Nothing kills an awkward silence on a first date like repeatedly asking your dog if he's been a good boy.

The unconditional love and never-ending cuteness you get from dog ownership are great and all, but did you know that equipping oneself with a canine companion also has many practical uses in a variety of social situations? Whether it's using that doggo as an excuse to escape, as a conversation starter with someone you can picture combining chromosomes with, or just as a conversation topic to fill the void of an awkward silence, your dog is the ultimate tool for social success.

1. Awkward silences

Nothing breaks the blistering discomfort of an awkward silence like saying your dog's name over and over again, to your dog, until in the ensuring minutes, someone thinks of something to say. Plus, a dog is somewhere to look when you don't want to make eye contact because your parents got divorced 11 years ago or something.

2. When you want to change the subject

"Did you go through my phone while I was in the shower?"

"Our Afghan Hound peed on your shoes."

3. When you want to cancel plans with the friends you're just spending time with until you find real friends

"I don't think I can come tonight, my dog just ate a tampon and fell down the stairs and I have to rub his tummy."

4. When you want to start a conversation with someone hot

Want to talk to someone you'd like to create spawn with, but don't know what to say? Easy. Just have a dog. The "What's his name" conversation is the perfect segue into "My body's built for pleasure."

5. When you need an excuse to leave

How many times have you been at your friend's sad 30th karaoke birthday party where everyone's singing Billy Joel because they clearly had different childhoods than you, and you just want to leave but have no excuse? Well, do you have a dog? Then you have an excuse.

Repeat after us: "My dog got neutered yesterday, I have to go give her her antibiotics."


6. When you don't want to hang out alone

Staying in tonight? Well, you're not a socially introverted hermit if your dog's with you. That's officially called "hanging out with friends the crib" according to the Oxford Dictionary.

7. When you just want to feel body heat but are also a misanthropist sociopath who's incapable of facilitating human connection

Snuggling a dog in bed is almost as fun as snuggling a human except a dog never asks whether you're still attracted to it. It just knows.

8. When the Seventh Day Adventists come knockin', asking you if you'd maybe be interested in some nice salvation or joining hands before the Rapture

Beware of Dog = I'm fine with going to Hell, thanks though.

9. When you farted but are too proud to accept blame

OMG, Mr. Sniffles, what just came out of your butt?!

10. When you need to break up with someone

"I'm sorry, I just don't think my dog likes you … and my dog likes everyone. Plus, I know enough Justin Bieber lyrics that I can mutate them for use in my own situations. Why do you even like me? It'll never work."