Must Haves Before Getting A Dog Or Cat With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend

Everything you need to successfully add a new pet to your relationship.

couple with dog in bed Shutterstock/eva_blanco

Can a pet ruin a relationship? Our answer is a resounding NO! In fact, a dog or cat could actually help your relationship.

According to research, people with pets have lower stress levels during conflict, interact more with their romantic partner, and are generally happier than non-pet owners. 

That’s great news if you’re wondering whether or not that new puppy will affect your relationship. What’s even better is that there are tons of ways to make having a pet way easier. 


With these must-have items like app-powdered food bowls, self-cleaning litter boxes, and pet food delivery service subscriptions from Chewy, you can get all of the benefits of having a pet, while avoiding the things that could cause relationship problems.

And, to make things even better, Chewy is having it’s Blue Box Event sale (Limited Time Only” starting 10/11) so the following items are at a deep discount. 

RELATED: Fall Fashion for Dogs and Cats: Our Favorite Looks of the Season

Here are a few must-haves you should have on-hand before getting a dog or cat with your boyfriend or girlfriend:

Best for couples with dogs or cats

1. Pet food delivery service

What it is: A pet food delivery service will ship pet food right to your door. With autoship options, like that of Chewy, you can schedule your pet food deliveries so you never run out. 


Why it’s great for couples with pets: It saves time and cuts down on individual responsibility. There won’t be any arguing when Fluffy runs out of kibble, because it just won’t happen. 

Our pick: Chewy’s autoship pet food delivery service. They offer flexible scheduling so you can adjust delivery times when needed. And, you’ll get 40% off your first autoship purchase during the Blue Box sale. Otherwise, it’s 30%.

2. Personalized pet parent mugs

What it is: Matching cat and/or dog mom/dad mugs for you and your partner. Sip your morning coffee like the truly proud pet parent you are (you can even get your pet’s photo on the mug.)

Why it’s great for couples with pets: Ok, so you probably don’t actually need a personalized pet mug. But, it can definitely help you bond with your partner over pets and caffeinated beverages in the morning. 


Our pick: Personalized “Spoiled” mugs with your pet’s photo from Chewy. Buy 2 Get 25% off Personalized Products.

personalized pet mug

3. A comfy dog or cat bed

What it is: A pet-sized bed for your dog or cat. It’s cozy, comfy, and can fit in various places around your house. 

Why it’s great for couples with pets: Three might be a crowd when hitting the hay for the night. To avoid fights over blankets and mattress real estate, it’s helpful to train your pet to use their very own bed. 


Our pick:  Armarkat covered bed for cats. It’s cozy and cute so your pet can take a snooze in solitude. And this king dog bed with a removable interior so you can wash it! Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

Armarkat cat and dog bed

4. Automatic dog or cat feeder

What it is: An auto-feeder is essentially a pet food container that refills itself when food is running low. Some of these feeders are basic, while others are app-operated!

Why it’s great for couples with pets: It saves time and cuts down on individual responsibility. The more time you have, the more you can spend it together. Plus, these are super helpful when you’re off on a romantic weekend trip and want peace of mind that your furry friend is being fed. 


Our pick: The Van Ness automatic dog and cat feeder. It’s super simple and affordable. DOGNESS Automatic Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain.

automatic pet feeder 

dogness automatic water fountain


It’s an automatic water fountain that keeps water fresh for dogs and cats. The DOGNESS Automatic Smart App Mini Dog & Cat Feeder.

app powered automatic pet feeder

An app-powered automatic feed for small dogs and cats. You can use your phone to select portions and feeding times. Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

5. Interactive pet toys

What it is: Toys that your pet can use to play without you! Some of these are battery powered while others dispense treats as your pet plays!


Why it’s great for couples with pets: Interactive toys can distract your pet and keep them happy for hours without taking up your time. Watch a movie, cook dinner, or get some housework done while your pet is playing. 

Our pick: Cat's Meow Motorized Chaser Cat Toy. Switch it on and watch your cat entertain themselves for hours.

automatic cat toy

West Paw Qwizl Tough Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy. It’s a mentally stimulating toy that also dispenses treats for your dog! Buy 3 Get 1 Mix & Match Toys, Treats & Apparel.


treat dispensing dog toy

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Best supplies for couples with dogs

1. Indoor potty for dogs

What it is: A patch of faux grass that your dog can use inside the house when they can’t make it outside to the bathroom. 

Why it’s great for couples with dogs: If early mornings are not your thing and you’d rather stay in bed, this indoor potty for dogs can help. Plus, it makes things a little easier when you’re both at work and can’t take the dog out for a walk. Also, you can take those day trips and weekend trips without as much worry 


Our pick: Pee Turf Portable Potty. It has a unique draw and can be taken on the go. Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

Pet turf portable potty for dogs

2. Travel bowls for food and water 

What it is: Collapsible food and water bowls that you can easily pack to take on the go. 

