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Don't leave your pets home: 11 holiday events and activities to enjoy with your fur friends

If the thought of leaving Fido at home while you go out and cut down your Christmas tree, attend ugly Christmas sweater parties or take family holiday photos is too much to bear, don't bear it.

You can just bring him.

Statistically, your dog is much less likely to cry on Santa's lap than a child is. And just imagine the adorable holiday card you could make with a professional pet portrait with Santa.

These Buffalo events include dog treats, vendors, photos with Santa and more. We've also added some pet-friendly (and active) activities to get you both out of the house and moving, or at least to be in the company of animals.

Events

Pet Photos With Santa

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Pet Supplies Plus, 4970 Transit Road, Depew

Have a professional photo for the Christmas card featuring the most important family member, the dog. Digital prints cost $5, a framed photo costs $10 and both a digital photo and framed print cost $5. Proceeds benefit Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue.

Holiday Pet Expo

Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at Jenns Exotic Pets at the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville

Not only will there be more opportunities for pet photos with Santa, but there will also be vendors to buy your four-legged friend a stocking stuffer. Dress your pet up in an ugly sweater for a contest. If you don't have a pet but are looking to surprise someone with one for Christmas, adoption organizations will be there. Paw passes for pets are $2 and the proceeds benefit Second Chance Sheltering Network.

Free Santa Claus Pet Photos

Noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 to 9 and 15 to 16 at all PetSmart locations

Bring your pet -- which includes dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, non-venomous reptiles and pot-bellied pigs -- to sit on Santa's lap for a free festive digital photo. And you can hop in there with your pet, too. Snap a photo on your phone to have it instantly, or wait until PetSmart sends you theirs.

Furry Friends' Annual Holiday Extravaganza!

Noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Furry Friends Holistic Pet Spa, 11 W. Main St., Lancaster

You know when you see that your favorite food vendor will be at an event and all you can think about is the barbecue you'll be salivating over? That's how your dog will feel when they see (and smell) the SnoCone beef broth at this event. There will be pictures with Santa, paw print ornament making, fresh farm goods and complimentary cookies, coffee and dog treats. A trainer will also be on site to answer behavioral questions.

A cat climbs between platforms at Purrfect Cafe and Gallery. (Francesca Bond/Buffalo News)

Holiday Craft Night with the Cafe Cats

7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Purrfect Cafe and Gallery, 1507 and 1509 Hertel Ave.

Crafts and cats go together like milk and cookies. Make a green burlap wreath with a ribbon bow, all while snuggling up to Ashi, Wanda and the rest of Purrfect's resident cats. Tickets are $30 and include all craft supplies.

Also, on Dec. 21, Purrfect is holding a story hour with Santa and the cats. There will be photo opportunities with Santa, milk, cookies, hot chocolate and cats. Tickets are $30.

P.S. During winter break, college students receive $3 off of regular admission when they present their college ID.

[Related: What it's like at Buffalo's first cat cafe, Purrfect]

Meowy Christmas Extravaganza

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Ten Lives Club at the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville

Spend your Saturday petting cats who are looking for affection and good homes. Ten Lives Club will offer adoption specials, a baked goods sale and crafts. Purchase $5 basket raffle tickets ahead of time -- they're sold up to Dec. 14 -- at the mall or their Blasdell location.

Photos with Santa and Ugly Dog Holiday Sweater Party

2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the GrandView Animal Care Center, 2409 Union Road, Cheektowaga

I'm not sure how many canine-sized ugly Christmas sweaters are hanging on the racks at Goodwill, but if your dog has a sweater that your grandma would be jealous of, bring him or her to take photos with Santa and compete in a costume contest. Match your dog in your own festive sweater to compete in a contest yourself.

Santa Paws

2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at West Herr Buick GMC Cadillac of East Aurora, 535 Main St.

Create paw print artwork with your dog and take them to visit Santa, while you try your luck at a basket raffle. For a sheet of ten tickets, bring a donation to help Buffalo Pug & Small Breed Rescue, such as dog food, potty pads, collars, leashes or crates.

Activities:

Cat yoga

Purrfect Cafe and Gallery, 1507 and 1509 Hertel Ave.

Perform cat's pose alongside the professionals in a class led by Maria D'Amico and in the company of Purrfect's cats. Tickets are $20 and you must reserve your spot ahead of time. Cat yoga recurs often at the cat cafe, but book your spot for one of the Dec. 5, 9, 11 or 19 sessions. Bring your own mat.

A few local Christmas tree farms allow you to bring dogs on a leash.(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Take your dog to cut down a Christmas tree

Hills Christmas Tree FarmRoth's Hillside Tree & Produce Farm- Gift Shop and Trevett Tree Farm all welcome leashed dogs to accompany tree-cutters. The dog can't help with the cutting or carrying but will be great for morale and snowball fights.

[Read Toni Ruberto's complete list of cut-your-own Christmas tree farms]

A (likely snowy) walk in the dog park

Bundle up and let your dogs run wild at dog parks such as LaSalle Park, Knox Farm in East Aurora and the Bark Park in the Ellicott Creek Island Dog Park. Keep them warm in an ugly Christmas sweater, making the walk more festive and getting one more use out of that tiny, hideous sweater.

 

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