Rising Pet Health Market Worth an Investment Look


Thinking about investing? You might not need to look any further than the pet health care industry. Here are some public companies that are doing great things for animals and may bring success to stock portfolios as well.

With the average veterinary school debt topping $150,000, it might be beneficial for veterinarians to consider investing in the stock market. And it’s in their own field of animal health where veterinarians just might find some of the best opportunities for growth.

Veterinary medicine is a business, and its practitioners should look for a rewarding stake in the professional marketplace.

Generally, veterinarians should have a better understanding than the average investor about the products and services in the animal health care market. But that doesn’t mean deeper due diligence can be ignored. As with any investment, veterinarians should examine a company’s stock offering thoroughly before making any moves.

Pet-favorable trends around the nation prove that “consumers are interested in the health and well-being of their pets, and they’re showing it with dollars,” according to a new report from NetworkNewsWire (NNW).

American Pet Products Association data reveal that 68 percent of U.S. households (84.6 million homes) own a pet, and most of them consider the pet a family member. Americans spent over $66 billion last year on pet-related products, of which $16.6 million was spent on medical care.

“Pets are the loyal, much-loved companions we humans can’t seem to live without, and when a beloved pet becomes ill, owners will generally do whatever it takes to restore these beloved companion animals to health,” according to the NNW report. “Various public companies are accomplishing the two-fold mission of improving the health of our four-footed friends while giving investors the opportunity to capitalize on a multibillion-dollar industry.”

Here are “some of the companies blazing lucrative trails in the pet health market” that veterinarian-investors might want to consider:

  • VCA, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOOF) — is “one of the largest families of animal care providers in the United States, operating more than 800 veterinary hospitals across the U.S. and in five Canadian provinces.” VCA also “provides diagnostic services and supplies high-tech imaging to over 17,000 independent veterinary hospitals.”
  • PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETS) — also known as 1-800-PetMeds, “is the largest pet pharmacy in America, having served over 9 million customers … and employs the largest number of veterinary pharmacists in the world.”
  • Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: BUFF) — offers “natural, healthy pet foods to prevent — and in some cases treat — pet illness ... and has approximately 6 percent share of the general pet food industry, feeding 164 million pets.”
  • IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX) — “serves veterinarians across the globe with a wide array of diagnostic and information technology-based services and products.” The company’s products are sold in more than 175 countries.
  • India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC) — “is forging new paths in the medical marijuana market by exploring the potential health applications of cannabis in domesticated animals ... including marijuana-based therapies to treat seizures in dogs and cats.”

Other pet health market companies worth some extra notice include Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS), the world's largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets, and Aratana Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a developer of innovative treatments for serious diseases or chronic conditions in dogs and cats.

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