Pet Tax Deductions: 5 Tax Write-Offs for Pet Owners

Could your dog be your tax refund’s best friend? You might qualify for certain pet tax deductions. Here are 5 possible tax write-offs for pet owners.

Have you ever wondered why you can write off expenses for kids but not pets? After all, some folks consider their four-legged friends their kids. While the IRS doesn’t totally agree, they do provide some pet tax deductions that could apply to you.

So just what are the situations where your pet might qualify as a dependent? We’ve got five right here:

Guard Dog

Do you have a business that relies on the extra security offered by a guard dog?

Then you might be able to treat food and vet bills as regular business deductions. Of course, you’ll need to have impeccable records. So be sure to keep track of all vet visits, all receipts from the pet supply store, and even a time log of the hours your dog “works” on your business premises.

Superstar Pet

It’s one thing to post cute pictures of your cat, dog or hamster on social media for your friends to admire. It’s another when they become a star.

If you start to generate income as a result of your pet being on social media, or in television or print ads, then the IRS considers it a for-profit business and you can write off certain expenses your pet incurs.

To keep this legit, your earnings should exceed expense for three out of five years. And as always, keep clear and concise records.

“Foster” Pet

Is your pet just with you on a temporary basis until he or she finds its forever home?

Fostering a pet is hugely rewarding. But caring for a foster pet and the travel involved with taking it back and forth to adoption events is not cheap.

Unfortunately, you can’t write off expenses related to food, supplies or the vet.

But you can deduct 14 cents for every mile you travel related to the shelter or rescue agency. So be sure to keep a mileage log.

You can also write off any charitable donations to these shelters if you itemize deductions. As always, keep all receipts.

Therapy Animal

Having your pet meet you at the door or curl up in your lap after a long day is very therapeutic.

But he or she is not considered a therapy animal unless you need your pet to compensate for reduced vision or hearing, or some other approved condition.

To qualify for a write-off, you must have an official diagnosis that benefits from a therapy animal. And your pet must be trained and certified as a therapy animal.

If you meet all of these conditions, you could deduct expenses for food, grooming and veterinary care that is necessary to ensure your pet remains at optimal health to assist you.

Animal Trusts

Setting up trusts for pets is not just an act of the wealthy and eccentric anymore.

As people live longer, they’re acquiring pets in the later years of their lives. They want to be sure their furry friend is cared for should they pass.

Or perhaps you have a parrot, a tortoise, or another pet whose life expectancy may far exceed yours.

Whatever the case, a pet trust doesn’t exempt you from tax worries. So it’s a good idea to get a qualified attorney if you’re taking this route. And you can click here for more information on tax write-offs for your pets.

Pet Tax Deductions Are Real!

Does your pet qualify for any pet tax deductions?

If so, it could just make the sweetness of being with your pet even better! So don’t be afraid to ask your tax preparer. And for more informative articles on all things pets, keep checking back with our blog.


Last Updated on 13/09/2023 by Karen Snow