How A Pet Can Qualify For Tax Deductions

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How A Pet Can Qualify For Tax Deductions


Hello everyone. As you know the start of tax season has been delayed this year. But, now that it is in full swing consider your options for filing a tax deduction for your fur baby this year if eligible to do so.

Fluffy and Fido are more than just adorable pets who fill your home with love. During tax time, their presence is important. Pets can be a valid write-off on your taxes and can qualify for tax deductions.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific guidelines for deciding if pets qualify for a deduction. Speak to a tax professional or accountant to check if your household is eligible.



Circumstances That Can Qualify Pet Expenses As Deductions



  • Moving a pet. Moving expenses that involve a pet can be deducted in some instances.
  • The move has to be work-related, and there has to be at least 50 miles between the new job and your old home.
  • Expenses specifically related to moving your dog can be included.
  • Guard animals. If a dog is used as a guard animal for your business, then some expenses can be deducted.
  • Expenses related to caring for the animal are deductible, and it’s important to save all receipts to show how much they cost. The IRS will allow a percentage of the cost of care to be deducted, depending on how much time the animal spends on guard duty.
  • Pets related to work. Jobs that involve animals are eligible for some tax deductions.
    • Are you a professional dog breeder? Are you a dog walker who purchases supplies to care for the animals you watch? Depending on your job, you can deduct some expenses.


  • Service dogs. Households with service dogs used for therapeutic purposes may be eligible for tax deductions.
  • Guide dogs and service dogs fall into this category. The IRS requires careful documentation, so save all of your receipts, bills, and veterinarian notices. These deductions go on the medical expenses form.
  • Food and leashes are some of the common items that can be written off. Trips to the vet and training are also frequent deductions.
  • The actual cost of buying the service dog or guide dog is also included.
  • Foster care for animals. Households that provide foster care for animals can deduct expenses in some instances.
    • Fostering an animal for a charity allows households to take the cost of caring for the animal off of their income. The charity has to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and registered with the Internal Revenue Service.
    • The animal shelter can provide paperwork proving that your household is fostering animals.
    • Items like pet beds, food, leashes, medication, vet visits, and others are eligible for deductions. The IRS may ask to see receipts, so it’s important to save all of them and keep them separate from other pet-related files to avoid confusion.
  • Sales taxes. States with sales taxes can play a part in writing off some of the cost of caring for a pet.
  • According to the IRS, filing Schedule A and deducting state sales taxes can help some pet owners. The sales taxes include the cost of pet food, supplies and other items purchased throughout the year.
  • Local sales taxes, which differ from state versions, also qualify for Schedule A.
  • Saving your receipts is essential, but the IRS allows you to use Schedule A without them. The optional general sales tax tables let you calculate the deduction on a worksheet. In addition, the IRS has an online sales tax deduction calculator.

It’s important to speak to a tax professional about all of your deductions before filing. According to the American Pet Products Association, pets cost an estimated $56 billion a year. Some pets can qualify for tax write-offs, and every little bit helps if your pet is one of these.


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  1. I would also like to add that service dog expenses for individuals with physical disabilities, or who need a guide dog for vision or hearing impairments, are certainly tax-deductible per IRS Publication 502. This is including the cost of purchasing the animal, its training fees and vet visits, as well as food and grooming fees to maintain their health.

  2. Wow, it would have never occurred to me to consider the expenses of having a pet and getting a tax deduction from it. I’m glad they are work-related and not something people can take advantage of that shouldn’t be using them. The moving was interesting. I’m glad I saw this though and now know that there are things I should be researching.

  3. I absolutely loved the look and feel of this website – and not because I’m a dog lover! The graphics and the writing didn’t even make you think that you were talking about a pet as a tax write off. I live in the Caribbean so I have no experience where this is concerned as our pets aren’t included in our tax returns. The information contained on the website would be very valuable to most pet owners and the way in which it was structured – plus the animal ads (great touch!) would encourage traffic!

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