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Pet-Related Expenses That Can Be Deducted This Tax Season

February 08, 2021 5 min read

dogs can help save on taxes

Dogs are useful for an array of obvious reasons like emotional support, guiding and guarding humans, or even just to cuddle with at the end of the day. But did you know you may even be able to claim pet-related deductions?

Tax season is among us and that means finding any kind of tax break that you can qualify for!

Don’t get too excited, this does not mean you can claim them as dependents, but you can definitely ask a tax professional if some pet-related write-offs are legitimate.

Deducting Service and Therapy Dogs As A Medical Expense

Certified service and therapy dogs are qualified for some tax-writeoffs only if they are being put to work as a treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition for the IRS to approve the deduction. This includes physical disabilities and mental illnesses that a physician has recommended a dog or any animal as a treatment for this medical condition. A bonus for legitimacy would be if there are medical records that are kept to prove the effectiveness of this recommended treatment.

Once you establish that your service dog qualifies for some deductions, you can write off almost all pet-related expenses including:

  • Purchase Price of the Animal
  • Veterinary Bills
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Boarding
  • Pet Food!

That's right! The raw dog food you are purchasing to promote the longevity and health of your service dog can be written-off of course!

What better way to convince you to get the best raw nutrition for your hard-working service dog than being able to deduct it? Raw fed dogs have an increase in energy so your service dog will be able to assist you all day without feeling sluggish and worn out. With a species-appropriate raw diet, your dog will experience fewer health issues which would also result in fewer vet visits as well!

Tax Deductions for Dog Businesses

Of course, if you own or run a dog-related business like a grooming company, training facility, or dog walking business, expenses can be itemized. The IRS states an expense is deductible if it is both ordinary (common and accepted for your type of business) and necessary (helpful and appropriate for your type of business).

tax deductables for dog training business

Private Dog Training

If you own a private dog training business that requires you to drive to clients then transportation costs may be deducted. Poop bags and leashes for the dogs that you take walks on? It can be itemized. Keep records for any supplies you purchase to maintain your dog-related business so no eyebrows will be raised when you report it to the IRS.

Tax Deductable For Dog Breeders

Dog Breeding

Dog breeders are also a special kind of business that requires lots of care and most likely medical expenses. If breeding dogs is your main occupation and source of income you may be eligible to deduct those veterinary bills, advertising, and travel expenses. Even better if your business feeds those new bred puppies premium raw dog food you may write that off as well!

Our puppy formula has added nutrients and ingredients to promote healthy brain development and muscle retention as they grow up to be active and strong. Feeding your puppy a complete and balanced meal has lots of benefits!

Read More: Best Raw Puppy Food For A Healthy Dog


Guard Dogs As A Reasonable Business Expense

When you put your dog to work as a guard dog to protect your business they may be considered a legitimate write-off. Although the dog itself cannot be written-off the cost that goes into caring for the dog may be deducted. For a large, strong guard dog feeding it the best raw ingredients will keep them focused and alert throughout its shift. Be sure to write-off that premium raw dog food you ordered as part of a cost that is put into caring for your guard dog employee. Like any other employee, be sure to clock your dog’s hours on the clock. You can only deduct a certain percentage of how much time your dog spends guarding a business.

Relocating You and Your Dog As A Moving Expense

Did you move during the tax year to start a new job? The IRS has requirements that you have to meet in order to claim any moving expenses.

  • You can only claim moving expenses if you relocate within a year of starting this new job.
  • Your new job would add 50 miles to your commute if you stayed at your current living situation.
  • Once you move, you must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks in the first 12 months of employment.

If you qualify for these requirements then you are definitely able to deduct any kind of special pet-related moving expense as well! That includes any special transportation fees needed like a pet fee for an airplane ticket or a hotel that is dog-friendly but requires pet fees. Make sure you save those pricey receipts they will come in handy!

Donations to Dog Rescue/Shelters That Can Be Deducted

Unfortunately, you cannot write-off the cost of adopting or rescuing a dog from a shelter. Although we applaud you for it the government does not.

However, any donations made to a charity where no goods or services were exchanged from an approved charity are tax-deductible. If the donation exceeds $250 be sure to ask for a donation receipt from the shelter so you can rightfully claim this write-off.

Here’s a loophole though, if you are fostering for an approved charity that is recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, you are eligible to deduct any food, veterinary bills, cleaning supplies, etc. You must work for this approved charity and make sure you are taking care of foster dogs at the request of this non-profit organization. Here is some more information to know if you qualify for some tax breaks if you actively foster dogs for a shelter 

Overall, there are many things to consider when trying to write-off any pet related expenses. We recommend consulting with a tax professional if you are unsure what is considered a tax deduction and which forms to use when submitting this information.

Keep in mind you should always track your receipts if you want to be reimbursed for some dog expenses. We hope this helps with getting the most money back on your tax return this year, so go ahead, splurge on that species-appropriate raw dog food diet you always wanted your dog to have. If they are a service animal they always deserve the best!