London: "Dogs are a man's best friend" isn't just a saying; it is the truth as they can ward off depression, lower blood pressure, boost immunity and now, a new study suggests picking up chicks is a lot easier if you have a furry friend.
So what's the catch? Using Fido as date-bait is far more effective if you happen to be a single guy, the Independent reported.
The study surveyed random Match.com users in the United States who included pet info in their dating profiles. Of the 1,210 people who responded, 61 percent were women and dogs and cats were by far the most common pets listed.
The researchers found that ladies were more than twice as likely as the gents to say that they were attracted to someone because he had a pet and also about twice as likely to judge their date based on how they reacted to a furry companion.
They added that in terms of evolutionary and life history theory, females allocate a higher proportion of their reproductive effort to parenting while males expend more energy on mating.
The study, which has some notable limitations like the survey sample comes exclusively from the online dating pool and includes only heterosexual, gender-normative people, pointed out that because pets are increasingly treated like members of the family, their role as a stand-in for potential future kids is all the more significant.
The study is published in the quarterly research journal Anthrozoos.