Dating sites turn to pets as matchmaking criteria

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- They're known as man's - and woman's - best friends. But our furry, four-legged companions may also be getting a reputation as matchmakers!

New websites, like, focused on connecting single pet owners have been popping up.

Dating expert Julie Spira says she thinks it's a great idea!

"If you have a pet, you are so passionate about your pet. If you meet someone and that you fill all their requirements but they are allergic to your dog or cat, it's going to fall apart," Spira said.

Some of the websites even encourage users to bring along their dogs on the first date - just to break the ice.

Matchmaker Renee Piane says a lot can be determined about a prospective partner by the way they treat their pets.

"When a person has an animal in their life, the way they treat their animal, the way they care for them, you can see how they will love possible children in the future, how they love you even," Piane said.

But are all pet owners an ideal match for one another? Not according to dating coach Dave Wygant.

He cautions that some pet parents might be using their canine best friend as a "relationship replacement."

"I have found some of the loneliest people will take all their love, all their energy and put it upon a dog or a cat or something else. To me, I don't really find it that healthy," Wygant said.

For those more comfortable meeting up in person, there's always places like the Meat Market at Pussy & Pooch in Beverly Hills. Dogs and their owners can actually sit at a communal table and dogs can sample gourmet treats while their humans mingle.

Dog owner Vanessa Gonzalez and her partner say their 11-month-old schnauzer is like a child to them. She feels like being good with pets is a good quality to look for when dating.

"You don't want to be with someone who doesn't love your dog because a lot of people today see their pets as their children. It's kind of like dating someone who didn't like your kid," Gonzalez said.

So look for dating sites that ask more than just if they're a dog or cat person. Look for profile pictures that show prospective dates with their pets. It just may put you on the path to finding the perfect match!

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