Survey Says Pets Are a Great Excuse to Leave a Party

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
Need to leave a holiday party, stat? Blame the dog! A new survey shows that one of the most popular ways to “ghost” from a seasonal soirée is to say you’ve got a pet at home.

It could be the stodgy office gathering, or an impromptu shindig at the annoying parent from your kid’s soccer team’s house. It really doesn’t matter. If you want to make an escape from a holiday party without any drawn out goodbyes – commonly referred to as “ghosting” – just tell the host you have to get back to your cat or dog. Hey, everyone is using that excuse… well, according to Petplan’s most recent survey, that is!

Thanks to the party people at Petplan pet insurance, pet parents would rather hang out with their pooch or kitty than make forced small talk with that creepy guy from accounting. The survey went out to 7,000 pet parents, and nearly 85 percent of respondents admit to skipping out on holiday hoedowns.

“We knew that ‘I have to feed the cat’ or ‘I’ve got to walk the dog’ are lines people use to leave a party, but we had to laugh when nearly every pet parent in our survey admitted to doing so,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “What’s worse, some pet parents forego the festivities altogether to stay home with their furry friends!”

Other results that were unwrapped include these trends in holiday spending:

  • Nearly 96% of pet parents purchase holiday presents for their four-legged loves.
  • Favorite toys (75%) and top-shelf treats (62%) will stuff most stockings this year.
  • More than a third (38%) of pet parents spend $25 to $50 on pet gifts for the holidays.
  • 32% report spending more than $50.
  • Almost 42% of the people polled plan to receive gifts from their pet for the holidays (no word on how pets get their paws on the Amex card).
  • 73% of kitties and mutts mug for the camera on holiday cards.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve used Oscar as a “get out of jail free” card more than once at a party (and on a few not-so-fabulous dates). He’s also got a few presents under the Christmas tree – looks like I’m a pretty typical pet parent!

What about you? Have you used your pet as an excuse to leave a party? And did you get him anything for Christmas? Let us know in the comment section below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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