How can you put a price tag on unconditional love? Well according to the folks at the American Pet Product Association the price tag in America was $55.7 billion dollars last year, an all-time high.

Experts theorize that approximately 20 years ago Americans began to humanize their pets moving them from entertainment or hobby to family member status. And they add that pet spending has continually gone up year after year since they have been tracking spending according to APPA, based in Greeenwich, Conn.

They added, in their opinion a large part of the impetus of this growth is empty-nester baby boomers that need a new outlet for the love, affection and dollars.

So what is so expensive? Food leads the list with pet food trends follow human food and diet trends. In other words if you are eating healthier chances are your pets are too.

Other spending includes:
• $14.37 billion for veterinary care
• $13.14 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medicines
• $2.23 billion for live animal purchases
• $4.41 billion for other services, i.e. grooming, boarding, training and pet-sitting.

And what are we lavishing our love and money on? Give or take…
• 95.6 million cats
• 83.3 million dogs
• 20.6 million birds
• 8.3 million horses
• 145 million freshwater fish
• 13.6 million saltwater fish
• 11.6 million reptiles
• 18.1 million small animals like bunnies and hamsters.