So you have been DM-ing with your crush constantly for a few weeks now. Lucky for you, they agreed to finally meet up. Here’s a thought that will definitely spice things up: bring your dog on the first date. But have you ever thought of any good dog-friendly date ideas you can do on your first meeting?


First dates are usually very casual and involve a lot of icebreakers, and having your dog around may actually shine some light on what your date’s interests are and allow for a more natural, upbeat conversation.


There are many advantages to letting your puppy tag along in your first encounter with a potential partner, such as taking away the awkwardness and tension in the air. Here are some of the best date ideas for dog lovers that can help you gauge if your date and your pup will mingle well — an important thing to consider as both of them are going to be constants in your life!


Outdoor Activities (a.k.a. Your Dog Wants To See If Your Date Can Keep Up With Their Energy)


couple and dog on a hike outdoors


If your date is an adrenaline junkie and has a fondness for the great outdoors, going to dog parks is a good one if you want to start slow! The open space allows your date to have unlimited playtime with your dog and have picnics when hunger strikes. Apart from dog parks, hiking may be your or your date’s cup of tea along with day camping. These are some great activities you and your date can bond over, especially if you have an active doggo like a golden retriever. So you get the exercise you all need — check. You get to know your date on a whole other level — also check. Your dog finds your date awesome as they both love the outdoors — a big, big check!


A Cozy Home Date (a.k.a. Some Serious Culinary Skills Exhibition)


couple and dog at home sofa

You know what they say: the way to a lover’s heart is through their stomach (and your dog’s stomach, too, in this case).


Home dates don’t always mean having movie marathons on Netflix all day — it could very well be a gastronomic experience you, your date, and The Four-Legged Furry Boss would love to have in the comforts of your own home. Scour online or in cookbooks you have in store for yummy recipes all of you would enjoy, or let your date help you whip up a special meal or treat platter for your dog. After munching and chomping, an empty dog food bowl or plate is a sign of a positive verdict!


Dinner at a nice restaurant (aka if he does not like dogs, he probably hates commitment)

dates with dogs

Many restaurants allow their customers to bring in pets. If you really want to see if they have what it takes to be ‘the one’, don’t tell them that you are bringing your pup with you. Watch out for their reaction—this is crucial. Are they surprised? Excited? or perhaps a little embarrassed? You basically introduced them to your best friend/family member/baby so first impressions and reactions should matter. If they don’t like dogs, they probably won’t like any long-term commitments…or worse, they could be cat owners (kidding).


A day at the beach (aka if he has allergies, he ain’t probably the one)

beach dates with dog


Who doesn’t like beach day? Humans love it. Dogs love it. What’s not to love? You got the sun, fresh air, the sea, and best of all you get to spend it with your best bud and romantic interest. Only thing is, when you put an animal outdoors, hijinks usually ensue. How does he handle your divided attention? Can he handle the stress? Does he have allergies? Will he be willing to chase your beach-crazy pet around?  These are just a few things that you should consider.


Shop for groceries (aka is he ready to be a dog parent?)

grocery shopping with dogs


Does your date know how much you spend on dog food, vitamins, and other essential items for your pups every month? Take him grocery shopping so you could see their reaction. Would they be understanding or would they be terrified? Would they offer better alternatives or do they judge your decisions? Taking care of dogs costs money. Money is an issue for many couples. Better know what their priorities are sooner rather than later.


Doggy disco (aka it’s not silly if you’re having fun)

Dog disco


Did you know that there are discotheques in SFO that organize doggy dances? Yes, a dance-a-palooza for your doggies! If you don’t have one in your city, then make one! Invite your friends, neighbors, and dog owners in your area. Invite your date to help out. If his eyes do not light up upon the sight of cute doggies dancing to Snoop Dogg or Lil Bow Wow, then you need to get yourself another crush, girl.


Go on a holiday (aka make or break)

holiday with dogs


They say that if you really want to get to know who your partner is, travel together. So this idea is applicable to the second, third, and nth date.


When traveling, chances are you’ll see a side of your partner that you never have before. You may find out that they are highly organized with their stuff, if they lose their patience easily, or if they have a knack for following itineraries obsessively.


As traveling is fun and stressful at the same time, adding a dog to the whole equation is an entirely different challenge on its own. You will get lost, make lots of mess, and you will probably encounter problems at airports, trains, ferries, and many other establishments you bring your dog into. So make an itinerary and call ahead of time. If you get home and you still like the other person, then congratulations! You may just have met your match. Good luck!


Fifty Paw-rst Dates


Just kidding with the fifty, you only need one so make the most out of it. Bringing your beloved dog on your first date with someone will definitely help in sparking up the chemistry between the two of you, but keep in mind that while it’s a big factor, your date’s level of interest in interacting with your pet shouldn’t always be a deal-breaker.


After all, dates are all about enjoying each other’s company in the time you’re about to spend together. Things didn’t work out? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other fish in the sea (that your dog can also get their paws on, woof), or you can just date your dog with these suggestions. We hope this little list of dog-friendly date ideas for dog lovers—and potential lovers—helps!


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I Love My Dog So Much is an American-Based Online Magazine Focused On Dogs, Including Entertainment, Wellness, Educational Resources For Pet Owners, Advocacy, And Animal Rescue.