MADISON (WKOW)--The American Pet Products Association (APPA) forecasts that total pet spending in 2009 will reach $45.4 billion, up from $43.2 billion in 2008.
Which vaccines are necessary for your pet depends on local ordinances as well as the animal's lifestyle, age, and exposure to risk.
For example, if your pooch has no contact with other dogs, you may want to skip the "kennel cough" vaccine, taking about $20 off your vet bill.
Similarly, indoor-only cats may not need the feline leukemia vaccine, saving you about $25. If you don't already buy your pet food at a warehouse club, start now.
At Costco, Good Housekeeping found a case of 24 22-ounce cans of Pedigree Chunky Beef dog food for $24.99, versus $33.36 at a local supermarket.
Supplement your pet's diet with your leftovers. But don't treat your pet like a garbage disposal with a tail; rather, feed her as if she were your 90-year-old grandmother: no spices, no dairy, be careful with fat; most lean meat, fish, and vegetables are food.
But some human foods are toxic to pets, so check goodhousekeeping.com/pet first.
Click the red camera icon to watch our report for more info on cutting your pet care costs.