Some people are animal lovers and some people are not. There are dog people , cat people, and fish people. When you are dating someone either you are dating their pet, too, or they are dating yours. Animals are part of the family in most homes and how your date interacts with your pet or you with their’s, can be a harbinger of good or evil.

I love dogs and feel that there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Any dog can be taught to have good manners with a little effort on the owner’s part. At the very least, control your dog when your date comes over if you have not gone to the trouble to socialize it. Nothing turns someone off of you as when they come over to your house and Fido jumps up on them scratching their legs, snagging their stockings or getting hair all over their wool trousers.

Never spring your dog on someone you’ve just started dating. What if they are allergic to dogs, are afraid of them or just plain ol’ don’t like them? Make sure your date knows about your dog and introduce them to each other slowly and in small doses. Even a non-dog lover can learn to love Fido if they fall in love with you.

You can’t be too upset if many of your dates are not as awed or interested in your pet tarantula, gerbils or corn snake as you are. To most people those are phobia-inducing species that they will never be comfortable around. If he sit of such pets bothers your date, move the cage out of the living room. It may be necessary to choose between a big hairy spider, or, the love of your life. Just sayin’…

Always be sure to tell potential dates that you have a pet or pets so as not to catch them off-guard and maybe see a not so attractive side of them when they screech in fear at your dog’s lolling tongue. A lot of people are allergic to cats, so give your date a head’s up and be aware that this may be a deal breaker. Even if they don’t go to your house, cat hair is going to be on your clothes, in your car and eventually end up on them. Keep tissues handy for the sneezing onslaught to follow once exposed to said hair.

Personally, I feel dog-owners are generally more trust-worthy than most people. Dogs are also good judges of character, so if your canine companion takes and instant dislike to your date, proceed with caution.

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