Can Pets Be Claimed As Dependents for Purposes of Tax Deduction?

Pets cannot be claimed as dependents for tax deductions, according to Bankrate. However, taxpayers can deduct as medical expenses the costs of buying, training and maintaining dogs that are service animals, according to Consumer Reports. The dogs must assist visually impaired, hearing disabled or other physically disabled people.

Items that qualify for medical expense deduction generally include veterinary care, grooming, food and other costs taxpayers incur to keep the guide dogs or other service animals healthy, enabling them to carry out their duties, according to the Internal Revenue Service. For the deduction to apply, the animals must be certified or trained to treat a diagnosed illness or condition, notes Bankrate.