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, Reuters reports.

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

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

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

The poll was conducted to mark next week's DVD release of canine comedy film Marmaduke, Reuters reported.