Pet Care & Learn
Pet Care & Learn
Filters & Contacts

The Best Foods to Keep Your Beloved Pets at a Healthy Weight to Help Them Live a Longer Life

The recent trend toward weight gain and obesity hasn't been limited to humans and places pet family members equally at risk. But weight control is crucial to well-being and quality of life, so finding ways to help your pet maintain a proper body weight becomes crucial for health as well as lifestyle reasons.  When it comes to pets, like people, there isn’t an ideal weight that is appropriately clear across the board. Your cat or dog’s breed, size, and age will all enter a formula that will determine the correct weight for individual pets. To begin, regular check-ups with your veterinarian will aid in determining appropriate body weight and identifying early signs of weight-related issues.  How Will I Know if My Pet Is a Healthy Weight? If your cat or dog is a healthy weight, the ribs and spine can be felt but not seen. Visible spine and ribs indicate that your pet is underweight. Because pet weights vary, your vet will use a “Cat Body Condition Score” to evaluate a pet’s muscle mass and weight which is similar to the Body Mass Index used for people. It will determine if a pet is too thin or too fat.  Pet parents can use a “Hand Test” to get a pet’s weight. Feel your pet’s ribs located behind the front legs.  Ribs feel like the back of a hand, indicating an average weight. Ribs with a cushion similar to the palm of a hand point to your pet being overweight.  Photo by Rick T.T. on Unsplash Why Your Pet Needs to Be a Healthy Weight Apart from contributing to a better quality of life, there are serious health issues related to being overweight. These illnesses or medical conditions can compromise comfort and quality of life easily and rapidly. The most common weight-related issues include:  Arthritis Cancer Cardiac disease Diabetes Kidney Disease Pancreatitis  Food’s Role in Maintaining Healthy Weight If a pet is underweight or overweight, your veterinarian will likely recommend that a pet be fed weight loss, weight management, or high-calorie food to achieve a more appropriate calorie intake and, consequently, a healthier weight. Commercial pet foods will contain variations in formulas to guarantee essential nutrients but at the same time aid in increasing or decreasing weight.  It’s All About the Food The bottom line is that your pet’s diet determines if a pooch or kitty packs on the pounds or perhaps is not eating sufficiently to keep its weight on. While weight gain is generally associated with an intake of too many calories and too little exercise, pets may suffer weight loss from:  Age Arthritis may cause a pet not to walk even to the food dish. Cancer Dental issues like toothaches or periodontal disease can dissuade a pet from eating. Diabetes may cause a decrease in eating and an increase in thirst. Diseases Parasites like worms can cause weight loss. Medication may provoke an appetite change. Insufficient food or insufficient food intake due to boredom or dislike of taste or texture can contribute to weight loss.  And weight loss can be just as devastating to a pet’s general health as obesity. Foods for a Healthy Weight: What kinds of Pet Foods Are Available? Dry Pet Foods Dry pet food should offer a balance of fiber, protein, and fat formulated for weight maintenance, weight gain, or weight loss. Dry food lacks moisture, but a crunchy texture can be appealing. Dry foods also tend to be non-odorous, so your home won’t smell.  Wet Pet Foods This is a favorite food type among pets, often taking the form of chunky stew, ground meat, pate, or bite-sized pieces drenched in gravy. It contains much more moisture aiding hydration.  What to Search for in Pet Food Protein, Fiber, and Carbohydrates Protein and proper carbohydrate content assist in weight management while offering essential nutrients. Fiber content is necessary for digestion. Quality Ingredients High-quality ingredients are essential in weight management, so take the time to learn what’s inside your pet’s food. Fillers often used in dry kibble may be empty calories that offer no specific benefits.  Allergens Pet foods should not contain ingredients that your pet is allergic to. Food allergies can cause general discomfort. Nutrients and Vitamins Vitamins can aid in overall health. Vitamins A, C, and E are known to shore up the immune system and improve muscle tone.  Foods to Keep Your Pet a Healthy Weight: Dog Foods Dog Food for Weight Management Timber Wolf Organics Black Forest Legends Dog Food Principal Ingredients: Venison Meal, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Lentils, Lamb Timber Wolf Organics has developed a selection of carnivore-specific foods that are fully balanced and not only ideal for weight management but also for specific challenges faced by pups with allergies and food intolerances.  Dog Foods for Gaining Weight Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast Canned Dog Food Principal Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Sardines, Porcine Plasma, Herring oil Nutrient-dense and highly palatable, this food contains lots of meat protein and a dose of vegetables and fruits to guarantee essential nutrients. Each can has 549 calories.  Dog Foods for Losing Weight Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Formula Principal Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Deboned Chicken, Brown rice, Pea Fiber, Barley This is a low-fat formula with added calcium and potassium. Filled with I-carnitine to develop lean muscles, it features fewer fat calories. Omega-3 fatty acids work on joint strength and mobility to assist in increased exercise and physical activity.  Photo by Lina Angelov on Unsplash Foods to Keep Your Pet a Healthy Weight: Cat Foods Cat Food for Weight Management Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue Legends Principal Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Pea Protein, Canola Oil Featuring the very best of the deep blue sea, this particular cat food contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids to promote brain, heart, and skin health while keeping your kitty at a healthy weight. It’s also perfect for cats with allergies to land-based meats. Great flavor and balanced nutrition in the same food. Cat Foods for Gaining Weight Royal Canin Recovery RS Canned Diet Principal Ingredients: Water, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Gelatin, Natural Flavors A specially formulated soft pate cat food designed for essential nutrition and weight gain. It’s a great solution for finicky cats or those suffering from poor appetite.  It requires a veterinary prescription and tends to be more costly.  Cat Foods for Losing Weight Hill’s Science Adult Cat Perfect Weight Principal Ingredients: Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Meal A dry kibble blended to encourage weight loss but maintain muscle mass. The manufacturer claims that 70% of cats using this kibble lose weight in ten weeks. It does contain grain in case your kitty has allergies—very low calorie.  READ MORE ABOUT CAT OBESITY PREVENTION The Bottom Line Simple actions that will assist your beloved pet in achieving its appropriate weight include:  Eating healthy pet-appropriate foods Veterinary visits at regular intervals Portion Control Intelligent treats and treating No Feeding from the table and no people food Lots of exercise and physical activities   
Read More

Potentially Dangerous Household Chemicals for Your Pets

Most people commit a certain amount of time and money to clean their houses on a regular basis. This is particularly true of pet owners, especially those that have pets who shed a lot. Unfortunately, many of the household cleaning products are not necessarily safe for our pets, whether cats, dogs, or even our pet birds or small animals. This is why it’s essential for pet owners to pet-proof their homes properly.  Dogs and some cats will eat food and crumbs that fall on the floor. All pets, including birds, breathe the air inside our homes. Plus, most pets clean themselves, lick their paws, etc and can potentially ingest harmful chemicals that way too. Consequently, our pets are at risk of ingesting harmful chemicals that are potentially dangerous to their health regardless of whether they eat something or breathe in fumes.   There are many products and product types that are potentially dangerous to our furry and winged family members and should be eliminated and substituted with natural alternatives if possible. Those that you are not able to stop using should be appropriately stored. You also need to recognize symptoms and signs that your pet has ingested a toxin.  Potentially Dangerous Household Products Cleaning products and disinfectants contain many harmful chemicals even when indicated as green or natural. Exposure to cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals can result in a range of symptoms in cats, including gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin irritations with varying degrees of damage from red, flaky skin to an internal hemorrhage.  READ >>> Easy Ways to Cleanup After Your Cats Highly toxic chemicals are dangerous to your pets and are pretty standard in cleaning products, from oven and fireplace cleaners to wood and glass cleaners. Ingredients often include: ●        Ammonia Ammonia may appear in the ingredient list of drain cleaners, floor waxes, oven cleaners, and even window cleaners because it is an excellent sanitation agent. It can cause damage to the eyes and skin if touched, to the lungs if inhaled, and to the digestive tract if ingested. Causes damage to eyes, lungs, skin, and stomach.  ●        Cationic surfactants Found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners, chemicals such as benzalkonium chloride or cetrimonium bromide are extremely poisonous to pets. Even if only through skin contact, your pooch or kitty may cause burns or irritation. Ingestion causes worse with potential damage to the lungs, kidneys, and the nervous system. Causes damage to the lungs, nervous system, and kidneys. It can cause ulcers and depression.  ●        Chlorine This is the principal ingredient contained in bleach and is likewise found in detergents from dishwasher detergents to laundry products and bathroom cleaning products like toilet bowl cleaners and general all-purpose cleaning materials.  ●        Formaldehyde This chemical is often employed in cleaners because it is antibacterial. Although considered carcinogenic for humans, it may still be lurking in the ingredient list under names such as formic aldehyde, formalin, methanol, methyl aldehyde, glycol, or oxide. Considered a carcinogen.  ●        Glycol Ethers These chemicals are used against grease and may even be found in supposedly green cleaners. Look for 2-Butoxyethanol, 2-Ethoxyethanol, or 2-Methoxyethanol in the ingredient list, especially for products that are great at eliminating grease. Linked to cancer, birth defects, and delayed development.  ●        Phthalates Included in household cleaning products for fragrance purposes, the most recognizable is BPA. Linked to weight gain, cancer, developmental delay, cancers, and reproductive problems.  Other types of products often found in homes that are equally toxic to pets include: ●        Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) Antifreeze is highly poisonous when ingested, even if in a microscopic quantity. It is sweet-tasting and odorless. If you keep antifreeze in your garage, store it so that it is inaccessible to pets. If you think your pet has ingested even a tiny amount, take your pet to your vet immediately. Antifreeze ingestion can cause kidney failure and be lethal.  ●        Fertilizer and Herbicides Fertilizers and herbicides are generally in the form of granules or liquids. Chemical-based products need to be used with caution, and pets should be kept indoors to avoid hazards.  Nowadays, there are various organic options available that will not place your pet in harm’s way. Watch for symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or seizures.  ●        Gasoline and kerosene Gas and kerosene are often kept at homes for cars, motorized power tools and equipment, and even grills. They must be stored so that your pet does not have any contact of any kind, whether through skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Watch for symptoms such as drooling, abdominal pain, lesions, mouth ulcers, and collapse.  ●        Heavy Metals Heavy metals such as lead or zinc are poisonous. This means that even a coin swallowed can create a problem.  ●        Ice Melting Products Even if you do not personally use this type of product around your home, know that these are used on streets and sidewalks where you may take your dog for a walk. They commonly contain chemicals and compounds such as calcium salts, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and urea. Because some pets like to play in the snow, your pet may get these substances on their paws and then ingest them during licking. Watch for diarrhea, vomiting, hyperthermia, labored breathing, and irregular heartbeat.  ●        Paints Paints used in home improvement projects, whether latex, oil-based, water-based, or unleaded, will have some toxicity for pets. Areas of your home that have been freshly painted should not be accessible to pets and need to be well-ventilated. Paint products need to be stored out of reach. This also includes paint thinners and turpentine. Watch for symptoms such as nausea, stomach upset, respiratory difficulty, vomiting, and lack of coordination.  ●        Pest Control products While pest control products, more often than not, are used in spaces not directly inhibited by family members, such as an attic, a basement, or perhaps in cupboards, a curious pet may investigate if these spaces are accessible in some manner. Pest control products such as mothballs, insecticides, and rodenticides (rat baits) are very dangerous to pets. Even something like slug bait can be very poisonous, so you also need to be careful where you use these products indoor or outdoor.  Watch for symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, pale gums, lethargy, seizures, and difficulty breathing.  The Importance of Using Natural Cleaners Using natural cleaners in your home is a healthier choice for you and your pets. Inhaling toxic fumes can lead to respiratory irritations and infections or long-term conditions such as asthma. Exposure to chemicals also can affect the skin resulting in allergic reactions, eczema, or irritations.  