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Natural Awakenings National

Animal Attraction: Dogs Make Great Dates

What better than a dog or two to break the social ice? Pooches mix and mingle with their newfound four-legged friends and pooches’ owners link up in easy conversation that can lead to a potential date.

A bevy of 21st century online dating services are proving that profiling one’s single self along with one’s pet can yield fun along with a suitable match in the dating scene. And many are free.

Dan Cohen founded because he enjoys facilitating connections “for companionship, romance and long-term relationships.” Within two weeks of launching his site two years ago this month, he listed members coast to coast of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. His signature Valentine’s Day “Party Like a Dog” events across the country have proved especially popular.

That’s how Ted Hooban, a 34-yearold software business owner and his dog Cuki first hooked up with a shitzu named Milo and her guardian Melanie. “I saw her with her silly little dog and I started cutting up about Milo. Melanie thought it was funny. Then we started talking and hanging out,” recalls Hooban. The couple hit it off and started dating, successfully accomplishing their mission of meeting someone who likes to share their home and relationship with animals. creator Robert Yau launched his service for guardians of dogs, cats, birds, horses, reptiles, fish and more after hearing how so many potentially promising relationships erode due to incompatibility with a sweetheart’s animal. “When the decision came to choose the partner or a pet, it was a no-brainer” for the majority of animal lovers he spoke with. Time and again, “The pet won.”

“You don’t want to make a choice of getting rid of your pet or your partner," says Trish Pitzel, creator and “top dog” at Singles, she notes, have an even stronger bond as their animals often are their only faithful companions. For a dog lover, “it would be heartbreaking to have a potential life mate who is allergic or dislikes dogs in general,” she says.

That’s why bringing a pet along online and on a date helps in evaluating a prospective connection. These online matchmakers feel that deeply caring for an animal goes a long way in pre-qualifying people for a human relationship. More niche services include,,, even and

Upon signing up, members can use search engines to meet people in their area, participate in chat rooms, discussion forums, message boards, email, e-cards and personal messaging, swap pet accessories at flea markets and attend events. All provide nifty, often humorous ways of connecting. Of course, all the usual safety and etiquette guidelines of any online dating service apply.

Source: Adapted from, original article by freelance writer Tracy B. McGinnis.

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