form maybe Robert Irwin?) The majority of respondents associate cold-blooded pets, and their owners, with traits like rudeness, shallowness and selfishness.
Nearly three-quarters of people surveyed think pets contribute to a healthy relationship. Which makes sense when you think that pets are associated with high levels of affection and empathy, which are key ingredients for sustaining relationships.
eharmony psychologist Sharon Draper said it was particularly interesting that the majority of those surveyed felt how someone treats their pet is a strong indicator of how they would be in a relationship.
"At eharmony, we know that compatible matches are the secret to long-term relationship success and pets can be a great indicator of this. Beyond that, more than three-quarters of participants said pet ownership signified a person’s ability to handle commitment," Sharon said.
It’s not surprising either that nearly three-quarters of pet owners say it’s extremely important for a potential partner to get on with their four-legged friend.
But not everyone agreed that pets are a sure-fire way to attract a partner. About a third of respondents said pets can make relationships harder because of issues like fighting over pet training or whether the dog is allowed to sleep in bed.
"These challenges that our furry friends pose to our relationships can also be seen as an opportunity to check-in regarding your values and see if you’re on the same page," Sharon said.
And if you’re not both on the same page?
Time to send that love interest to the doghouse before they get too comfy. And then invite your dog onto the sofa for some cuddles!