Gay couples’ relationships stronger after getting a dog, study finds


lady nursing a puppy for study saying dogs strengthen relationships
Photo: Flickr

A new study has found two thirds of gay and bi couples who adopt dogs say their relationships are stronger as a result.

The study by pet-sitting website Rover.com looked at pet dogs and their owners’ romantic relationships. It revealed 56% of the couples with dogs spent more time together.

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Participants also saw owning a dog in a relationship to be more committal than setting up a joint bank account.

Over a third of people in the study – of all sexual orientations – said they would not date anyone who was not a self-confessed “dog person”.

The study also showed 21 percent of the gay and bi couples had a “pet-nup” in place in case of a relationship breakdown.

This differs from their straight counterparts who were less likely to be prepared for that scenario. Only 12% had considered the repercussions of a split.

Rover.com dog behaviourist Louise Glazebrook said couples should consider a “pet-nup” when looking to co-parent a pet.

“You can outline the practicalities of what would happen in the event you split from your partner whether you have joint or sole custody,” she said.

“It’s a real tragedy to see breakups results in dogs needing to be re-homed.

“Laying out an agreement that works for all parties is the most sensible and fair approach.”

Owning a dog is preparation for a child

The study showed more than half of the participants felt owning a dog helps prepare couples for children. It’s no wonder many put “pet-nups” in place to secure custody.

The research presented some downsides to owning pets too.

Seventeen percent of couple admitted a decrease in their sex lives due to sharing a bed with their dogs.

A further third of couples said since becoming pet parents, they have spent less time together, saying they would prefer someone to always be home pup-sitting.

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That sounds fine to us, though. They are man’s best friend after all.

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