Study: Dating app users are 351% more likely to respond if this animal is in your profile pic

I’ve been using the same dating profile formula for the last four years: short irreverent bio, brooding headshot, and then I close out strong with my selfie with Matt LeBlanc. This system has yielded limited success. Thankfully, AskMen and Zoosk have joined forces to uncover the factors that define the definitive dating profile, once and for all.

According to an analysis of data derived from 15,314,690 photos, belonging to both male and female dating app users, if you want to boost your inbound messages, you should probably look into buying a hamster.  Zoosk’s study found that profile pics that feature these chubby rodents increase incoming messages by 351%! In fact, there’s a whole heap of animals that surge response rates.

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These are the most successful animal wingmen according to the report.

Ewe, baby

You’re probably thinking either puppies or cats follow close behind hamsters, but oddly enough, sheep actually come it at number two, boosting message rates by 328%. Dogs and cats aren’t even in the top five. Elephants follow sheep (+314%), then horses (+282%), and then rabbits headline with a 275% surge rate.

Of course, having a cuddly dog in your profile can only help. Profile pictures that feature man’s best friend offer a 265% increase to inbound messages, with cats providing a 241% upswing, right after frogs (+247%).


Thanks to additional analysis of 41, 054 male user profiles and 375, 454 messages, Zoosk was also able to highlight the effect merely mentioning certain pets have on inbound messages.  Simply referencing your snake in an online dating bio increases your chances of getting a response by 186%.  Users that name dropped their pet horse saw a response increase of 75%.

However, if you own a bird or cat, keep it to yourself. Guys that mentioned their cats were 23% less likely to receive responses and those that mentioned their pet bird saw a decrease of 100%.

While these tips are certainly helpful, it, of course, should be noted that the study did not disclose what kind of responses these pet owners were most likely to receive. But, even still, one or two “Cool rodent, Willard” is well worth the inbox boost.

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