Online dating is becoming even more popular, especially during COVID-19. According to Pew Research, 48% of 18-29-year-olds say they’ve used a dating site or app.

The good news is the majority of online daters say it’s at least somewhat easy to find potentially compatible partners. So with more people flocking to online dating, here are some tips to make your profile stand out in order to increase your chances of meeting the pet-loving person of your dreams.

Choose an Eye-Catching Close-Up Photo as Your First Image.

Who can resist swiping right on an adorable pet, right? One thing that makes FetchaDate unique is potential matches first see your pet or pick a virtual pet in the search area called “fetch Who’s Behind.” Make that first photo you upload of your pet a close-up. We’re naturally drawn to animals’ eyes, so let them truly be your WingPet.

Staring into animals’ eyes can release oxytocin—that feel-good tingling feeling of endearment. Oxytocin is associated with empathy, trust, and relationship-building. Some even refer to it as the “love hormone” because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging. Looking into a pet’s eyes can also make you feel that way. Make sure the photo of your pet is in focus and well-lit. Save the (optional) pet clothes for the additional photos. With a swipe right on your pet, the odds are more likely you’re a match and they’ll be able to see you.

This goes for you, too. Have a close-up solo shot of you for your profile picture in order to give matches a clear look at your wonderful self after they’ve swiped on your pet.

Apart from the main profile picture, it’s important that your actual profile and additional photos paint a picture of who you are and what you love. (FetchaDate also has a pet profile option.)

When picking your photos, think of it as creating a highlight reel of your life. Some great FetchaDate profile photo ideas include you and your pet out for a walk, an endearing moment on the couch, an exciting trip or an interesting hobby. We’re not knocking your photo holding up that big bass fish, but save it for the additional images please.

Here are some photos we suggest avoiding.

  • Selfie in the mirror (so cliché)
  • Odd-angle pics
  • Big group pictures (Which one is you?)
  • Any photo with your ex (Cropping them out doesn’t count! We know what that half arm in the photo means.)

While the final decision is up to you, there’s a reason that sites like Photofeeler were created to confirm we don’t always pick the most ideal photographs of ourselves.

Include Details About Yourself.

Beyond photos, FetchaDate has additional features that let your personality shine through your potential match’s screen. They only take seconds to add.

Be sure to tap on the “Interests” and “Friends say I’m…” sections. The personality traits you tap and select are the first details your pet shares about you, and will give other singles a better idea about mutual compatibility.

The “About You” section is your opportunity to tell a short story to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to know more.  The key is to keep it short and interesting. Have a friend read over it.

Even when short though, include details. Instead of saying, “I like to travel,” share something specific about that last trip road trip like whether you went glamping during the pandemic or the latest Netflix marathon you watched.

Not only will your potential match get to live vicariously through your adventures, but it’ll also give them a clearer idea of who you are and if they could see themselves in your story.

Send Personalized Messages.

Online dating is wonderful because it gives you access to a pool of singles without even stepping outside of your house, but that also means that the pool can be big and shallow. As more and more singles dive into the pool, more messages may fill up users’ inboxes.

Generic messages like “Hey cutie” or “How was your day?” often go unanswered because they’re sent too often.

Make your message stand out by personalizing it. Yes, it takes more time, but you’re looking for the one, not one million. If you were in a bar, how many people do you really approach in one night? Every single one that walks your way? No, so approach online dating the same way. Remember there is a human on the other side of that chat.

What should you say? Start by looking at what about their profile piqued your interest. Do you both like the same sports team? Did their job intrigue you? You both clicked on wine tasting and movies as a description; mention that. Show them that they didn’t waste their time creating this profile for you to ignore it entirely.

Remember, the most important tip to keep in mind when online dating is to be yourself. Not everyone you swipe is going to be a match, and not everyone you message is going to respond. That’s completely normal.

Pew Research data shows more than half of Americans (54%) say relationships that begin on a dating site or app are just as successful as those that begin in person. As long as you are approaching dating with authenticity and using the options available to showcase the best version of yourself, you will end up finding your match and your pet’s match, too!