Love Me, Love My Dog: 6 Rules for Dating a Devoted Dog Person

Share the smooches. Speaking of sharing, you’re probably not the only one your date is kissing — or getting kissed by. The fact is that lots of us kiss our dogs and they kiss us back. Not all dog people are dead set on smooching their pooches, but those who are may not respond kindly to requests to stop sharing the love with the dog. I kiss my dogs all the time. And yes, I know the risk of zoonotic disease, but that doesn’t deter me. Ben knows that he doesn’t have to kiss my dogs, but he can’t make me stop.

Accept the fuzz. No food, drink, furniture or piece of clothing will be fur free again. All dogs shed — even the so-called non-shedding breeds. There are strategies to cut back on the fur that flies, but the truth is that every piece of clothing, furniture or food has the potential to gather fur. Lint rollers are likely to become a standard in your home and car, and hair in your coffee or on your toast may be par for the course. And, it’s a small price to pay for true love.

Get used to the puppy talk. It’s entirely likely that your significant other has a special voice reserved just for the dog —and while the dog may love it, you may not. I know Ben doesn’t find my silly gremlin voice intoxicating, but it sure does make my dogs happy, so he’s learning to live with it. Or at least tolerate it.

It’s the dog’s house, too. Yes, the dog does need (or at least enjoy) all of those toys, chews and beds — they’re not going anywhere. He lives here, too, and his stuff is part of what makes your date’s house a home. And, while you’re getting used to sharing space with the dog, you’ll also need to get used to sharing your time with him, because he will inevitably be a part of your date's — and your daily life, should this relationship get serious.

Different degrees of dog devotion don’t need to cause a divide in your relationship. And, while you may have to learn to live with your dog loving partner's canine quirks, dog lovers need to be prepared to bend, as well. This might mean vacuuming more frequently to keep the fur from flying or creating dog-free spaces for couple time. For me, this meant sending the Pugs to sleep in their own bed, rather than with Ben and me, because sleeping with a snoring pooch wasn’t conducive to establishing our new marriage — or getting a good night’s rest, for that matter.

Be prepared to compromise — and never, ever put your significant other in the position of choosing between you and the dog. If you do, don’t be surprised if the dog comes out the winner. After all, he’s your date’s best buddy.

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