Vanessa Minnillo: Our Dog Is a 'Trial Run' for Baby

03/17/2011 at 07:45 AM EDT

Vanessa Minnillo: Our Dog Is a 'Trial Run' for Baby
Engaged since November, Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey are definitely ready to exchange vows sometime soon. But are they ready for kids? Minnillo thinks so, and it's thanks to their dog, Wookie.

"You have to feed them, you have to bathe them, you have to take them to the vet, you have to love them and you have to discipline them," said Minnillo, who is the new spokeswoman for Girlfriends for Folate, a campaign encouraging women of reproductive age to take folic acid. "It's a responsibility, and I'm glad that I did it with someone who was willing to share it with me."

The couple, who ideally would like to have three or four kids one day, adopted the Yorkipoo nearly four years ago. The pooch has been great practice for baby duty.

"Sometimes you have off-days, and you don't want to get up at six in the morning when the dog has to go outside," Minnillo said. "Nick says, 'I'll do it today,' and I'm like, 'You're the best.' He doesn't even bat an eye to help out."

It's that eagerness to help that tells the soon-to-be bride that her man will rise to the task when they do start a family eventually. "I think he's gonna be a great dad," she says. "We've had our trial run with our dog Wookie. We share responsibility equally and he's amazing."

See more celebrity pets on PEOPLEPets.com:
EXCLUSIVE: Katherine Heigl Rescues a Bait Dog
Minka Kelly's Pooch Is a Downward-Facing Dog

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