Tag Archives: Rottweiler

Tax Day: 7 Surprising Dog-Related Write-Offs

Most people dread tax season, full of paperwork and potential money owed. While the majority of pet costs (veterinary, food, grooming, or boarding bills) are not eligible for tax deductions, there are a few exceptions for qualified dog owners. We’ve broken out several IRS-approved dog expenses, which may be considered eligible tax deductions. Keep the following tax-friendly dog scenarios in mind for next year’s filing!

1. Moving Costs
If you’re moving residences and unable to take your dog with you, consider using a professional transportation company to handle the hassle of shipping your dog cross-country. Pet relocation costs are considered above-the-line deductions. The IRS simply requires a filled out worksheet and Forms 1040 and 3903 to complete the claim. The extra work is sure to be worth the savings.

2. Guide, Service or Therapy Dogs
The IRS says that if a guide dog is needed to assist the hearing or visually-impaired, you can write off all costs-associated with the dog’s care, such as the dog’s actual purchase, training, food, grooming and of course, medical expenses. A good rule of thumb is that any expense necessary to keeping the dog healthy enough to perform his service-related responsibilities, may be written off. Similarly, if you have a therapy dog trained or certified to help with treatment of a physical or mental health condition, all costs associated with the dog are approved as medical-related expenses.

3. Working Guard Dogs
If your dog is necessary to your line of work (for example, your Rottweiler or German Shepherd guards your storefront or warehouse inventory), then you may write off the dog’s expenses related to the job. Standard business deduction rules such as keeping track of the hours your dog spends on the job would apply to this scenario. However, as long as you can prove that the money spent on your dog (e.g., food, medical, training) is required to keep him up to guard dog condition and that his presence is necessary to maintaining your livelihood, these costs would qualify as business expenses.

4. Dog Breeders
As an animal breeder, your breeding stock is an essential part of your business and thus you’re allowed to deduct all necessary animal-related expenses from your taxes. The IRS allows you to claim animals held for breeding of at least 12 months as either capital assets or as a part of your regular inventory. By claiming your breeding stock as capital gains, this allows you to depreciate them and ultimately reduces your taxable income. Make sure to use all of the right forms when filing your income taxes and reporting all sales to get all the breaks you’re entitled to.

5. Charitable Donations, Fostering Animals or Regular Volunteer Work
If your love for dogs involves continuous and regular philanthropic work, you could be eligible for related tax write-offs. Perhaps you routinely donate to an animal rescue organization or volunteer at a local shelter. Or, you foster pets for a temporary period of time until they are adopted into permanent homes. Be sure to retain all receipts and records associated with pro-social work and foster pets and be sure to itemize deductions under the charity section of Schedule A.

6. Canine Sports Leaders
Does your dog compete in professional dog shows? If you participate in dog competitions, agility meets or a canine-related income-generating hobby, such as selling portraits of your dog, or lecturing on dog-related topics, unfortunately the income is taxable. However, you may use the hobby’s expenses as write-offs, to offset the hobby’s earnings. Hobby expenses can be itemized under Schedule A, but the total must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income before it can be deductible. Note that if the pet-related hobby starts to generate income on a regular basis, you should consider turning it into a business, where you could write off even more expenses.

7. Pet Trusts
Not surprisingly to most dog lovers, it’s become accepted practice to include beloved animals in wills and trusts to ensure that whomever takes possession of the pet after death will receive adequate income to pay for the pet’s expenses. Depending on the structure of the trust, dog owners can work with their attorneys to make sure taxes are paid from the trust itself without adding to the beneficiary’s tax liability.

Check Out These 7 St. Patrick’s Day Puppies!

On St. Patrick’s Day, we wear green, talk like leprechauns and bet on our luck. These 7 cute PuppySpot pups are in the St. Patty’s sprit!

Churchill the Bulldog dons a leprechaun hat today.

Dylam the Havanese is looking for a four-leaf clover.

This Pomeranian named Coco Bear wonders if she’ll find the pot of gold under a rainbow today.

Patty the Rottweiler celebrates St. Patty’s in style.

This Maltese named Giovani is waist-deep in Irish ale.

Molly the Lab won’t get caught getting pinched this year!

Lucky #7 is Ruthy the German Shepherd!

 

When Your Dog Has Cancer

Hearing your loved one has cancer can be devastating, whether it’s a family member or your furry friend. Yet in both pets and humans, cancer is a reality that cannot be ignored. In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve put together a guide for understanding, detecting and treating cancer in dogs.

