Every relationship comes with compromise. No partner is perfect, but we put up with random disagreements and sometimes irritating personal quirks because their value vastly outweighs minor annoyances.
But to dislike dogs? For loving pet parents, that’s a massive mark against any potential partner. While there are plenty of accommodations we’ll consider to make a relationship work, doing away with the dog isn’t on the list.
That leaves two options: ditch the date or find a way to fit both into your life. Let’s explore if and how it can work for everyone with these tips and advice for dating someone who doesn’t like dogs.
Is There Potential in the Relationship?
Almost any owner would admit that if they had to decide between their dog or their date, it’s the two-legged partner getting the boot. Dogs are more than a hobby you can rearrange or drop entirely to suit your significant other.
They’re crucial facets of our lives, as essential as any family member. If there’s no middle ground to accommodate everyone, you need to figure that out as quickly as possible. Discuss experiences with dogs and learn about your significant other’s tolerance level.
Maybe they had trouble with a dog as a child. Perhaps they owned dogs before but didn’t give them the same attention or treatment you give to yours. Some situations are workable. But if the other person dislikes dogs and won’t budge no matter what, you’ll have nothing but problems trying to sustain the relationship.
The other half of the equation concerns your dog. How much do they factor into your life? The person you’re dating may tolerate dogs but draw the line at bringing them along on vacations or letting them sleep in the bed.
Talk about your relationship with your dog, your expectations, and where you’re willing to compromise.
Don’t Settle for Less
You decide what you’re willing to give up if you see a future with the person you’re dating, but if you love your dog, you two are a package deal. Your partner will have to put up with the dog and your routine. They may even have to pick up your dog’s medications occasionally or go on walks with the two of you. Small compromises go both ways.
If your partner can’t fit in that life with you and your dog, don’t force a closer relationship or waste time trying to find workarounds. It’s unfair to you, your dog, and the person you’re dating. Romantic partnerships don’t work out for millions of reasons, and it isn’t an insult or slight to look for another partner.
You can still be friendly with the other person and keep them in your life. By changing the tenor of the relationship, you’ll take the pressure off both of you and keep your dog happy at the same time. Don’t overcomplicate the matter or stress out over finding solutions. Stay positive and respectful of everyone involved, and they’ll all appreciate your efforts.
The 6 Tips for Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Like Dogs
After careful consideration, you may decide that your dog-wary partner accepts your pet and your routine enough to give the relationship a shot. But even if they’re willing to overlook their personal preferences for your sake, you can make adjustments to make them more comfortable.
Not liking dogs isn’t necessarily a challenge to fix but a personality trait to respect. Fortunately, making it easier for your partner to get along with your dog doesn’t mean taking anything from your pet or upending your life. Follow these simple tips to put your partner at ease and show them you acknowledge their feelings.
1. Keep Your Dog Well-Groomed
For many people who don’t like dogs, cleanliness is a critical issue, especially if they have allergies. Most breeds are fastidious groomers, but by human standards, they still add to the mess.
While you can’t control everything your dog might do to upset your partner, like drooling, you can limit the amount of hair, dander, and dirt they leave around the house. You can follow a consistent grooming routine appropriate for your dog’s breed.
Double-coated dogs, for instance, will need different tools and more frequent grooming schedules, particularly during the shedding seasons. With frequent brushing, occasional baths, and attentive eye, ear, mouth, and nail care, your dog will smell better and avoid leaving fur and stains around the house.
2. Train Your Dog and Establish Boundaries
Locking up the dog when a date comes over is probably the last solution an owner would consider to make the relationship work. Your pet shouldn’t suffer just because your date has an issue with dogs. Still, you can set reasonable boundaries to make them comfortable without taking anything away from your pet.
Jumping is a behavior every owner wants to limit. Going further, you can consider training your dog to stay off the furniture and the bed. Although your partner may not love dogs, they’ll be much more tolerant when you can offer some separation and relief.
Training new boundaries, behaviors, and commands can be challenging, especially if your dog is older and set in their ways. But your partner will notice the effort and likely support you as you try to teach new manners, even though it might take some time.
3. Keep Yourself Available
Regular vet visits are a no-brainer, but they take on even more significance when you’re dating someone who doesn’t like dogs. Alongside the reassurance that your dog is healthy, keeping their shots and tests up-to-date will make it easier to plan outings with your significant other.
Most daycares and boarding services require updated records. Your partner may want to swoop in to take you on a surprise lunch date, and having that flexibility will prevent any hangups in their plans.
At the same time, this entails researching daycares and dog sitters. You can find a few decent services that make scheduling easy, maintain clean facilities, and have a good reputation. It doesn’t take much time or effort to check online reviews or make visits to build a shortlist of drop-off options.
Daycares are an excellent way to give your significant other attention and your dog quality socialization. Emergencies happen, and your partner should understand that your dog may interrupt a date on rare occasions. But it would be unfair to constantly put plans on hold because you want (or need) to make your dog fit into them.
4. Set Reasonable Expectations
Partners will naturally become active in each other’s lives and offer a new support system to make them easier. We need to lean on our significant others now and then. The extent to which we do it partially depends on their tolerances and abilities.
With a partner who doesn’t like dogs, you’ll have to know and abide by what they’re willing to do for your pet.
Some requests are reasonable. Grabbing a bag of dog food when they visit the store on the way home is something even someone who hates dogs could do for their partner. But what about asking them to stop by and walk your dog while you’re at work? That’s a judgment call you probably shouldn’t make if you know your significant other doesn’t like dealing with dogs.
Although some people will eventually share in the ownership, you shouldn’t expect your partner to handle responsibilities you would typically manage without them. Ask for help when you need it. Otherwise, don’t view someone who doesn’t like dogs as a source of relief from your role as the pet parent.
5. Don’t Force Your Partner to Love Your Dog…
Everyone has unique attitudes and beliefs around dogs, and you should respect your partner’s hesitation to accept them. Of course, you want them to overcome it and fall in love with your dog, but pushing them together and forcing a relationship won’t be effective or appreciated. Give them space and let it happen organically.
6. …But Make Sure They Respect Your Dog
While you should consider your partner’s needs and desire for limited involvement with your dog, they must respect your pet and their place in your life. Your dog has no say over who you date. Although they’ll have to adapt to a new person in your life, they shouldn’t be a victim of the relationship.
You and your dog deserve someone who will appreciate their presence in your home and routine. There must be zero tolerance for any verbal or physical abuse, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about fulfilling your scheduled play times, walks, vet visits, and other duties.
Does your partner have to share in everything dog-related? Not at all. But they should never hinder your or your dog’s health and happiness.
A dislike for dogs can have numerous causes and take on countless forms. Some partners fit seamlessly into your life despite not liking dogs initially, while others won’t put up with pets at all.
Sometimes, it just won’t work, and that’s okay! Honest conversations and acknowledging the limits of a relationship don’t have to be awkward or contentious as long as you, your dog, and the other person are happy in the end.
Featured Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock
- Is There Potential in the Relationship?
- Don’t Settle for Less
- The 6 Tips for Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Like Dogs
- 1. Keep Your Dog Well-Groomed
- 2. Train Your Dog and Establish Boundaries
- 3. Keep Yourself Available
- 4. Set Reasonable Expectations
- 5. Don’t Force Your Partner to Love Your Dog…
- 6. …But Make Sure They Respect Your Dog