Two thirds of gay and bi couples have stronger relationships after getting a dog, study finds
Two thirds of gay and bi couples that have dogs said that their fur babies made their relationships stronger, according to a new study.
Of the gay and bi couples surveyed, more than half (56 per cent) also said having a dog meant that they spent more time together.
They also viewed dog ownership as a greater commitment to their other half than setting up a joint bank account or meeting each other’s families.
More than a third of people, gay or straight, understandably said they would refuse to date someone who was not a “dog person”.
Gay and bi couples were almost twice as likely (21 per cent) as straight couples to have a “pet-nup” in place, a plan for who would keep the dog if they broke up, to avoid a custody battle. Just 12 per cent of straight couples planned for that eventuality.
Louise Glazebrook, dog behaviourist expert for Rover.com, said she highly recommends a “pet-nup” for couples thinking about committing to pet parenthood together.
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She said: “It means you can outline the practicalities of what would happen in the event that you split from your partner whether you have joint or sole custody of your dog.
“This will allow you and your dog to settle into a new routine quickly – this is the most important thing for canine mental health.
“It’s a real tragedy to see breakups result in dogs needing to be re-homed, so laying out an agreement that works for all parties is the most sensible and fair approach.”
The need for custody arrangements in the event of a breakup is not surprising when more than half of people think that owning a dog is good preparation for a baby.
While the joys of puppy parenthood are undeniable, there are some downsides too.
17 percent of couples said they had less sex because their dog now shares the bed with them, and a third said they leave the house separately so there’s always someone home to take care of their pup.