Love me, love my dog, say Britons

LONDON Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:02am GMT

A man takes his dog for a walk in a push-chair on the seafront in Hastings southern England December 27, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A man takes his dog for a walk in a push-chair on the seafront in Hastings southern England December 27, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are famously devoted to their pets but a new survey ahead of Valentine's Day shows their furry friends may be standing in the way of love.

Eighty percent of dog owners for example said they would not date someone who didn't like their pet and nearly 20 percent of the 3,000 pet owners surveyed would rather have an animal companion than a relationship.

As many as 36 percent of all owners stroked their furry friends more than they touched their partners.

And 12 percent felt that owning their cat or dog was having a damaging effect on their relationship.

The poll was conducted to mark next week's release of the Blu-ray and DVD of hit doggy film "Marmaduke."

(Reporting by Hoby Wahad; Editing by Paul Casciato)

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