By selecting a natural cleaning product, you can reduce these risks and safety concerns and contribute to the well-being of the environment. Green cleaning products are formulated to be non-toxic and non-corrosive. Chemical products, by contrast, are often highly corrosive.  A natural product formula will avoid dyes, formaldehyde, sulfates, or bleach. More common ingredients in natural cleaning products include vinegar, natural fragrances, plant-based surfactants, and oils, and the amount of each ingredient will usually be specified.  Natural Pet Products Some of the same considerations are valid for the products specifically designed for pets. This includes toys, pet foods, grooming products and accessories, and even cat litter.  Using a natural litter without harmful chemicals or added scents like okocat is better for your cat, your family and your home. Think about your cat digging in the litter box and breathing in any harmful chemicals or licking it from their paws. Learn more
Read More

Cat Obesity: Symptoms and Prevention

There is no doubt that cats are excellent pets. They are among the most popular pets in America, second only to dogs. Unfortunately one in three felines in America is obese, which can lead to serious health problems if not controlled.  Feline obesity is a major problem affecting our furry companions and consequently us - the parents. As a feline lover and parent, it is crucial to learn how to tell if your cat is overweight or bordering on obesity, what causes it and what you can do about it.  This article will tell you all you need to know, but first, here is a breakdown of what cat obesity is and the dangers.  What is Cat Obesity? When you hear that a cat is obese, the picture that first comes to mind must be that of Garfield. To some extent, obesity in cats is the accumulation of excess fats. When a cat’s body weight is 10-20% above its ideal weight, it is considered overweight. But when it exceeds the 20% mark, the cat is obese.  Obesity is not just a dormant accumulation of fat tissue. Fat cells of obese cats are alive and make obesity a self-sustaining and self-destructive condition. What do we mean when we say fat cells are alive?  Previously, scientists thought that fat cells were inactive parts of the body. The perception was that fat cells only stored fat. But that changed when studies revealed that fat tissues are biologically active and often synthesize several biological compounds that regulate body functions. In other words, fat tissues are alive and can wreak havoc in your cat’s body. The Dangers of Obesity in Cats Obese cats experience several health and lifestyle challenges. They have a higher risk of developing diabetes, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), osteoarthritis, liver disease, lameness, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal conditions, random and unexpected inflammation, and skin conditions like dandruff.  Other health adversities due to feline obesity include:  Increased risk of hypertension Lower immunity Reduced respiratory function. Possible neurological problems Increased risk of developing cancer  In short, fat cats experience a lower quality of life and a shorter life. Therefore, it is crucial to know the causes and risk factors and try to avoid them. Causes of Obesity in Cats Whenever we see an obese cat, we straightaway think it is overfed and inactive. But the problem is more complicated and has many risk factors. Some factors are specific to the cat, and others relate to the diet and feeding habits. Cat-specific Factors Age: Older cats aged 8-12 years are less active physically and consequently more prone to becoming overweight than younger cats. Gender: Female cats accumulate and store fat faster than their male counterparts. Neutered/Spayed: Fixed cats are also less active and have bigger appetites than their yet-to-be-fixed counterparts. Household: Indoor cats (like cats living in apartments) have fewer opportunities to exercise and burn calories than cats allowed to experience outdoors regularly. Underlying health issues: Unusual gain in weight could also be an indicator of underlying health issues. Some diseases can cause rapid weight gain. They include hypothyroidism, insulinoma, and Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease). On the other hand, conditions like arthritis cause joint pain. They reduce a cat’s physical activity significantly. Diet-specific Factors Type and quantity of food: Dry foods are often rich in calories and promote weight gain more than protein-packed canned foods. Also, improper measurement of food portions can cause the cat to overeat and gain weight faster. So, if your cat eats dry food, make sure to do your research on which brands are best. Poor feeding habits: If your cat feeds too fast, she will moan and cry more often, and you could end up giving more food, off schedule, to keep her quiet. The same happens if you provide only one large meal in a day and not several (small quantity) meals. Too many treats also promote weight gain.  