Match.com for dogs? Man's best friend gets some action

In an age where dogs wear different outfits every day, cats are dyed pink and plastic surgery for pets is becoming more popular, dating websites for dogs may not be as eccentric as once believed.

Many human luxuries and amenities have been converted to suit man’s best friend, making it easier to view dogs as children, rather than pets. Braces, Doga (yoga for dogs), wigs, perfume, tattoos, sex toys, television channels and even a “Bark Mitzvah” are just some of the options dog owners have for their dogs. But unlike some of these options, dog dating websites have a more practical purpose.

Websites such as Doggie-Dating.co.uk and MatchPuppy.com provide pet owners to set up a profile for their pets in order to find them playmates or breeding mates. Founder and CEO of MatchPuppy.com Michael Chiang began the website after having difficulty in finding a breeding mate for his dog, Louis.

“The whole process of breeding puppies was much harder than I expected, but it got me going,” he said. “I started working on the idea of a website that would help dog owners find breeding and playmates for their pets with two of my friends. The domain name MatchPuppy.com was available, so we took it and went on from there.”

MatchPuppy.com is based in New York, but Chiang hopes to expand nationally in the near future so users all over the country can set up doggie-dates with other dog owners in their areas. The website was launched about two months ago and is still in the beta period, but it has already attracted many potential members.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth since the launch of the website,” Chiang said. “We only had about 100 members just a few weeks ago and as of right now we have between 1500 and 2000.”

Dogs and other pets seem to be infiltrating the internet lately, a place that was once reserved for humans alone. Many users of the social networking website Facebook have created profiles or pages for their pets. In a survey conducted by Lab42 on DoggyLoot.com users last August, 14 percent of members have a Facebook page for their dog and 20 percent of these dogs have 50 or more “friends.”

First-year Emma Wolin has a Facebook page for her five-year-old Shih-tzu mix, Lucy. Lucy, short for Lucifer, has 43 “likes” and has been on Facebook since November 2011.

“I created a profile for my dog because everyone loves her so much, so I thought it would be important for her to have a presence on the Web,” Wolin said.

Lucy has “posted” many pictures on her Facebook page, including a scandalous picture of herself taking a bath.

Many other New College students’ pets, such as Carlos Beyonce Salamanca the guinea pig, Leroy Brown the dog, and cats Quinn Butt, Lyall Kotten and Mabel Cat, have Facebook profiles.

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a Facebook page for his Hungarian Sheepdog, Beast. Beast has 535,644 “likes”, which is about 200,000 more than the Washington Post and Vice President Joe Biden.

But the internet is not just a place for dogs — other websites, such as BunSpace, an online community for rabbits and their owners, PetPop, a social network for all different kinds of pets, and Catster (for cats) are just three of the many websites available for pet owners.

In this technological age, where Match.com, eHarmony and other dating websites make it easy to connect with potential companions all over the world, it is only natural for the mating process for dogs to be simplified as well.

“We here at MatchPuppy are passionate about all pets and we would really like to make the world a better place for all dogs and owners,” Chiang said. “We are just a group of dog owners who want to make other owners and their pets happy.”

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