Pets may be the key to finding your Valentine

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Pets encourage people to get out and get active, and whether it's taking a dog for a walk or a shopping trip to pick up pet products, sharing a common love of animals can create natural connections. Pets encourage people to get out and get active, and whether it's taking a dog for a walk or a shopping trip to pick up pet products, sharing a common love of animals can create natural connections. For those who are single and looking for love this Valentine's Day, Petco suggests that pets may be the best wingmen around. With help from professional matchmaker, dating expert and television personality Samantha Daniels, Petco has created a four-step guide to finding that special someone for single pet parents and pet lovers this February.

Pets bring people together

Pets encourage people to get out and get active, and whether it's taking a dog for a walk or a shopping trip to pick up pet products, sharing a common love of animals can create natural connections.

“Your love for your pet will shine through immediately, and that's attractive to other animal lovers,” Daniels said.

People with pets have something to bond over instantly when they meet, she said, so look for places where other pet lovers will go.

“For dog parents, the local dog park or dog-friendly coffee shop is a great place to meet a potential mate, because other dog lovers will be there, plus dogs can be a great conversation starter and ice-breaker,” Daniels said. “It can be difficult to walk up to a stranger alone, but a sweet dog eager for attention suddenly makes it easier to connect.”

Best in show is the cat’s meow
First impressions are important when attracting that special someone, she said.

“Keep in mind, potential mates may judge you on appearances, so your pet's grooming and hygiene can be just as important as your own when it comes to dating,” Daniels advised. Petco recommends giving dogs a fresh haircut, brushed coat, and fresh nails and paws at your local grooming salon to help grab a potential mate’s attention. And don't let bad pet breath affect a potential love connection. Learn more about pet dental health at one of Petco's Free Oral Health Seminars, Feb. 15-16.

First impressions and the first date
Once an initial connection has been made, it's important to keep the conversation going, Daniels said.

“If someone approaches you to greet your adorable pet, remember it may have been an easy excuse to talk to you.”

Daniels suggests switching into flirt mode, remembering to smile, laugh, keep eye contact and ask questions.

“If you're interested, be sure to let them know without seeming too eager,” she suggested. “Hint about things that may be fun to do together, like a pet play date or a hike with your dog.”

With the first date set, remember first impressions count at home, too. Make sure your place smells clean and fresh when your date arrives, cat or dog hair isn't covering the furniture, and habitats for small animals, like hamsters or reptiles, are spotless.

"If your date is a pet lover, go ahead and take the opportunity to make introductions with your pet. Your dog, cat or other pet could score you bonus points before you even leave the house," Daniels said. "However, if you know your date is iffy around animals, you may want to hold off on introductions until you are more comfortable around each other."

While out on the town, keep pets safely contained and occupied at home with puzzle games, toys and fresh water so the date won't have to end early.

Commitment, setting boundaries and moving forward
Moving from casual dating to a serious commitment can take time, and pets can play a big role in whether or not a relationship will work. A common misconception is that a dog person and cat person won't be a good match.

"Cats and dogs can live harmoniously in the same household and, if your relationship is strong, you can definitely work through any initial hesitation from your animals," Daniels said.

Cats and dogs can live harmoniously, too. Cats and dogs can live harmoniously, too. Some people can be squeamish around certain pets like snakes or other reptiles.

"If the person is right for you, they won't see it as a deal breaker as long as you can establish some boundaries," Daniels said.

For example, a snake may have to stay in its habitat whenever the person is at your place, or the habitat may have to be in a room that the other person doesn't frequent.

"Of course, over time, as the relationship progresses, the other person may learn to love that pet because they love you."

If a pet has behavior issues, it can hinder the relationship from moving forward, according to Daniels.

"Your partner may be reluctant to move to the next step, like moving in together or an engagement, until these problems are addressed. You and your love interest can work together with the help of a veterinarian to solve any challenges with merging your two households," suggests Daniels. A couple who can problem solve together is a couple that stays together.

Looking for something fun to do with your pet-loving Valentine that benefits homeless pets? Click here to indulge in some sweet treats with your sweetie.

Stay up to date with pet adoptions, tips, news and more by likingour Shore News Today Pets Facebook page.


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