Almost half of UK couples fall pregnant within a year of getting a pet together, new research shows.
The Co-operative Pet Insurance found that 14 per cent of people said they got a pet to make sure they were responsible enough to have a baby, such as making sure it had pet food and regular exercise.
Research revealed that 47 per cent of couples buy a pet before having a child, with 40 per cent falling pregnant within a year of getting the animal.
Lee Mooney, head of pet insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: "Our findings show that for many couples pet ownership can be the first stage of starting a family.
"No doubt, having a pet leads to more responsibility and the findings show that this can lead couples to bring their baby plans forward or in some cases even abandon them completely!"
Pet owning celebrities who are currently pregnant include Mariah Carey, Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson.