Can You Ever Claim A Dog On Your Taxes?

Good pet owners usually consider their dogs as much a part of a family as their children. Sadly, the IRS doesn’t agree with this sentiment, so you can’t simply deduct your dog like you can deduct your sons or daughters. Sadly, you also can’t include your vet bills under medical deductions. On the other hand, some people may be able to get some tax breaks for some pets if they contact an experienced social security attorney.

IRS Tax Breaks For Dog Owners

Let’s dig a bit deeper to find out if you can ever deduct your pet dog:

Service Animal Deductions

If you need to have a service animal because of a disability or illness, the IRS may let you deduct some expenses. You can get more information in Publication 502 of the IRS, but this is a quick overview. For service animals, the IRS will allow you to deduct costs that help keep your dog healthy and able to perform his or her duties. This includes such expenses as vet bills, grooming, food, and so on.

This deduction won’t apply to other animals that you obtain to give you comfort. The animal must be a trained and certified service animal to comply with the rules.

Business Animals

If you own a working dog who helps you with your business, you might get a deduction for the care of this animal. This deduction doesn’t give you the unlimited ability to deduct your Maltese as a guard dog. If the tax authorities comb through your tax forms, they will want to see that you have the type of pet that would normally perform the function assigned.

Moving Costs For Animals

You can deduct the cost of certain kinds of moves from your taxes. If you can deduct your move, you may also be able to deduct the extra cost of moving a dog or other type of pet.

Deductions For Hobbies

In certain cases, you can deduct expenses for your hobbies. Typically, people do this to offset small earnings or prize awards that they get. This is treated a bit differently than business expenses because a hobby usually doesn’t generate a large percentage of income. Still, the deductions have to add up to at least two percent of income in order to qualify for a deduction. So, if your hobby is taking your dog to local shows or something else that employs the pet, you might have a deduction.

Rescued Dogs

If you rescued a dog from a shelter, your costs may also be deductible.

Sometimes, You Can Deduct Your Dog

In some cases, you may be able to deduct expenses for a dog. However, the tax man won’t regard your pet as a child even if you do.

Pets – Choosing the Right Companion For You

Ah, pets. These are animals that become part of the family and receive lots of our love and affection. But knowing exactly which pet to choose is not always an easy task. In this article, we will discuss just how you can choose the right companion for you.

1. Examine Your Lifestyle and Schedule

Certain animals will require a lot of attention and time from you. And if you have a busy schedule, this can get in the way of the pet you select getting the right amount of care that they need to be happy and healthy. For example, a dog that is kept indoors needs to be walked regularly and played with in order to thrive. If you travel often, or you do not spend much time at home, this animal may not be the best fit for you.

However, never fear. There are plenty of pets that do work well with a schedule that is busy. Cats, for example, are low maintenance and tend to keep to themselves most of the day. All that they require is a dish that is full of food and water (they need to be fed once a day) and a litter box that contains clean litter that is scooped regularly. That is something you do not want to forget to do when it comes to a cat – a dirty litter box that accumulates clumps may encourage the feline to move toward your carpeted areas!

2. Choose an Animal That Fits Your Personality and Desires

It’s important to match a pet companion to you and your family if you have certain desires from the animal you give a home to. For instance, are you hoping to have a pet that is able to watch out for your home and small children in a bustling city like Kansas City, Missouri? A good-natured but protective dog may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you like the thought of having an exotic pet, perhaps a bird or a snake is just the right companion for you! And an energetic puppy may be perfect for the family with small kids or the runner who wants a companion to jog with.

In conclusion, selecting the right pet takes some consideration and a look into your life and what would complement your needs. Use the tips laid out in this article so you can pick the animal for you that will bring sunshine into your life and companionship you won’t forget.

Dog Swimming Safety Tips

Swimming is great exercise for dogs as well as humans. On a vacation to a beach or lake, it can be tempting to let your dog paddle around instead of the usual walk. However, water can be just as dangerous to dogs as it is to people. Read on for some tips on letting your dog enjoy the water safely.

The first thing to remember is that dogs are not necessarily good swimmers. While some dogs can swim very well, and some breeds are known for swimming capabilities, that does not mean your individual dog is great at swimming. Just like in humans, swimming usually takes a little practice and trial and error for dogs. If your dog has never seen water before, do not assume that they will be able to keep afloat. Try your dog in shallow, safe water under supervision first.

Also remember that rescuing a panicking dog from drowning can be a difficult task. Keep in mind that a dog that is heavy to carry on land will be entirely unmanageable when you are trying to swim and drag them at the same time. If you think your dog is big enough to fight out of your grip in a panic, it might be best to leave them on the shore.

When your dog is swimming, always stay close. Even dogs that are very strong swimmers will tire out quickly. Dogs do not conserve energy like humans do in the water, by floating or treading water. They swim like they are sprinting on land, until they start to feel tired. If your dog is too far away when they tire out, they could very quickly move from swimming to drowning. Keep them close by, and keep an eye out for signs that they are running out of energy. Keep in mind that dogs can also get muscle cramps just like humans, which could spell serious trouble in a heartbeat.

Many dogs love the water, and a good swim is fantastic exercise for them. However, before letting your dog go swimming, you need to consider these tips to keep them from getting into trouble. Dogs may not instinctively be able to handle the water, and if they are too big for you to handle and panic, they can end up drowning. Let your dog try out a shallow pool before letting them into anything deeper, and keep them close by!

How To Keep A Blind Dog Safe

Having a blind pet can be a difficult challenge for any pet owner. However, with the proper training and equipment, you can give your blind dog the same ability to enjoy life as any seeing dog. Read on for some tips from blind dog owners on how to keep your blind dog safe, comfortable, and happy.

Luckily, dogs are not very sight focused in general. While sight is important for dogs, it is less important to the way they perceive the world than both hearing and sense of smell. Dogs are able to gather an astonishing amount of information about their surroundings through these two senses, which goes a long way toward making up for blindness.

With that in mind, it is important to help your dog get as much of the information that is important to them from senses besides sight. Think about why dogs usually would need to see, and make accommodations for them using other senses. For example, simply wearing a small bell that is very quiet to human ears will allow your dog to know where you are when you are moving, helping them to follow you.

One great tool developed for blind dogs is called the Halo Cane. This intellectual property is a fantastic way to protect your blind dog from bumping into things. The Halo Cane is a lightweight plastic tool that attaches to a dog’s head, giving them a buffer that will encounter obstacles before their face does. Between their sense of hearing and smell and a Halo Cane, it is easy for a dog to avoid serious collisions with the environment.

However, do not rely overly on a tool like the Halo Cane. Look around for other hazards to a sightless creature in your home. Open staircases could be a big hazard for a blind dog. Invest in baby gates and other barricades that will keep your dog in a safe area whenever you are not watching them. Blind dogs can be led downstairs, but it only takes one careless slip for a blind dog to have a serious accident.

When caring for your blind pet, keep in mind that blindness is not as distressing for a dog as it is for you. Dogs live moment to moment, and the lack of sight is not enough to keep them down. Keep a positive attitude, and keep up with routines like walks and playing with toys. Your dog will be happier and healthier for it.

The Best Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

Having a furry companion is extremely rewarding, but taking care of a pet can cost way more than you may have anticipated. However, there is no need to fret. You can save money while still giving your pet everything it needs to thrive! In this article, we will discuss the best ways to save money on pet care.

1. Groom at Home

Instead of taking your pet to a professional groomer, consider grooming your animal at home. This can save you a ton of money while ensuring that their coats stay in tip-top shape.

2. Save Money on Pet Food

One of the largest expenses when it comes to taking care of a pet is the food that it consumes. So do yourself a favor, and take some steps to save money on your pet’s chow! While you don’t want to switch the brand that you use too often, you can visit the company’s website and look for coupons that you can utilize in order to keep some money in your pocket. Some have been able to save as much as 20-40% using this method! This is especially helpful if your pet has health problems or requires a special diet.

3. DIY Toys and Treats

Another expense when it comes to taking care of a pet? Buying toys and treats from the store for your companion. If you would like to save a few bucks, try your hand at making your own toys and treats! Your pet is sure to not know the difference, and you would be surprised at how easy and how fun it is! A quick internet search will give you tons of recipes for treats and tutorials for toys for you to choose from.

4. Keep Your Pet Healthy

You, of course, want your animal to stay as healthy and happy as he or she can. And if your pet gets sick, the last thing on your mind may be the cost of getting health back on track, but this can get very hard on the wallet. For your pet’s welfare as well as your cash, exercise your pet regularly and make sure that you keep it up-to-date on shots and pills.

In conclusion, while it can get pretty costly to take care of a pet, you can save some money while making sure your furry friend enjoys a wonderful and happy life! Use these tips to keep some cash in your pocket while spending quality time with your companion.

How Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplementation Can Help Your Arthritic Dog

For years many people have been taking the supplement Glucosamine to help combat arthritis. Many doctors, chiropractors, and nutritionists recommend these, along with other nutrients like Chondroitin (visit website) as a natural way to help their aching joints. Now, many animal Vets are recommending the same treatments for dogs as they age. There are some signs that you should watch for, and then consult with your dog’s Vet to get the latest information. Here are the steps to take and what you can expect.

