(PETS/PET CARE) Being a pet guardian has many benefits, but when it comes to filing taxes, claiming your furry friend as a dependent is prohibited. Even though dogs are not tax deductible, certain pet related expenses are. Check out the list below to learn about any tax deductions you may receive for being a pet parent.

Photo credit: The Dogington Post
Did you know you could save money by being a pet parent? Photo credit: The Dogington Post

1. Service Dogs

The expenses of raising and training a service or therapy dog can be claimed as an itemized deduction included in medical expenses. This is exceptional news for those who train any type of service animal to assist individuals with physical disabilities. According to the IRS:

“You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing-impaired person, or a person with other physical disabilities. In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties.”

2. Guard Dogs

Good news for guard dogs— they count as a legitimate tax deduction! Based on the amount of  time your dog spends guarding and protecting your business, a percentage can be deducted from your taxes. Although this does not include the cost of the dog itself, the cost of caring for the dog would be included.

Photo credit: Security Bastion
Guard dogs can be considered tax deductions depending on the amount of time they spend protecting a business. Photo credit: Security Bastion

3. Donations to Rescues or Shelters

Unfortunately, the cost of adopting a new pet is not deductible; however, any donations made to an approved charity in addition to adoption fees can be. For the deduction to be legitimate, no goods or services can be received in exchange for the donation, and guardians must obtain a donation receipt claiming that no goods were accepted. Filing Form 1040 and itemizing deductions on Schedule A will account for deducting charitable donations.

4. Jobs with Pets

Business expenses are deductible if you have a job that operates with dogs such as dog trainers or dog walkers. For animal trainers, transportation costs of visiting clients may qualify as a deduction, and for dog walkers, business expenses (leash, collar, treats, etc.) can be itemized.

Photo credit: Cloud Nine Canines Inc.
Having a dog-related job like being a dog trainer or dog walker can help you earn tax write-offs. Photo credit: Cloud Nine Canines Inc.

5. Foster Pets

Those who foster dogs or cats for approved charities can claim tax deductions as well. Expenses that can be claimed include food, medicine, beds, vet bills, leashes, etc. If pet guardians designate a specific area of their home to animal care, a part of their utilities can also be considered as fostering expenses. Doing a good deed pays off!

6. Moving with Your Pet

Moving expenses in general are deductible if you moved during the tax year. However, if moving your pet requires special or extra expenditures, these could also be tax deductible. In this case, the IRS does not treat pets any differently than your personal effects.

Being exposed to dogs early in life can decrease one's risk of asthma by 13%.
Traveling with your pet can also lead to extra expenses. Photo credit: Roy Sanborn

7. Pet Food

Electing to deduct state and local sales tax, rather than a state and local income tax on Schedule A, may save pet guardians some money on dog food. Doing so would specifically deduct the sales tax paid on pet food which is good news for guardians with lots of hungry pups!

The next time you file your taxes, be sure to check out these seven deductions that could save you some money.

— Rebecca Hartt, exclusive to Global Animal