The average dog causes three family rows a week - as owners argue over where it can sleep and who should take it for walks, a survey has found.Photo: AP
A study shows 'man's best friend' can also be his worst enemy, triggering nearly 2,000 family arguments during its lifetime
Spats range from disagreeing about who should take the dog for a walk, feeding them too many treats and what to do with them when holidays loom.
Nikki Sellers, Head of Pet Insurance at esure, said: ''Owning a dog is not dissimilar to having a baby.
''Round the clock care and responsibility throughout a dog's life can become tiresome for any pet owner but should never be overlooked.
''Maintaining a dog's physical health through exercise plus regular stimulation to avoid them running riot around the house should at least help avoid some arguments.
''A healthier dog may also lead to fewer costly trips to the vet too but for advice on how to look after a dog properly, owners should seek professional help.''
The study also revealed one quarter of owners regularly argue about where the dog should be allowed to go in the house with beds, upstairs or sofas causing most rows.
One fifth of families frequently argue whose turn it is to clean up the mess in the garden, while one in ten disagree who should clear up the carpets should they be soiled.
Disciplining the dog is one of the biggest causes of arguments - as 18 per cent of couples often fall out because one is accused of being too harsh on the dog.
A further 15 per cent of families often row about who should be training the dog, while one in ten people get annoyed if the dog is 'humanised'.
Other arguments about the dog include who chose to buy it in the first place and how much has been spent on the dog.
They're also likely to cause unrest if they damage the children's toys or chew the family's shoe collection.
The study also revealed while the majority of family arguments are more likely to be about the children than the family pet, 14 per cent of owners reckon they row about the dog more than their children.
Incredibly, in 17 per cent of households the dog disputes have got so bad one member of the family has slept in the spare room, while a quarter of those polled have been known to storm off after things got too heated.
In fact, 26 per cent of dog owners have at some point considered getting rid of their beloved dog after a bust-up.