Does your pet choose your date for you? For many, they’ll agree that’s what happens.

When Jessica of New York was asked to go on a date, she already had plans that evening to celebrate her dog Fidel’s birthday, cake included. She told her potential date she was busy with her dog’s festivity, then invited him to join the party. Would he think that was strange or fun? Whatever his view on it, he accepted the invite. Jessica knew then that this guy was worthy of her and Fidel’s time, as told in “Dogs & Their Peopleby the BarkBox founders.

The rules of dating a pet owner

Jessica’s date was a step ahead. He realized the rules of dating a pet owner or at least a very important one: one’s pet is family. There is nothing more attractive to a pet owner than finding a date and potential partner that gets their quirky bond!

So here are a few unspoken rules to help your date with a pet owner go more smoothly if you don’t have a pet. If you’re accepting of someone’s pet, then there’s a better chance there may be a second date.

1.  Their pet needs to accept you before the owner will.

Okay, we get that some pets are shy or intimidating. Start with an open mind about their pet(s), and acknowledge their pet right away, especially if you’re greeted at the door. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile like having a couple of treats handy in your pocket or a new toy. (Ask your date first if you can offer treats to their pet. You never know if one’s pet has allergies or is on a certain diet.) Either way, they’ll think you are thoughtful and kind. Pro-tip: Some treats or toys like a puzzle entertain and keep a pet occupied longer if you want to have fewer distractions. Or, depending on their breed, playing frisbee or fetch with their dog can also show off your fun side.

2. Respect rules and boundaries.

If your date says no table scraps for their pet, seriously, don’t do it. There is nothing that will end a new relationship faster than not respecting their terms for their pet. When you two become an item and you ever get a pet together, then you can discuss mutual boundaries. But until then, house rules rule.

3.  You are the third wheel.

Dog owners are always seeking out pet-friendly venues, parks, and restaurants. Beat your date to the punch. Suggest a fun date where their pet can come along on. We suggest some cool spots like dog parks or hike on a trail. You’re sure to have a great time, and your date will know you’re down to share time with their pet.

4.  Pets are family.

One’s pet is not just the “the dog” or “the cat.” They have a name, use it. They are family. As of now, their pet is way more important than someone they just met.

Don’t scoff at purchases you may think are absurd. Turns out cats do look handsome in bowties, and your date’s pup does deserve the top-of-the-line memory foam dog bed. If invited to the pup’s birthday party, ask if you can bring a little gift.

Not following the rules is a deal breaker

Follow these rules and you’re sure to score points with your date via their pet! But break these rules, and you’ll find yourself in the doghouse, instead of in the dog’s house. (Again, it is the dog’s house?)

A survey of 1,000 dog owners reported that 94 percent of dog owners think it’s important that their pup like their significant other. Then 71 percent of owners reported that there would be relationship problems if the two didn’t get along.

Back to the story from “Dogs & Their People,” when Jessica brought a different date home, Fidel let his feelings be known. Although house trained and not known for accidents, Fidel pooped in the house on top of Jessica’s bed. It was clear to Jessica that this date was over.

I can relate to Jessica’s story. One time when I had a guest stay over that I wasn’t fond of, but I didn’t tell anyone. My angel of a Greyhound, who never had accidents in the home, peed on the bed I prepared for them. I was shocked but actually chuckled to myself and told her, “I get it. I feel the same way!”

Obviously, on FetchaDate, I want you to find someone you’re compatible with. Finding a compatible partner for you and your pet can be hard, but this online dating platform for pets takes the guessing game out of spotting a true animal lover. FetchaDate brings pet lovers together. They know what you’re getting here–others who accept what it means to have a pet in their home. Download the app today, make a profile, and start swiping on like-minded pet-obsessed matches!