Why it’s great for couples with dogs: You can have more fun with less worry! Take your dog on hikes, camping trips, and day-time adventures instead of leaving them at home. 


Our pick: Cozy Courier Collapsible Travel Silicone Bowl. Completely flattens for easy storage. Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

silicone collapsible portable dog bowl

Best supplies for couples with cats

1. No scoop cat litter box

What it is: A self-cleaning litter box that uses a rake system to move solids into a separate compartment. It cleans the litter box 20 minutes after your cat uses it. 

Why it’s great for couples with cats: This saves a ton of time and leaves the dirty work up to the litter box itself. It’s also great for couples who like to take weekend getaways or lengthy vacations. 


Our pick: ScoopFree Original Automatic Cat Litter Box. Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

scoop free self cleaning cat litter box

2. Indoor camera

What it is: A Wi-Fi-powered indoor camera that lets you keep an eye on your cat while you’re away. Set it up so you can see their food bowls or litter box to keep an eye on things while you’re away. 

Why it’s great for couples with cats: You can keep tabs on your cat while you’re away for the day, weekend, or a long vacation. 


Our pick: Wyze Cam Pan 1080p HD Pet Camera With Live Stream & Pan, Tilt & Zoom. Up to 30% off Pet Essentials Sitewide.

indoor pet camera

Things to consider before getting a dog or cat with your boyfriend or girlfriend

While a pet can make a fantastic addition to your romantic relationship, there are a few things to consider before getting a dog or cat with your partner. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few things couples should definitely keep in mind. 

1. How frequently you’ll be home during the day

This is typically more important when considering getting a dog. If you work from home, that can be a major bonus. 


2. How often you travel or take weekend/day trips

If you’re the kind of couple that love to travel or take trips, getting a pet is an even bigger decision. You may want to consider getting a cat instead of a dog, as they are easier to leave alone for long periods of time.

3. Whether or not one of you has allergies

Is your boyfriend allergic to cats but swears he’ll “get used to it” so you can have that adorable kitten you’ve been wanting? Don’t take his word for it.

While your partner may have good intentions, their allergies could become a problem down the road, putting tension on the relationship. Try fostering first to see how they do. 

4. What kind of budget you working with, both separately and together

Pets cost money, there’s no way around it. If you’re the type of couple that struggles with money, or fights about money often, it’s important to think about the cost of your new pet.


Always discuss finances before bringing home a furry friend, and make sure it won’t strain your household budget. And, while no one wants to plan for a breakup, consider whether or not you could afford to take care of the animal on your own, just in case. 

5. How much free time you each have to take care of the pet

Consider how busy you and your partner are outside of work. When you calculate social activities, time at the gym, housework, and quality time together, how much is left to take care of a pet?

6. What would happen to the animal if you happen to break up in the future

Again, no one wants to plan for a breakup, but it’s something that every couple should at least discuss before going through with a new pet. 


1. Can a pet ruin a relationship?

There’s no way to offer a 100% true answer here. However, studies have shown that couples with pets tend to be happier, spend more time together, and have lower levels of stress when in conflict.


Taking care of a pet as a couple takes teamwork, and a little team building skills never hurt anyone. Plus, if you had a solid relationship before the pet, chances are that a puppy or kitten won’t be the thing to change that. 

2. Can a dog help a relationship?

Like we said above, it definitely could. However it really depends on the relationship and the people in it. 

3. What does it mean when a couple gets a dog?

It often means that a couple is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Bringing a dog into the mix presents new challenges, responsibilities, and a whole new dynamic of love.

When a couple gets a dog, it means that they are ready to embrace these new challenges and all the goodness that comes with them.


4. Getting a dog before marriage-is it a good idea?

It could be. Getting a dog is a big step for a couple, but surely not as big of a step as marriage. The teamwork, responsibility, and time management that is needed to take care of a dog can shine light on your partner’s character.

Seeing how they handle a dog could help you understand how they would handle married life and possibly a child. 

5. Getting a cat with your boyfriend-is it a good idea?

As we said above, it could be. For some, getting a cat with their partner may be less risky than getting a dog.

Cats can often require less maintenance than dogs, and may be cheaper to take care of. If you’re not super confident in your relationship, but still want to get a pet, a cat may be a good option. 


6. Dog getting in the way of relationship-is it possible?

It’s possible. There are many reasons a dog could get in the way of a relationship. If your partner has dog allergies, this could be a major issue. Also, if the dog causes strain on money or time, this could negatively affect a relationship as well. 

7. How long should you date before getting a dog?

This one is different for every couple. It all depends on the people involved and their relationship.

However, it’s probably best to wait until you are officially living together. Keep in mind that a dog is a big decision.

They need lots of time and love. Just be sure to fully think through your decision and make sure that you can provide the dog with a stable and loving home. 


RELATED: What Pet Should I Get? Take Our Quiz and Find Out!

Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on love and relationships. 

-Created in partnership with Chewy