Obesity is a more complex problem because fat cells synthesize compounds that make it worse. An obese cat will inadvertently be less interested in physical activities and more prone to ailments. Thus it is crucial to observe and keep tabs on the cat’s weight and take measures to prevent obesity. Symptoms of Obesity Bodyweight alone is not sufficient to tell if your cat is obese. Visit the vet regularly or have vets come over for checkups. Vets employ several techniques to tell if a cat is obese such as Body Condition Score (BCS) charts. These charts give instructions on assessing the look and feel of a cat at specific parts of the body. Some of the assessments are visual, for example, checking if the waistline is visible or not. Other examinations rely on touching. The vet, using the palms, would feel the rib and hip area to determine if they are fat-covered.  As you can see, these tests are somewhat technical, and without training, you could end up with incorrect inferences. What symptoms can you look out for (as a layperson) to determine if your cat is overweight or obese?  Know the average weight of your cat and check it regularly. Depending on the breed, the average weight will differ. Most cats lie in the 9-12 pounds range. But big cats like Maine Coons can weigh as much as 25 lbs. Check their physical activity levels. Cats are generally playful and physically active. If your cat is not interested in play and wants to lie down all day and night, there could be an underlying problem. Stroke the cat around the belly and rib areas; you should feel the ribs. If you cannot, the cat is probably overweight. Take a look at your cat’s body profile. If you cannot see a distinct waistline from above, or if you notice a swinging pouch near the hind legs, the cat could be overweight. Look at the cat’s fur, especially at the backside. Is it neat, or can you see greasy patches, matted hair, and flaky skin? If it is the latter, your cat cannot reach that part of her body and self groom due to excess weight.  If you suspect your cat is overweight, visit the vet for a proper check-up.   Preventing Cat Obesity The best way to treat obesity in cats is to adopt healthy practices and avoid or mitigate the risk factors. Consider ways to improve the cat's life through diet and activity. Here are tips on how you can prevent cat obesity.  Provide correct food: Avoid high-calorie foods. Instead, feed your cat on protein-rich foods and give them the recommended portions at the prescribed frequency (often mentioned on the packaging).  Avoid indulgent feeding: The cat may enjoy treats and scraps of human food like bread. Such foods are often rich in carbs and not part of a cat’s natural diet. Cats are obligate carnivores. Thus, meat should be predominant in their diets. By substituting meat with other foods, especially calorie-rich treats and human foods, you increase the risk of obesity.  Keep your cat mentally active: Like humans, cats often turn to food when bored. In an environment with plenty of food and few activities, a cat is likely to become overweight. But you can restrict access to food and provide mentally stimulating activities to avoid boredom.  Keep your cat physically active: play with your cat often. Provide opportunities to exercise and stretch their limbs. Cats love scratching posts, climbing, chasing little rodent-like toys, and other activities.  Take your cat for regular checkups. If you want to keep cat obesity at bay, you cannot avoid the vet’s office. As we discovered, obesity in cats is not always due to overeating and low physical activity. Certain ailments and health issues can also contribute. Take your cat to the vet for regular checkups. Early diagnosis often makes it easier to deal with such conditions and ailments.   Obesity in Cats, A Final Word Obesity in cats is a problem that generates several health and lifestyle issues. Obese cats are likely to develop chronic ailments and experience a lower quality of life. Obesity is a self-sustaining condition, and treatment requires plenty of guided effort and consistency.  Studies reveal that there could be a close relationship between overweight pets and their owners’ weight issues. The lifestyle and environmental factors underpinning obesity often occur and influence both. Therefore, preventing obesity is beneficial for both the pet and owner. Be on the lookout for the factors that underpin obesity and its symptoms and take proactive steps to avoid it.