Types of Canine Cancer
thumbnail-cancer
According to WebMD, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10, but experts say that half of all cancers are curable if caught early. Dogs can develop a variety of cancers including mast cell tumors, a form of skin cancer; malignant lymphoma, tumors in the lymph nodes; breast cancer, which occurs as mammary gland tumors; and soft tissue sarcomas. Other common types of cancer in dogs are Hemangiosarcoma or cancer of the blood vessels; Malignant Histiocytosis, which is cancer of the white blood cells; Melanoma; Osteosarcoma or bone cancer; and prostate cancer.

Causes
You may be relieved to know that while it may seem that cancer is an extremely common diagnosis in dogs, the main reason we are hearing about it so much these days is that dog owners are taking better care of their pooches to the point that dogs are living long enough to develop the disease. Cancer in any species is multifactorial, meaning that there is not a single cause one can pinpoint for why it develops, but the reasons are thought to be both hereditary and environmental. For the hereditary case, there are some breeds of dog more prone to cancer than others. You should be especially on the lookout for cancer if your dog is one of the following:

Among the possible environmental causes of canine cancer are intact sex organs, exposure to tobacco smoke and toxic environments.

Signs and Symptoms
Just like in humans, one of the most typical signs of cancer in dogs is an abnormal lump or bump. Other classic signs are a wound that doesn’t heal, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes or abnormal bleeding. These are signs that should be addressed immediately by taking your dog to a veterinarian. Especially if your dog is over the age of 10, there are other, subtler signs that should not be ignored, which include unusual odors, unusual weight loss, loss of appetite, respiratory problems, lack of energy or bone stiffness.

Treatment and Prevention
With early detection, cancer in dogs is very preventable. You can also lower your dog’s risk of breast or prostate cancer by spaying or neutering. In addition, healthy diet and exercise are always recommended to give your dog a long, happy life. However, if the cancer spreads quickly before it is detected, there are methods of treatment which still give your dog a chance at survival. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are among the common options. However, these can be costly and may require a specialized payment plan with your vet.

If your dog develops cancer, as distressing as the news it, it shouldn’t be a cause of complete hopelessness. A dog with just a small lump that needs to be removed has a very good long-term prognosis, and even cases of malignant cancer have at least a 60 percent success range, according to WebMD. Recovery should take months rather than years. While nobody wants to imagine their dog having cancer, awareness and early intervention of the disease can ultimately give your furry friend a long, healthy and happy life.

Dog Breeds by Fur: Low to High Maintenance Pooches

When deciding on the best dog for your family, grooming responsibilities probably don’t top of the list of criteria during breed selection. However, depending on your financial situation and time constraints, hair may be a factor worth considering. Depending on the type of dog and their grooming needs, you could be visiting a professional groomer as much as every two-four weeks, or at a minimum, intensively brushing at home on a daily basis. Here’s a rundown of the lowest to highest maintenance pups when it comes to hair, which should help with setting expectations, planning and budgeting.

Short-haired, smaller dogs are going to require the least amount of grooming. An important caveat however is that even though these breeds are short-haired, they will still shed somewhat as all dogs shed some fur. Check out these breeds with low grooming needs if you’d rather not trade in your day job for a styling gig.

Italian Greyhound
Boston Terrier
Miniature Pinscher
• Harrier
Dalmation
• Whippet
• German Pinscher
• Basenji
• Australian Kelpie
Weimaraner
Vizsla
• English Foxhound
Boxer
Rottweiler
• Black & Tan Coonhound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Mastiff
Great Dane
Bloodhound
• Neapolitan Mastiff

talk-ab-fur-thumbnailConversely, if you can’t resist a fluffy, long-haired pup, target this list of styling breeds, who require more hands-on attention to their coats to avoid matting, shedding and hygiene issues.

Akita
Alaskan Malamute
• Bearded Collie
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bichon Frise
• Border Terrier (or most terriers, for that matter)
Bulldog
Chow Chow
Cockapoo
Cocker Spaniel (and most other Spaniels)
Collie
• English or Irish Setter
• Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers
Havanese
Lhasa Apso
Maltipoo
Old English Sheepdog (and other sheep dogs)
• Pekingese
Pomeranian
Poodle
Portuguese Water Dog
Shih Tzu
Siberian Husky