What To Look For As Your Dog Grows Older

Many dog breeds are very susceptible to getting arthritis at a fairly young age. There are several online estimates that more than 1 in 5 dogs already have arthritis or the beginning stages of it. As a pet owner, you’ll notice that your dog starts slowing down and isn’t as perky as it used to be. Then, when it comes to running up a flight of stairs, it will stop at the bottom for a pause, as if it’s getting ready for the pain.

Your dog might also decline from jumping up on a chair or other high perches and opt for places on the floor instead. These will be the first signs of a dog that is starting to have sore joints. The joints themselves may feel warm to the touch, that’s the inflammation, and your dog may shout in pain when toughed in certain places. Remember as well, your dog has a high threshold of pain, much higher than a human, so if it’s showing pain to you, it’s something to pay attention to.

Sadly, the arthritis in dogs will get progressively worse the more they age. You can take them to a Veterinarian to get some advice or many times a phone call is all that’s needed. Here are just some of the symptoms you’ll see: swelling or hot joints, licking the joints, hard to get up from a rest, declines to go up stairs or sit in high places, muscles starting to deteriorate, walking slower than normal with head hung down, limping, and of course pain.

What You Can Do To Help Your Dog With Arthritis

Supplements containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin are usually recommended. These two combined will help lessen inflammation in the joints and increase the lubrication in the joints at the same time. As dogs age, much of the cartilage will have become damaged and when it’s gone the bones in the joints rub together creating inflammation and pain. When you supplement with Gucosamine and Chondroitin not only will some of the lubrication return but there will be less pain as well.

Your vet may also recommend injections and therapies but they’ll all be quite expensive compared to the supplements. You can help by exercising your dog in a pool to give them plenty of heart healthy exercise without impacting the joints. The coolness of the water will also lessen the inflammation and help with the pain.

The Best Play Times for Pets

If you have a pet, no doubt you know that these furry little companions can take a lot of time and care in order to stay healthy and happy. But this time can be extremely rewarding for not only your pet but yourself as well. When, though, is it the best time to play with your pet? In this article, we will discuss just that.

Knowing when to have some playtime with your pet depends largely on what kind of animal your pet is. Some animals need lots more attention than others. For example, cats tend to keep to themselves and need less attention than animals such as dogs. In fact, it is not uncommon for cats to sleep most of the day away and come to their humans whenever they are ready for play and cuddles. This is the time to play with your cat. In this sense, felines are easy animals to play with because they are not hard to figure out when it comes to the time they want to spend with you.

What are some excellent ways to play with your cat? We have found that there are several, but most cats enjoy playing with fake mice, balls that contain bells that they can bat around, and feathers on strings that they can try to snatch out of the air. Another game you can play with your cat is hide and seek. Try getting down on the floor and peaking out at your cat and then hiding back behind a wall. Cats love this!

What about animals such as dogs? The average canine only receives one or two hours of attention from their owners due to busy schedules and long days at the workplace. And for pups, this is not quite enough. So aim to spend as much time at play with your dog as you realistically can. And this can be at any time of the day! Just make sure he or she has been fed and watered and is ready to spend some quality time with you.

How can you make the most of the time you spend playing with your canine companion? If you can, take them outside and allow them to run around! Of course, they will need to be in an enclosed area or be on a leash. Playing fetch is an excellent activity for dogs, as is tug-of-war.

In conclusion, the best time to play with your pet is when you have the time or they are ready to get busy having a blast with you. So make sure you fit your furry friend in your schedule. You’ll be glad you did!

How To Keep Your Dog Clean And Healthy

Dogs make great pets. However, in order for them to be the pet that you desire, it is up to you to keep your dog clean and healthy. There are many ways that you can do this and there are many benefits to being a responsible pet owner. Continue reading this helpful article for tips that you can use when you want to make sure that your dog is as clean and as healthy as possible.

First of all, you should consult with a vet to learn how to keep your dog clean and healthy. It is important for your pup to have regular checkups and visit a dog doctor to be examined. During this examination, the vet can share share with you the tips that they have. These will be dependent on their beliefs, the health and age of your dog, and any concerns that you may have. It is a good idea to consult with your dog’s vet to learn what he or she thinks you should do to help maximize the health of your pet. They may recommend a certain food and amount, supplements, medications, planned estate exercise like at, and other things to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

Then, you should keep your dog clean as part of keeping them healthy. Your dog’s skin is different than yours so it is important to consider this when you are washing them. You will want to find a way to wash your dog that is good for their skin. If you need advice, talking with your vet can be helpful. They can share with you what to use and how often to bathe your dog.

Another thing that can help you keep your dog healthy and clean is training them. No, this won’t directly help with their health or hygiene, but it will help you help them. For instance, if your dog is in a field and finds something questionable, if you are able to call them back to you, they will be less likely to ingest something they shouldn’t. There are many different reasons that training your dog should be trained to help keep them healthy, clean, and happy.

