Please stop lying about owning dogs in your dating app profile

Where I went wrong on dating sites: Not looking for men who own dogs

Shamontiel L. Vaughn
Feb 28 · 5 min read
Photo credit: StockSnap/Pixabay

I blame no one but myself. I was on a dating spree on OK Cupid and Match for a few months from 2017 to 2018. I ended up dating one guy for a couple of months that almost made me delete my accounts altogether. Then we had a feud and I took all of his stuff out of my place, moving on to re-dating this guy and a few others. Good times but never, ever again. It was more of a learning experience about what I won’t tolerate in my 30s that I would’ve breezed past in my 20s. But there’s one group who I totally missed the boat on and other dating app users had the right idea — dog owners.

According to New York Post, 39 percent of people have swiped right because they wanted to meet the dog in someone’s dating profile photograph. Not only that, but they wanted to meet the dog more than they wanted to meet the person. It was like TinDog and DigDates, but for people who were more ice cold and faked like they liked people that they didn’t.

Photo credit: Samantha Hurley/Burst

In a OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans who have used a dating app (exactly half of which own a dog), a cute dog in the dating app picture significantly helped respondents find success matching online by 63 percent.

As someone who was too exhausted to keep trying to buy a condo that allowed dogs, I’d given up completely on the idea. I became a dog walker and dog sitter instead, but I was hell bent on being around dogs — especially after being a dog owner for 22 years. If you love dogs, abandoning this idea is slim to none. But dating someone with a dog when dogs aren’t allowed in your place can become a wee bit of a headache. Don’t believe me? Read Medium writer Jennifer Rosater post “What It’s Like to Date a Man with Dogs.” Your schedule really does revolve around that dog unless you hire third-party help.


But there are other questions I have for those who keep posting dog pics without actually owning the dog.

Who says the dog will like you? There’s nothing wrong with being a dog lover who wants to meet fellow dog lovers and owners. But you’re also creating an admirable level of confidence that may not play out how you want it to. For example, what if that dating app user likes you but the dog doesn’t? Some dogs eventually warm up to people; other dogs just don’t mess with you like that.

What if your future dog and his current dog hate each other? An hour before I wrote this post, I ran into two of my favorite dogs for dog boarding and dog sitting. One growls and barks at everything going by. The other breed is notorious for hunting small prey. I freaking love them both equally. The hunter was calm and happy to see me — immediately stopping cold when she noticed me walking another dog across the street. I raced over, jogging with my smaller and bark-happy dog. It took less than 60 seconds after I petted her before they were both snarling and barking at each other. Ah well! When I graduated from college, my two best friends at the time couldn’t stand each other. Felt like old times, although the human ones just chose to ignore each other for three days straight.

Photo credit: ElfinFox/Pixabay

What happens if you two don’t work out? I’ve never been married so I don’t know how spouses agree on who gets the dog. I believe dogs are better than diamonds and could not care less about giving back a ring. (In fact, I kinda agree with Courtney Stars who wrote “Diamond Engagement Rings Are Absolutely Worthless,” except she actually did like diamonds once upon time. If not for an ear infection that forced me to wear solid gold and silver jewelry, I’d still be buying bulk packs of cheap earrings.) I tend to lose interest in most material items and donate them often. But I would make that man’s life a living hell if I didn’t get the dog upon separation. Dating someone with a dog means you risk having to give up time with him (which may be good news) but also time with that dog (always bad news). In fact, according to the poll, some folks just couldn’t part ways because of that alone.

According to the poll:

  • 37 percent experienced a breakup in which a pet was involved — and 69 percent missed their pet as much as they missed their ex
  • 53 percent worried their pet would feel abandoned
  • 31 percent admitted they stayed in the relationship longer than they should have because they didn’t want to leave the pet

Although this may not be the Valentine’s Day card you got a couple of weeks ago, 60 percent of respondents preferred to spend Valentine’s Day with a pet instead of a partner. Yikes! One-third of the dog-owning respondents even have a tattoo to show love for their pets. (Do not even attempt to call this creepy if you have ever owned a DMX album or follow any pets on Instagram. You and I both know Phor from “Black Ink Chi” has the most adorable relationship with Berry; Trevor Noah is warming hearts with kissy-face dog photos; and Desus Nice remembering his dog’s birthday is insanely cute.)


So what should you do if you’re someone who wants dog companionship but maybe don’t want to date the guy (or girl) you see online? Quite frankly, that person is not on the site to hook you up with the dog. This should be a given. If you’re not interested in this person, swipe away. While it certainly would make life easier for dog lovers to date — because they’ll understand the scheduling obstacles and why you have that dog paw tattooed on your leg — at least be honest in your profile. Don’t be one of the 53 percent who just used the dog for the profile pic shine and don’t have a dog at all.


Shamontiel is a dog lover to her core: 444 completed walks, eight dog-housesittings and four dog boardings at the time of this publication. Would you like to receive Shamontiel’s Weekly Newsletter via MailChimp? Sign up today!

Doggone World

For dog lovers, dog walkers and dog owners.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Written by

15-year vegetarian journalist/editor; part-time dog walker and dog sitter; Toastmasters member and 5x officer; WERQ dance and yoga enthusiast; Shamontiel.com

Doggone World

Let’s discuss all bark-related, (mostly) feel-good content for dog lovers, dog walkers and dog owners.

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