Pet parenting red flags according to new research

More than seven in 10 pet parents see red flags if a potential partner doesn’t treat their own pets like family, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners also explored other common warning signs and deal breakers that singles often encounter while dating with pets.

Three in five think leaving a pet in a crate all day is a major no-no, followed by 52% who’ll raise an eyebrow at pets not being allowed on furniture.

The poll, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ORIJEN pet food, also revealed that regardless of relationship status 73% of people believe they’re more likely to approach someone walking a dog.

Almost half (49%) claim their pet has been their “wingman” helping them score the phone number of a potential date.

About two-thirds (65%) of people are even more likely to swipe right on someone with pet photos in their dating app profile.

Half of respondents would like to go on a dog-friendly date at a park or a beach (48%).

More than four in five (81%) agree that a “blended family” can also mean combining your pets.

When searching for the perfect place to live with their newly combined tribe, 55% seek out pet friendly locations, 48% look for backyards and 46% need space for their pets to play.

And should problems arise in the relationship, more than two-thirds (67%) of people believe they’d try harder to make up with their partner if there were shared pets in the house.

“Pets are often the first family members that we choose to bring into our homes, so it makes sense that we’d take their needs into consideration when planning a move,” said Billy Frey, director of marketing for ORIJEN pet food. “As is the case with any blended family, it’s important to give your animals enough time and space to adapt to a new status quo. It’s not always easy, but it’s often worth it!”

Should the pets in a newly-blended family not get along at first one-third of respondents said they would wait it out and hope for the best.

But a little more than one-quarter (26%) would hire an animal behaviorist to help resolve any issues.

While the thought of hiring a costly professional may seem strange, the data suggests that many pet parents have no problem prioritizing their dog’s or cat’s expenses over their own. The average person already spends about $104 a month on their pets’ food, and 53% agree that they spend more money every month on their animals’ food than their own.

And when it came time to switch food, 37% did so because they were looking for something higher quality, followed by 35% who said their pet’s needs changed.

“Food is a common love language for both people and pets alike,” said Frey. “Enjoying a meal at a restaurant is common for first dates, and while we can’t do that with our pets, nourishing them with quality food at home will help keep them happy, healthy, and show them we love them.”


  • Pet friendly (55%)
  • Backyard availability (48%)
  • Space to play (46%)
  • “Safe” spaces for hiding (39%)
  • Space for crate or bed (39%)

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