Read More

Best Tips for Adopting a Pet Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs are super sweet and social and can be fun, wonderful pets to add to your family. They generally enjoy people and other guinea pigs but are also independent and easy going, while also being curious and inquisitive. They are very social so they should have a companion guinea pig at all times. Here are a few tips to think about before deciding to bring a guinea pig home: What to consider:  Guinea Pigs can live between 4 and 8 years, some even older. This is a longer life expectancy than other small pets such as gerbils or hamsters that only live 1-2 years, so be sure you are committed to care for them that long.  They need a companion so be prepared to adopt at least two.  It is best to adopt the same gender only, however some males will fight.    Do you have enough space to provide a large habitat for them? Please adopt responsibly. There are usually plenty of guinea pigs available at your local humane society or an animal rescue.  Make sure they are spayed so they cannot reproduce and have them checked by a Vet for any healthy issues if possible.  Guinea Pig Diet: Fresh water must be provided at all times. Use a water bottle or a water dish that does not tip over easily. Two sources is best.  Guinea pigs are herbivores meaning they only eat plant material. Fresh greens and vegetables are an essential part of a guinea pigs diet, especially as a source of Vitamin C, which they cannot make on their own.  Fruit can be given but in moderation, no more than once or twice a week Hay MUST be available at all times. Grass hay, preferably Timothy Hay, provides the fiber guinea pigs need for digestion and helps grind their constantly growing teeth. They should be eating a pile of hay that is about twice the size of their body each day.  A pellet based food especially formulated for guinea pigs should be given every day. Make sure it does not have "fillers" like nuts, seeds, etc. Vitamin C is very important for their overall health. Guinea pigs are unable to make or store their own vitamin C so the best way to make sure they receive their daily vitamins is with a delicious offering of vitamin-rich vegetables. Red and green peppers, rosehips, parsley, kale and other dark leafy greens are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Read more  Treats can be given in moderation, just make sure they do not have added sugar or fattening ingredients like nuts and seeds. NO chocolate, it poisonous for guinea pigs.  Their Habitat Needs: Make sure their home is large enough to move around and get enough exercise, with appropriate hidey spots and enrichment like chewy toys.  We like the Midwest habitats (pictured below) that are both expandable and easy to clean. Total size depends on number of guinea pigs kept together but should be at least 10.5 sq ft for two.  Place the habitat in an area that is free of drafts and stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that guinea pigs can be most active at night so be sure to place in an area where they won't disturb your sleep. Use a super absorbent bedding like carefresh for the bottom as guinea pigs like to poop and pee a lot! Spot cleaning every day is best, with a total refresh once a week.  Guinea pigs should also have access to additional space or play yard a few times a day for exercise.  A pet playpen works great for this.      Other Supplies:  Your guinea pig will need some fun things to do to keep them entertained safely.   There are lots of safe toys at pet supply stores. Always ensure they are meant for guinea pigs and don’t contain any toxic ingredients or hazardous materials that could be dangerous for the pig to chew on or ingest.   Guinea Pig’s teeth grow constantly. They need to chew a lot to keep their teeth in proper condition. If their teeth grow too long or crooked, it can impact their health and their ability to properly ingest food.   Safe guinea pig chewable toys include wood, apple sticks and some fibers. Be sure to only give your guinea pig items that are safe. Sticking with items from pet supply stores is the best way to ensure your pig’s safety.   Here is a basic list of supplies that you will need to get and setup before bringing your new pet guinea pig home.  Large Habitat & play yard – safe and secure and big enough for them to move around and get exercise Water Bottle or bowl – most guinea pigs will drink out of a water bottle with spout. Two sources.  Hay feeder – Some guinea pigs enjoy pulling the hay out of the hay feeder and it can help to keep the hay sanitary. Some guinea pigs will pull all the hay out and it will just end up on the floor of the enclosure. Heavy Food Bowl – Check that it is shallow enough for your guinea pig to dip their face into  Hay & pellet food, greens, vegetables, source of Vitamin C Enrichment/Chew Toys – apple sticks, woven fiber, wooden chew toys are all great options Igloo or Hidey Hut – Make sure it is big enough for your pig to turn around in. If you are adopting a young pig, they may grow, and you may end up needing a bigger hidey hut. Grooming – Small guinea pig nail trimmers, brush *Note – if you are adopting a long-haired guinea pig, consult your veterinarian regarding grooming needs as some long-haired varieties need regular bathing, brushing and grooming to stay healthy.   Bedding:   carefresh natural paper bedding is a great option and is safe, absorbent and easy to clean with little dust for them to breathe in. Plus there are lots of fun colors to choose from for a fun habitat theme.  Since guinea pigs are herbivores, their bedding along with their poop is compostable! Learn how >>> Composting Tips Do not use wood shavings of any kind as these can emit odors and dust that can be harmful for your guinea pig’s respiratory system.     Socializing Some guinea pigs enjoy being cuddled or snuggled. Others prefer to be left alone. Since they are prey animals, they naturally try to avoid being picked up. Getting down on the floor with them with regular quiet contact and slow approaches with patting and gentle picking up over time will get them used to their owner and help them realize that they are safe. Still, some piggies will prefer to be left alone and that is ok. Learn more They may all sorts of fun and silly noises. Sometimes to communicate that they are hungry or excited to get a treat. Sometimes they chutter or make a clicking noise when they are unhappy or stressed.    
Read More