Pet expenses may be deductible in the situations detailed below.  Your own personal pet, while awesome, is not deductible unless one of the following situations apply.

Service Animals that are medically necessary to assist an individual due to poor vision, hearing or some other medical condition may qualify.  The animal must be trained or certified to provide the service.  Costs for the buying, training, food, grooming and veterinary care to keep the animal in a condition fit to perform its services are deductible as medical costs.  The individual must also have documentation from a doctor that the animal is necessary.  Note that only medical expenses that exceed 10% of AGI are deductible and you must itemize to get the deduction.

Work Animals also qualify.  It may be common to use a dog for security or to sniff out bed bugs (yuck!) in your line of business.  In that case, the costs for depreciation, training, food, grooming and veterinary care may be a deductible business expense.  Good records as to the use and hours of service should be kept to substantiate the deduction.

Unreimbursed expenses incurred when Fostering Animals for a 501(c )(3) charity are deductible as a charitable expense.  Costs such as food, supplies and travel should qualify.

Dog Breeders who make a business of breeding (not a hobby) will certainly have deductible expenses such as depreciation of dogs used for breeding, food, grooming, dog walking and veterinary care among others.

Farm Dog expenses must be pro-rated for the percentage of time the dog is working and the cost to purchase the dog can also be depreciated if it is working at least 50% of the time.

For all above purposes, make sure to keep good records and receipts to support your deductions.

Honorine M. Campisi, CPA