Are Pets Tax Deductible? 5 Deductions Every Pet Owner Should Know

Are Pets Tax Deductible? 5 Deductions Every Pet Owner Should Know

It’s no doubt that pets are an important part of our lives. We take care of them and spend some of the most amazing times of our lives together. Our care for them consists of things from feeding them to medical care. Most of us even consider them family, but the IRS does not share that point of view. However, there are some tax return breaks that certain pet owners might qualify for.

1. Moving Family Pets

Technically, pets are property just like any other household belonging. Because of that, they can be taxed if you’re relocating, since moving costs can be deductible. The write-off for moving costs is an above-the-line deduction. You’ll need to fill out a work sheet and file the long Form 1040 and Form 3903 to claim it. It might seem strange to consider Roofus in the same category as your sofa and coffee table, but it is worth it to recover your moving costs.

2. Guard Dogs

Your dog might qualify for certain deductions if he/she meets certain guard dog qualifications set out by the IRS. First of all, your dog has to look the part…a poodle with a loud bark won’t convince the IRS. The best tax-exempt dogs are breeds like German Shepherds that are known for being good watchdogs. It goes without being said that your dog must actually be guarding something.

3. Adoption Fees

The tax guidelines for charities and donations are quite confusing. In general, donations to nonprofits such as churches are tax deductible to an extent. Donations to animal shelters are not deductible because they require initial funding to pay for operational costs. That being said, if you’re thinking about adopting a pet in need of a loving home, according to IRS guidelines, your new family member could qualify as a tax deductible gift.

4. Service Animals

Seeing-eye dogs and others with special training are tax exempt according to the IRS. Special documentation and papers filled out by your doctor are needed. In this case, the service your service animal provides is the tax deductible.

5. Star of the Show

Show business is tough business, and your hard working pup deserves a tax break. In some cases – think pageants – your dog might be a business related tax break. If your dog is well documented and trained in shows, it’s reasonable to be reimbursed for the cost of entering these shows and the care that goes along with them.


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