NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: 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. 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. India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC) (IGC Profile), VCA, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOOF), PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETS), Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: BUFF) and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX) are just some of the companies blazing lucrative trails in the pet health market and successfully tapping into its virtually limitless opportunities.
In 2016 alone, U.S. consumers spent over $65 billion on pet-related products (1). According to a 2013 study published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. households own approximately 218 million pets, and pet-related expenses for the average U.S. household amounts to about 1 percent of their total annual spending. Further, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that pet health insurance premiums hit $774 million in the U.S. in 2015, with 1.6 million pets being insured by the end of that year. Clearly, consumers are interested in the health and wellbeing of their pets, and they’re showing it with dollars.
The veterinary market is a veritable cash cow – if readers will pardon the pun – that offers virtually limitless investment potential.
One pioneering company, India Globalization Capital (IGC) is forging new paths in the medical marijuana market by exploring the potential health applications of cannabis in domesticated animals. IGC is engaged in the development of phytocannabinoid-based treatments to address pain and a variety of medical conditions, including marijuana-based therapies to treat seizures in dogs and cats.
Treatment for pet seizures represents a surprisingly large market. Statistics indicate that between 1 percent and more than 5 percent of dogs have some sort of seizure disorder, and certain canine breeds with hereditary epilepsy may have as high as 15 to 20 percent incidence of seizures. Abnormal brain activity is frequently the culprit behind canine and feline seizures, and these seizures can result in both subtle and violent convulsions, either of which is most alarming for a pet owner to witness.
IGC offers a novel therapy using cannabinoid extracts to treat such seizures in pets. The company has applied for a U.S. patent based on this therapy, which can be administered via various delivery technologies and has indications for mammals, including dogs and cats. This therapy has the potential to be useful in humans, as well. IGC anticipates conducting metabolic profiling and commencing trials.
Another company aimed at capitalizing on the opportunities of the pet health market is VCA (WOOF). This veterinary services company has become 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. The company also provides diagnostic services and supplies high-tech imaging to over 17,000 independent veterinary hospitals. Through its Camp Bow Wow subsidiary, VCA additionally provides doggy daycare and boarding services at more than 130 franchised locations throughout the United States.
Online pet pharmaceutical company PetMed Express (PETS), also known under the name 1-800-PetMeds, is the largest pet pharmacy in America, having served over 9 million customers and counting. PetMeds is a licensed pharmacy that dispenses FDA/EPA-approved medications for animals—the same products available from veterinarians—and employs the largest number of veterinary pharmacists in the world.
Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) approaches pet health in another way, offering natural, healthy pet foods to help prevent—and in some case treat—pet illness and to foster the health of America’s pets in a nutrition-based way. The company currently has approximately 6 percent share of the general pet food industry, feeding 164 million pets in the U.S. and counting. The company’s products include veterinarian- and nutritionist-formulated therapeutic pet foods that can only be purchased through veterinary offices.
Pet health care innovator IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) serves veterinarians across the globe with a wide array of diagnostic and information technology-based services and products. These products better equip and enable veterinarians to offer advanced medical care, bolster staff efficiency, and build practices that are more economically successful. The company is also a leading global provider of diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry, as well as tests that gauge the quality and safety of water and milk. Among its products, IDEXX offers the very first low-dose radiography system in veterinary medicine, as well as a test that enables veterinarians to detect acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in pets earlier than ever before. IDEXX Laboratories products are sold in over 175 countries.
It’s no secret that consumers love their pets, and a multibillion-dollar global industry is positive proof. Companies, such as those named, that are in the business of serving the health interests of pets provide a virtually limitless wellspring of investment opportunities in a market that is ever-growing and boasts impressive longevity to rival any other market segment in existence.
For more information on India Globalization Capital please visit India Global Capital (IGC)
(1) American Pet Products Association: http://nnw.fm/V66et
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