Can You Buy Pet Food with Your EBT Card Food Stamps?

An elderly woman with dog in autumn nature.
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Most people consider their pets part of the family. And just like people, they need food too. Despite that, pet food cannot be purchased using your EBT card, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Learn: What is SNAP & Is it The Same as Food Stamps?
Discover: Will My State Provide Extra SNAP Money in March?

However, if you get Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits issued through your EBT card, you may be able to purchase pet food.

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, the TANF program gives grant funds to states and territories to provide families with financial assistance and other services. To qualify for TANF benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen, legal alien or qualified alien, reside in the state you applied and be unemployed or underemployed with low or very low income. One of the following must also be true:

  • Have a child age 18 or younger
  • Be pregnant
  • Be 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household 
Make Your Money Work for You

If your state issues your TANF benefits through your EBT card, you can withdraw money from the ATM to purchase items like food for your pet. 

Even if you aren’t eligible for the TANF program, there may be other options to help you purchase pet food and other necessities including state and national programs that offer pet food assistance if you’re in need. According to the Humane Society, you can locate a pet food pantry or other pet-related community service or explore an interactive resource map provided by Feeding Pets of the Homeless.

You can also contact your local shelter and rescue organizations for additional assistance.

See: Does McDonald’s Accept EBT SNAP/Food Stamps as Payment?
Find: The 15 Best Things To Buy With SNAP at Costco

Seniors in need of help with pet food, cat litter and other supplies can turn to the PetSmart Charity through Meals on Wheels.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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