Are There Tax Breaks for Pet Owners?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Vision Realty

Although we're not quite into the tax season just yet, we are nearing the end of the year, which means that any tax breaks you're going to get next year, should be wrapped up in the next couple of months. And, like clockwork, there's always someone asking about tax breaks for pet owners.

As real estate agents, we're always looking for every single deductible possible. Every little penny counts when it comes to paying taxes or not paying them. So, if you are a pet owner, listen up! There are some tax breaks for pet owners. Here's what you can claim.

#1. Guard dogs.

This doesn't mean your little ankle buyer that comes to the door anytime a friend stops by but, if your pet guards your business location, you might be able to deduct the costs of keeping him fed and healthy. The IRS is pretty strict when it comes to deducting the cost of animals as a business expense and there have been many court cases to go one way or the other, but, a guard dog can be an exemption if the business is in a bad part of town and the IRS feels it was a legitimate expense. It might be difficult to prove, but if you can, it's definitely a legitimate deduction. Things to consider are size and breed. A little Chihuahua while isn't good to do much to defend a large brokerage but a mastiff, pitbull, or Rottweiler could definitely be believable.

#2. A cat for pest control.

I tell you what, I wish the cats would get some of the rats around my chicken pen this time of year but you may be able to deduct them if your cat keeps your business property free of mice, rats, and other vermin.

#3. Pet showing.

If you make money showing your Pet, even as a hobby, you might be able to claim a tax break for any expenses. Show dogs or show cats and their expenses can be deductible if you spend money and earn money in the endeavor. You can expect to receive 1099 at the end of the year if you've earned hobby income from the winnings of a show.

#4. Foster pet deductions.

This is one of my favorites. If you foster animals of any kind you may be able to take advantage of a tax benefit for charitable contributions. Any expenses you incur for caring for foster cats or dogs from qualified nonprofit organizations can be deductible on your Schedule A as charitable donations. These must be unreimbursed expenses. Even if you volunteer at shelter or rescue organizations you can deduct your mileage made to and from the location at about $.14 per mile.

#5. Service animals.

This is not your "service ferret" that you drag around with you everywhere but if you have a legitimate guide dog or service animal, you can include the costs of training the dog, veterinarian, food, and even grooming expenses. Pets are used in all type of services these days such as the treatment of posttraumatic stress, seizures, and heart-related conditions.

Be sure to have a prescription from your doctor or something that proves the animal is a legitimate service dog or any type of pet, really. It has to be trained and certified.

#6. Moving expenses.

If you move with your pet is required for work or some other job-related expense, and your pet requires additional costs, you can usually deduct those fees. There are stipulations and regulations so about the distance that you are traveling. If you meet the IRS requirements, you can deduct the shipping costs of your household pet to your new home along with any other moving-related expenses.

Visit My Columbus Area Sites: 

Posted by

columbus, lewis center and gahanna real estate

Columbus Ohio real estate - Vision RealtyAs a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.


Donald Payne - Vision Realty, Inc.
4608 North High Street

Columbus, OH 43214

Toll-free: (866) 510-2223

Cell: (614) 323-4348
Follow Me on Pinterest

LinkedIn Donald Payne Twitter Vision Realty - Donald Payne Vision Realty on Facebook Vision Realty YouTube Listings Vision Realty Columbus OH real estate search

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joe Jackson 10/25/2018 04:57 PM
ActiveRain Community
Ohio Franklin County Columbus
Almost Anything Goes
tax breaks
service animals

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

You have covered a topic I had never considered.  My cats definitely provide pest control, but, they are at my home.  For some these suggestions may be worth exploring.

Oct 25, 2018 01:22 PM #1
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I think my two dogs might qualify for the guard dog tax break. Their bark is worse than their bite but they've chased away at least one potential intruder I know of 

Oct 25, 2018 04:30 PM #2
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Great ost DP  I'll keep these items  mind when i file lol

Oct 25, 2018 04:55 PM #3
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

My Katie would definitely keep people from invading my home (where I work) but we live in such a rural area that I doubt the IRS would believe we are under any danger here.

I've often wondered about a way to deduct expenses for the old horse I took in because he was in a bad situation. He's expensive! Hay, grain, carrots, and blankets aren't free.

Oct 25, 2018 06:03 PM #4
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

We've been able to use #4, and deduct mileage when Liz takes one of her certified therapy pets (1 dog, 1 cat) to hospice, VA, etc.  Unfortunately the rest of the herd at our home offers no tax deductions :)

Oct 25, 2018 06:19 PM #5
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Great post, just to be clear most of us who have pets are not focused and doing it for the tax deductions, we do it for other reasons...Endre

Oct 25, 2018 10:15 PM #6
Deb McGuire CNE, ABR, SRS
Keller Williams Capital Partners - Columbus, OH

Terrific information!

Oct 26, 2018 04:57 AM #7
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

This is quite the tax incentive for pets! I'm going to start taking my dog with me during showings for protection!

Oct 26, 2018 06:27 AM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Donald. This is terrific. I fostered dogs for years and never knew this.

Oct 26, 2018 06:42 AM #9
Linda Franks
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH

You always have such good advice!

Oct 26, 2018 12:07 PM #10
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Donald Payne

What's your Vision..
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information