It turns out man’s best friend can offer more than snuggles and entertaining fodder for You Tube videos. In some situations, your canine companion can offer tax benefits. Two specific examples include:

  • Service. Dogs that are used as service animals can qualify for certain tax deductions. It is important that the animal be a designated service animal to qualify. An example would include a dog used as a seeing eye dog or to help with other disability or medical needs. If so, expenses connected to the animal are likely eligible for a tax deduction. This can include food and vet services.
  • Business. Expenses connected to dogs that serve a professional function can also qualify for tax deductions. Have a junk yard dog that serves as a watch dog? A dog that serves a security function within your business? A cat that keeps the rodent population on a farm in check? A deduction may be available.

Even if your pet does not meet one of these two options, other deductions may be available. Families that are moving and take their pet along to their new home can often deduct moving expenses connected to moving the pet in the same manner other personal belongings can qualify for a deduction.

Charitable donations to animal shelters or fostering a pet can also provide opportunity for tax breaks. 

As with any tax deductions, it is important to keep records that support the claim. In the event of an audit, these records can help defend the deduction.