Tax Deductions for Dependent Pets?

There are several reports around the internet of a push to make your pet expenses such as veterinary care and food a tax deduction.  

The In Defense of Animals website has a form which can be sent in your congressman to urge them to consider a tax deduction for pets.  Here is their reasoning behind the tax deductions:

“Americans spend over $9 billion a year on veterinary care for their animal companions. Other expenditures such as food, shelter, and other necessities collectively cost billions of dollars more. People can claim children and other human dependents on their taxes and pay the government less. Yet animal companions remain ineligible for deductions, despite the fact that they depend on their guardians no less than children depend on their parents.

Increasingly, people regard their dogs, cats, and other animal companions as members of their families. The government should support animal guardians through tax breaks just as the IRS offers deductions for children and other dependents. I urge you to take a leading role in this by supporting a bill to amend the tax code to offer financial support to animal guardians”

When I first saw these articles I thought it was a great idea as a law like this could help increase the number of pets that are neutered/spayed each year and thus help curb the number of unwanted cats and dogs in shelters.  It could also prompt pet owners to spend even more on their pets - good for us pet care business owners!

But I agree with Elaine Vigneault that there are pros and cons of such legislation.  The law could prompt people to own pets just for the tax deductions.

Fun Times Guide gives a list of some pet related items that can already be claimed as tax deductions.

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