Can pets make your relationship better?

I have two dogs at home that I spoil rotten. I don't have kids so I give my animals a ton of time and attention! Because I love them so much, I make sure that everyone who meets them treats them nicely, especially when it's someone I'm dating. Call me crazy, but it's a personal rule--if you don't love my dogs, you can't love me!  Now, a new study shows I was right all along.

Recent research concludes that women are more satisfied in their relationships when her partner feels the same about her pet as she does. So, if she's close to her dog, her significant other should be too and vice versa.  Men (unsurprisingly) don't let their partner's feelings about their pet affect their level of happiness in their relationship.  

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The study first came about after the friend of researcher Kristin Capuozzo, a dog owner herself, dumped a man because he didn't like her dog. The incident peaked her curiousity and she rounded up several colleagues for help. They found 120 cohabitating heterosexual couples to answer online questionnaires about how close they felt to their pets and how satisfied they felt with their relationships.

They found that the majority of females, who are often much more preoccupied with the dynamic of the household, were happier when their partner related to their pets in the same way they did. But, there is one exception: when the woman perceived that the man was closer to a pet than she was, she actually felt worse about the relationship.

Personally, I think that when a guy can be truly caring towards a pet, it shows that he's sensitive and compassionate.  Who doesn't want those qualities in a partner? Unless he was constantly ditching you for your pooch (which, let's face it, would be really weird anyways), I don't see any reason to be jealous.  In fact, I think I would quite appreciate having him walk the dogs so I don't have to. Plus, think about it this way: you get to come home to a cute guy-and-puppy combo. What's better than that? 

Does the relationship between your partner and your pet matter to you?

Image via Mr. T in DC/flickr

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