We don’t have kids, and thus we tend to coddle our dogs (3) and cats (2) the way many people treat their babies. We are those crazy people you hear about who dress their animals in holiday costumes. But we have a very good reason.
The pets hate it. They get annoyed and tear the items off. The husband gets frustrated trying to direct them in poses as I take the photographs. He swears a lot. Nobody is happy. But then I upload the photos and find a keeper here or there, and it seems worth it. And now is when you think we are truly crazy – why go through that for a cute photo of the dogs in holiday costumes? Who cares? Why record this drivel? For one very good reason — marketing.
The husband used to send holiday letters out to his clients each year. Then a few years ago, we started dressing up the “kids” (as we refer to them) in holiday gear and photograph them for holiday cards. The simple truth is that the husband’s holiday tips went up significantly when we included cute photos of our dogs and/or cats. His clients appreciated them much more than a letter of thanks. Many of his clients have pets of their own, and they enjoyed getting a glimpse into our family life (even though the majority of our family members get fleas in the summer).
So it’s all about marketing that resonates with his clients. This makes me think: can I deduct the cost of the dogs for business purposes since they are doing the work bringing in the holiday tips? I know our CPA would say no, but more importantly, the IRS would frown upon that. The husband has to pay taxes on those holiday tips, but still, there is enough left over for a nice meaty rib bone for each dog. After all, they did their job in looking cute (but annoyed).