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Forget Dogecoin: These 3 Pet-Friendly Stocks Are Better Investments

By Dan Caplinger - Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 10:48AM

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Even shibas can appreciate what these companies are doing for them.

The cryptocurrency craze has sent prices of popular crypto tokens to unprecedented heights in 2021, and one of the biggest winners has been Dogecoin. The joke token and its iconic Shiba mascot have vaulted into the collective consciousness, recently joining the ranks of cryptocurrencies available on the Coinbase Pro platform.

Dogecoin's popularity in part comes from people's love of pets. However, there are other ways to invest that take even greater advantage of the opportunities involved in catering to pet lovers everywhere. Below, we'll look at three stocks that are growing fast by giving pet owners and their animals what they need to thrive.

Shiba dog licking person in front of a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Chewy

Shoppers everywhere have learned how easy it can be to get essential items online through e-commerce providers. That's been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, and retailers that have found lucrative niches for their e-commerce channels have been best able to disrupt the business models of the giants in the industry. Among pet retailers, Chewy (CHWY 6.36%) stands out for its success in catering to animal owners, with a wide variety of food, supplies, and other items for everything from dogs and cats to livestock and exotic pets.

As big a market as that is, Chewy is looking to capture more growth opportunities. The company's "Connect With a Vet" telemedicine platform offers remote healthcare options, which anyone who's ever tried to drag their dog to an animal hospital can appreciate. Not only is telemedicine a way to get more customers to use Chewy's Autoship program, but it's also a massive potential market in its own right.

Despite its progress toward profitability and its 50% average annual sales growth over the past three years, Chewy's stock is down more than 35% from its recent highs. Yet even as the pandemic starts to subside, customers won't forget the convenience of Chewy, and the business has plenty of expansion ahead of it.

2. Freshpet

Not only are pets more popular than ever, but owners are also spending more on their animals. With more than 100 million dog and cat owners in the U.S. alone, the market for providing top-notch food that will help extend pets' lifespans is larger than ever. Freshpet (FRPT -1.23%) is aiming to satisfy that demand with fresh and healthy refrigerated food options that feature ingredients of the highest quality.

Over time, Freshpet has extended its reach. It started out solely in specialty pet stores, but you'll now find Freshpet coolers at thousands of grocery stores, convenience stores, and major department stores. That's helped the pet-food specialist grow its revenue by an average of 28% per year over the past three years. The company is looking at expanding internationally, and new ideas like pursuing plant-based pet foods could help Freshpet stay in touch with the latest trends.

Freshpet is moving full speed ahead to boost production and meet demand. The stock is still fairly close to its all-time high, but a recent pullback has given bargain hunters a roughly 5% to 10% drop to consider.

Medical professional examining dog on metal table, with test tubes nearby.

Image source: Getty Images.

3. Trupanion

In addition to feeding and providing supplies for their pets, owners also need to provide healthcare. Veterinary bills are increasingly expensive, but Trupanion (TRUP 10.86%) is in the business of offering pet health insurance. A reasonable monthly subscription provides coverage for 90% of medical-care needs for dogs and cats.

That business model sounds simple, but backing it up is an extensive infrastructure of technology and software. Within minutes, Trupanion can provide veterinarians with in-depth information about what it will cover and what owners will have to pay out of pocket. That makes it easier for owners to consent to life-saving care for their pets without worrying about the uncertainty of any financial consequences.

Revenue has grown at a 28% annual clip over the past three years, yet the stock has fallen more than 30% from its best levels just a few months ago. That gives those who can appreciate the value of pet health a chance to jump into Trupanion at an attractive time.

Investments your pets will appreciate

Dogecoin is fun, but it doesn't have the fundamental value that these three businesses have. Trupanion, Freshpet, and Chewy are trying to make life better for pets and their owners, and that looks like a winning business proposition that could pay off for years to come.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Freshpet and Trupanion. The Motley Fool recommends Chewy, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Chewy, Inc. Stock Quote
Chewy, Inc.
$48.85 (6.36%) $2.92
Freshpet, Inc. Stock Quote
Freshpet, Inc.
$47.25 (-1.23%) $0.59
Trupanion Stock Quote
$72.35 (10.86%) $7.09
Dogecoin Stock Quote
$0.07 (4.88%) $0.00
Coinbase Global, Inc. Stock Quote
Coinbase Global, Inc.
$94.14 (7.37%) $6.46

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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