Your Ultimate Wingman is at the End of Your Leash

New Purina survey shows that pets are valuable to helping break the ice in hopes of finding lasting love.

Feb 11, 2016, 07:02 ET from Purina

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Being man's best friend is no longer the only role pets play in today's society. Turns out, they can be quite the ice breaker with more than 50 percent of people saying that they have found pets to be beneficial in helping strike up a conversation with someone they are interested in.1 Who needs an entourage when pets can serve as the ultimate wingman?

Nestlé Purina announced today a survey conducted among 1,200 general population respondents in the United States with an additional 200 in New York and 200 in California between January 21-26 that explores how pets can impact and enhance romantic relationships. The survey found: 2

  • 54 percent of people have found their pet as an instant conversation starter with someone they are interested in
  • 63 percent of people are likely to date someone who has a pet
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 surveyed say that they are likely to consider a person with a dog more attractive
  • 88 percent believe dogs are great to help meet people
  • 1 in 3 people would want to meet up with or talk to someone that has their pet in their dating website photo
  • 33 percent of men agree single pet owners have a greater chance of getting a date on Valentine's Day than non-pet owners

Owning a pet can help boost confidence in men and women, particularly as meeting new people can often be a stressful experience for some. For example, 1 in 3 men surveyed believe if they were single, owning a pet would make them more attractive.3 For pet owners, a four-legged friend can be one of the best ways to break the ice, helping individuals bond over common interests or shared experiences.

"Not only do pets serve as a great conversation starter, but studies have also shown that pets can help release 'feel good' hormones in humans, including high levels of oxytocin also known in some circles as the 'love hormone'," said Dr. Zara Boland, Purina veterinarian.4 "Whether it's making friendly conversation or taking the first step in finding long-lasting love, pets create wonderful opportunities for people to connect on a vast spectrum of different levels."

The survey suggests overall that pets can be beneficial in helping owners meet new people and give them the confidence to take romantic endeavors into their own hands. The ultimate wingman is right at the end of the leash and pets can be a natural barrier breaker.

"Pets are the perfect companion and can open many doors for their owners," said Dr. Boland. "Knowing that they can positively impact our social and romantic lives is just another great example of why pets and people are better together."

Still searching for the perfect wingman? Learn more about which dog or cat breed works best for you.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

About the Survey

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), an independent research company, conducted the poll on behalf of Purina among 1200 general population respondents (age 18+) in the U.S – with an additional 200 in New York and 200 in California. The online survey was conducted from January 21-26, 2016. The margin of error for the GP sample is +/- 2.83%. 

1 Penn Schoen Berland. Purina, Falling for Fido. 2016

2 Penn Schoen Berland. Purina, Falling for Fido. 2016

3 Penn Schoen Berland. Purina, Falling for Fido. 2016

4 Dr. Rebecca Johnson and ReCHAI team, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine


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