5 tax breaks for pet parents

Did you know that Americans spend a whopping $45 billion a year in pet care? It’s true. Between food, toys, vet expenses, health insurance and maybe even training classes, the expenses can really rack up.

In fact, pets can be so pricey that one Michigan senator tried to pass a bill a few years ago that would allow for a $3,500 tax break on your pet. Unfortunately, the bill didn’t pass, but the expenses don’t go away either. Even though there may not be any true government tax breaks for pets, there are ways to help you save some dough.

Be the barber: Grooming can get really expensive, but doing it yourself doesn’t have to be that hard. Simple ways to keep your pet looking sharp is to keep short, groomed nails and your pet’s hair brushed. You can even keep your pet smelling like a million bucks with Pet Head Shampoo.

Prevention costs less than treatment: One of the most expensive treatments is for heartworm disease. It can cost up to $600 to treat a heartworm positive pet. Instead, make sure to give your pet a heartworm preventative every month. Prevention is much more cost effective since it only costs about $100 per year. Heartworms are deadly, so don’t wait to treat, prevent now.

Buy durable toys: Coming home to stuffing all over the floor is one of the many “joys” of living with a pet. Buy toys that stand up against tough chewers and masters of toy “killing”. Try giving your pet the Kong Classic Dog Toy, which is super durable and it’s made with a natural rubber compound, perfect for chewing and bouncing.

Go for a walk: Exercising with your pet is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy and happy. It also helps your pet avoid diseases that can become expensive to treat. Arthritis is a big problem for pets, and keeping your pet moving is actually some of the best treatment. Also, adding a joint supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin can help reduce some symptoms of arthritis and help prevent future joint problems.

Take care of those chompers: Dental disease is a biggie among the animal world. It’s so common that by 3 years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease. So, with that being said, taking care of your pet’s teeth is a MUST. Brushing is the best way to reduce your pet’s risk of dental disease. Since pets can having dental problems at such a young age, you need to start brushing their teeth as puppies and kittens. You may also want to put a water additive in your pet’s water to double your efforts.

In the end, keeping your pet healthy and happy really doesn’t have to be that expensive. One of the main things to remember is to always take your pet for regular health check-ups to prevent future problems that can become costly.