Pets!  Not just Support Animals! Dogs may be our best friends, 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 and that cost includes food (just over $600), vet visits, exams, and vaccinations (over $500), insurance (around $600), as well as food and water bowls, a leash and collar, toys, and grooming (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. Are dogs too pricey for your family?  Maybe you have been thinking of something a little less costly, like a cat?  Cats are not as pricey as dogs, however, when you add up all the costs related to felines, they can easily get up to $1000 per year. Still out of your price range? You can go smaller, like hamsters, snails or fish. 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 dependants 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 as legitimate medical expenses.
Check out Is My Pet Deductible for more information about each of these scenarios.  

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