This morning I hung out with Wendy Diamond, former judge on the CBS ( CBS) show "Greatest American Dog" and editor in chief of "Animal Fair" magazine.

I wanted to find out:
  • Why pets are supposed to be recession-proof. Don't we kick our dogs to the curb when times are tough? Wendy proves me wrong.
  • Which stocks would flourish in an economy with 80 million cats and 70 million dogs that need care, love and feeding.

Meanwhile, here are Wendy's tips for saving money in a difficult economic environment with your pets. And when shopping, think Target ( TGT) or Wal-Mart's ( WMT) Sam's Club.

1. Buy your cat and dog food in bulk instead of buying individual boxes and cans. This will save money in the long run. If you want Iams Adult Dry Dog Food for instance, you'll pay about $10.99 for 8.8 pounds, $19.99 for 20 pounds and $24.99 for 40 pounds. The large bag is the much better value, and they can be found at major pet retailers such as PetSmart ( PETM).

2. Unfortunately, you might have to get rid of your dog walker until times get better. So walk your dog yourself. Not only will you save money, you will get fit. Another perk. You just might have to make time and rearrange your schedule.

3. Use old collars and leashes instead of buying new ones every time you get a shopping urge. As Diamond notes, "dogs have no interest in fashion and are fine with last year's leash and collar."

4. Learn to groom at home. Boutique groomers cost up to $100 to groom your dog. PetSmart offers all varieties of grooming products, and you can do it yourself for much cheaper.

5. Make toys for your pet. Go back to what people used to use -- string or a ball of foil for your cat or kitten. Trust me they will love it.

6. Pet hair? Throw a sheet of Procter & Gamble's ( PG)Bounce fabric softener in your dryer, and it will help with repelling pet hair from your clothes. You'll save on lint rollers!

7. Make sure to keep your yearly vet appointment. Whatever you do, don't skip this. It will save you money in the long run if your pet stays healthier longer. VCA ( WOOF) is a chain of veterinary centers that ensurethe best in care.

8. Wash and dry your dog's paws in the mud room when entering the house from outside. This will help you save money on carpet, rug and floor cleaning.

9. You want a dog or cat? Adopt. Don't waste money buying a pet when so many homeless animals in local shelters need rescue and a loving home.

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