As a dog parent, it’s hard to explain just how much love you have for your furry friends to those who aren’t pet owners themselves. In fact, many pet parents would consider their dogs and cats as their children and a true part of their family. To the outside world, this might seem a little strange. A guest in your home might show utter disgust at the fact that you let your pup sleep in bed with you much less lick your dishes clean after a meal (even if you plan to run the dishes through the dishwasher afterwards).

However, not all pet owners allow their dog or cat this much freedom. While some might permit their pet to do whatever they choose, others lay down strict guidelines for where the pet is allowed in the home, what the pet is allowed to participate in, and how much they spoil their little ones.

Online furniture retailer Joybird recently conducted a survey on pet owners across the US to discover just how much freedom we are giving our dogs, cats, or other pets in the home. Turns out, if you don’t set many guidelines for your pet you aren’t alone.

42% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners admitted to allowing their pet to sleep in bed with them. While there was some debate about whether it is good for a human’s health to sleep with their furry family members, a 2016 study concluded that allowing them to sleep in your bed could actually lead to a better night’s sleep.

During the day, Americans tend to allow their pet free roam of the home. 77% give free roaming privileges while only 3% confine their pet to a single room in the house. Surprisingly, not many respondents leave their pets outside (only 7%). This could be due to the fact that owners are worried about pet theft.

Even when our cats and dogs mess up, we hold a soft spot in our hearts for them and tend to forgive them pretty easily. Many pet owners could tell you stories of their new puppy destroying their favorite (expensive) pair of shoes or their cat using the nice furniture as a scratching post. However, no matter what they’ve done in the past, we still give them the chance to live freely. In fact, those who have had more than one piece of furniture destroyed by their pet are more likely to allow them on the furniture.

When your sweet fluffball gives you those puppy dog eyes, it’s easy to see why owners cave in and let their pets do whatever they want around the house. As pet owners, we might be pushovers, but we have found great companions. The love of a dog as you walk in the door after work completely erases any of the destruction they’ve done in the past.

So, how do your habits compare to those in the study? Do you allow your pet to sleep in bed, sit on the furniture, and roam around the house when you’re gone? Share in the comments below!

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