Puppy love in full force for holiday season

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They drool on your belongings, they eat your homework and they publically embarrass you on a daily basis. So why do so many Americans consider their pets to be a part of the family? As the holiday season approaches, new research from Bissell Homecare suggests that dogs and cats may find a permanent spot under the mistletoe, demonstrating their value as the household’s designated smoocher.

According to the recent Bissell survey, a total of 57 percent of animal owners said their pets are more likely than a spouse or significant other to give them a kiss when they walk in the door each day.

Perhaps the unbridled affection given by these pets is deserving of the holiday treat, which 49 percent of respondents said they would purchase for their pet’s stockings this year.

"During the holidays, Americans tend to spend a lot of time with family and, for many of us, pets are part of the family," said Pet Lifestyle lc expert Kristen Levine.

She added the holiday season offers the chance to "share the joys of pet ownership with our friends and loved ones."

Levine is not alone. The Bissell survey revealed that 35 million pet owners will include their dog or cat’s photo, "signature" or paw print on their holiday cards this year.

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