Dog may be man’s best friend, but the price of that friendship can be a costly addition to any family.
According to Ontario’s SPCA, the first year of puppy ownership can cost just over $2,900. This includes food at just over $600, vet visits, exams, and vaccinations at over $500, insurance at around $600, as well as food and water bowls, a leash and collar, toys, and grooming at over $250, not to mention adoption costs, which can get as high as $400. If you choose to build a fence, enroll your dog in obedience classes, or are hit with a medical emergency, your costs may go up significantly.
To tip the scales in favour of cat lovers, feline companions aren’t as pricey, but $1000 or more each year can put a bit of financial strain on a family.
Generally, the smaller the animal, the lower the expenses in taking care of it. Guinea pigs cost around $420 a year and have an initial cost of just over $150, while hamsters, rats and gerbils cost around $225 a year and just over $140 when you first adopt them.
If pet owners hope their furry friends are tax deductible, most Canadians are out of luck. Pets aren’t classified as dependents and can’t be claimed as home security. In the United States, pet owners have won court cases to write off the cost of cat food or moving expenses involved when moving your pet from one residence to another, but those situations don’t apply in Canada.
Nonetheless, animals and associated expenses can be tax deductible in two scenarios:
- If you’re the owner of a farm and you raise livestock as part of your business, or outdoor animals to guard your crops, you can write off some of the associated expenses.
- If you need a service animal to assist you due to a medical need, you can claim some of the expenses you incur in caring for that animal.
Check out Is My Pet Deductible for more information about each of these scenarios.