Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan has introduced a bill that would change the U.S. Tax Code by allowing a new itemized deduction: pet care.

The HAPPY Bill,  House Resolution 3501, is the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act. If would allow "qualified pet care expenses" for a "qualified pet" up to $3500 a year.

A qualified pet is defined by the bill as "a legally owned, domesticated, live animal."  The exceptions would be those owned in connection with a trade or business as well as those used for research.

Qualified pet care expenses would include 'amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care)..." The bill excludes money spent in acquiring the pet, but does not further specify what is meant by "care."  Is it "health care," or care that includes feeding, clothing, bedding, and toys for the pet?

A personal itemized deduction for pet care would be limited to $3500 per year.  For persons to be eligible to deduct their own health care expenses, they first would need to be eligible to itemize total expenses and second, they could only deduct the amount of out-of-pocket health care expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income.

What do you pet owners think about this HAPPY bill? 


H.R. 3501 photo via


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