PARK SLOPE — Must love dogs.
Dating can be hard for single dog owners who are looking for someone who understands 4 a.m. pee outings, daily trips to the park — rain or shine — feelings of guilt when you're away from home too long and unconditional love for a furry friend who depends on you for all their needs.
For some dog owners, a potential mate's aversion or allergy to canines can be a deal breaker.
"For many people, dogs are like their babies," said Therese Relucio, coordinator at Park Slope for Pets. "If the person you are dating doesn't love your dog, they may not be right for you."
Relucio also said that understanding how much time a pet needs is important for a potential mate.
"Dogs need a lot of care and time," she said. "It is important to find someone who understands that and eventually wouldn't mind helping out with some of the responsibilities."
One solution to the "must-love-dogs-dilemma" is to meet other pet owners — and Relucio is committed to helping people do just that.
Park Slope for Pets, an online community for pet owners in the neighborhood, is hoping to play matchmaker for dog owners who are looking to meet and date other dog owners. The group is hosting the first in a series of dating events called "Meet My Owner," a singles mixer for pet owners.
Participants are asked to first fill out a profile with questions like "What would your pet say about you?" and "What are your pet peeves and deal breakers?" Relucio hopes it will make meeting other pet owners easy and fun.
"There will be drinks, icebreakers and maybe board games," she said. "There has already been a lot of demand for the event."
Relucio said she has nearly 20 people registered for the mixer, which will take place in the back room of Park Slope Ale House at 356 6th Ave. on Feb 10.
But this event is not the end of the line for meeting single dog lovers. DNAinfo New York rounded up a list of tips and resources for singles looking to meet their dog-loving soul mates.
The dog park is a great place to meet other singles with four-legged friends. There is ample time, while your dog frolics in the park, to strike up a conversation with a cute stranger.
Meeting someone at the dog park or dog run is ideal because right off the bat you have something in common to talk about, Relucio said. She offered some tactics for breaking the ice with the hottie at the dog run.
1. Ask a question about their dog.
Dog park questions are very common. How old is he? What kind of dog is that? How long have you had her? Does your dog always hump like that?
There's no reason to feel shy about approaching another dog owner in that setting, Relucio said. "In fact, dog conversations are expected at the dog park," she added.
2. Suggest a play date.
This is a great way to move the relationship out of the park — and other dog owners understand the importance of finding playmates for their dogs. Also, most play dates happen in homes or backyards so it's a great way to get invited to your love interest's pad.
"It's like asking someone out without all of the romantic expectations," Relucio said. "Dog play dates are the best kind of first date."
3. Try out a cheesy pick-up line.
"Literally walk up to another dog owner and ask if they 'come here often?'" Relucio said. "It's cute and funny because of course they do."
This approach works especially well when you are at a park you don't normally go to or when you see someone who you haven't seen before at your local park. It's harder when you have been eyeing that attractive dog owners for months — cheesy pick-up lines work best the first time you lay eyes on someone.
4. Try online dating sites for dog-lovers.
The Internet is littered with dating sites for all kinds of people and matchmaking sites for dog owners are no exception. Sites like Pets Dating, Animal People Personals, Date My Pet, You Must Love Dogs Dating, and Leashes and Lovers operate on the basic principle that you and your match already have one huge thing in common since you both love dogs.
5. Check out matchmaking events for dog owners.
Try events like "Meet My Owner," the aforementioned singles mixer for pet owners and pet lovers at the Park Slope Ale House on Sixth Avenue. The event, which will also benefit Sean Casey Animal Rescue, costs $7 in advance and $8 at the door and is designed as a low-key way to meet other dog owners outside the park. There will be an icebreaker game and drink specials and more than 15 people have already RSVPd to the event. Find out more and buy tickets here.
Dog are not allowed at the event.