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Jim Cramer's top picks for pet-centric stocks

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  • As some of the market's hottest stocks take a pause, CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday told investors it may be wise to get into some "slowdown stocks," like companies with products related to pets.
  • He pinpointed three stocks: Online retailer Chewy, animal health care company Elanco and J.M. Smucker.

As some of the market's hottest stocks take a pause, CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday told investors it may be wise to get into some "slowdown stocks," like companies with products related to pets.

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Cramer suggested the "post-Covid drought" in these stocks could be over and pinpointed three: online retailer Chewy, animal health care company Elanco and J.M. Smucker, which owns pet food brands alongside its namesake jelly products and snacks for people.

"In a tougher market, we need secular trends that can triumph in any economy, which is why I am circling, indeed, back — after absence for a long time — to the pet trade," he said. "Chewy and Elanco are already on fire, but if you want a less direct pet food play, I'm feeling darn right optimistic about J.M. Smucker."

Cramer noted that Chewy's stock has rebounded over the past few months, steadily on the rise since the company reported earnings last month. He called the quarter a "gamechanger," and was impressed by significant earnings growth over the past year and commentary from management that indicated positive trends in pet adoption.

A spin-off of drug giant Eli Lilly, Elanco has many promising treatments in its pipeline, Cramer said. He pointed to its drug for canine parvovirus, a condition that can be lethal for dogs who aren't receiving regular vaccines, and a pill treatment for cats with diabetes. Cramer was also heartened by its earnings in early May, highlighting the stock's jump since the report.

J.M. Smucker's stock hasn't been a consistent performer in recent months, and Cramer suggested this is because investors are worried about the impact of weight loss drugs on its snack food brands. But sales from the company's pet food sector were higher than those of the sweet baked snacks segment last quarter, and he said this business could offset some of the weakness in snacks. He also praised J.M. Smucker's efforts to trim down its pet food portfolio.

"I'm going with Smucker because of its distinctive shrink-to-grow-more-profitably lucrative narrative in pet food," he said. "Plus, I think this is a good moment to own a defensive consumer packaged goods name because the market's gotten a little more difficult."

Chewy, Elanco and J.M. Smucker did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Disclaimer The CNBC Investing Club Charitable Trust holds shares of Eli Lilly.

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