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ImageDogs are called a man's—and a woman's—best friend, but now these furry mates have become so close to singles that they ease their loneliness by sharing their bed with pooches.

About one in three singles said they let their dog or cat in their bed, a major shift from 10 years ago when just 8 per cent would do so.

Vanessa Papas, 25, is one single who doesn't mind sharing a blanket with her eight-year-old dog Chops.

"Chops is very much a house dog and has always just been my baby and a member of the family," news.com.au quoted her as saying.

"Since we've had him he always just comes into my room and climbs on to the bed. It's an arrangement that works very well for both of us.

He likes the attention and I like having the company," she added.

While people sharing their bed with their pets are still in the minority, a survey also revealed four out of five singles allow their pet inside.

Women are more likely to have their pets indoors.

Only about 20 per cent of dogs are now left out in the doghouse. In 2000, 37 per cent of pets slept outside.

The figures come from a national survey of 600 people released by the Petcare Information Advisory Service. CEO Susie Willis said the way society and pets interact is changing.

Willis said that a part of the issue was about feeling secure.

"For people living alone there is a level of security in having the pet there and we know from our research that women in particular do say they feel more secure when the dog is around," she said.

Image Source: Thinkstock photos/Getty Images
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