To end, when you are looking to take great care of your pet, there are some different things that you can do. Training them and forming a relationship with their vet is a good start. Use what you learned here to help you keep your dog healthy and clean.

Dog Friendly Winter Hiking Trails

As the colder weather draws in theres no reason to hang up your hiking boots or ignore the opportunity to enjoy the company of your pooch on great hiking trails. In fact winter hiking with your dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The crisp air and sheer beauty of the trails during the colder months is something that should be experienced with your faithful companion at your side.

Here are some of the best dog friendly winter hiking trails in North America.

1. Lord Hill Regional Park

If you are in Seattle area the Lord Hill Regional Park offers some exceptional winter hiking opportunities. Incredible natural beauty and around 11 miles of trails suitable for both people and canines this is the ideal spot for some winter time exploring.

The Park spans 1,400 acres of pristine nature reserve and there are numerous trails to choose from. Some of the best follow the banks of the Snoqualmie River.

2. Dog Mountain

If you are headed up North with your faithful companion then the Dog Mountain trail in British Columbia, Canada is a perfect day out. Be aware that heavy snow can make this more suitable for those who are comfortable in snowshoes. The trail is not long – only a round trip of just over 3 miles, but the scenery and views of Vancouver are incredible. It’s a favorite for those who want to take in spectacular sunsets with their canine companion.

3. The Cheakamus River Trail

Staying in British Columbia the Cheakamus River Trail is a delight for those who want to enjoy the clam and serenity of old growth forest and a wonderful untouched natural environment. It’s another fairly easy trail, suitable for a morning or evening hike. The beginning of the trail is about 6 miles from Whistler Village which can be found just off the well known ‘Sea to Sky’ highway. The suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River is one of the highlights of this short trail.

4. Mayflower Gulch Trails

For those who will be staying in the United States during winter time the Mayflower Gulch trails near Denver are perfect for hiking with dogs. Great views of Pacific Peak, Fletcher Mountain and Atlantic Peak make this one of the most picturesque trails available to dog lovers. It’s a round trip of just over 6 miles, but its relatively easy on both human and canine hikers.

Enjoy the great outdoors this winter with your furry companion. But always make sure that both you and your dog have the right clothing and equipment. It can get really chilly out there.

Best Places In The 5 Boroughs Of New York To Take Your Dog

Everything that your doctor tells you about getting lots of exercise and how good it is for your health is all that much more important for your dog. Even though your dog really needs more exercise than you, most likely it lies around the house sleeping all day long while you’re at work, then, when you come home in the evening all tired, it’s ready to play and you’re not. Still, it would be good for you to get up and take your dog for a brisk walk every single day, you’d both live longer, more than 10% longer, by most estimates. If you can’t do that, at least take your dog to the local doggy park where it can run free and you can chat on the park benches. Here are some of the best doggy parks in the 5 Boroughs of New York: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

Nothing really comes close to matching the good fresh air, free run exercise, social interaction, and more, for your favorite dog. In a dog park, they have good fences, even in the city surrounded by cars and streets, you can feel safe letting your dog run free. Dogs are also very social creatures and love to chat and interact with their fellow soulmates from around the block. Choose your dog park based on what you and your dog feel the most comfortable with, they are all different.

The Sirius Dog Run of Manhattan

This park is named after a famous K-9 dog named Sirius that was an explosives expert and died in the 9-11 attacks while at work. The park is located on the shore of the Hudson river in Battery Park City. It has plenty of room for most large dogs to get a good run off leash and there is plenty of shade for the humans with park benches as well. There is a wading pool just for the dogs and it’s quite popular on warmer days with the many pooches that come there. The park is mostly paved which makes it nice if you don’t want to dirty up your car or home after you visit the park. There are special water stations for dogs and plastic bags and poop receptacles for their disposal.

Little Bay Dog Park in Bayside, Queens

This park has great views to offer the humans of the Throngs Neck Bridge that are quite awesome in the evenings. Located near the Utopia and Cross island parkways it’s fairly convenient to get to by car. It is well fenced to allow the dogs to go off-leash and there are water fountains just for dogs and others for humans. This park is somewhat special since it has separate areas for the smaller dogs that can sometimes be overwhelmed among lots of large dogs. Baggies for poop and receptacles are available too.

The 5 Boroughs of New York may seem like and unfriendly place to own a dog, at first, but there are at least 8 dog parks including Rockaway Freeway, Tomkins Square, Madison Square, Long Meadow, Silver Lake, and Canine Court to choose from. Each has its own ambiance and amenities, you may like to mix and match of just hit your favorite every time.