Hey guys! New hedgehog owners tend to ask about what kind of dry diet is appropriate for hedgehogs, and no doubt the answers you receive can surely be a bit overwhelming. There’s a great thread that goes THOROUGHLY into detail about their diet needs in a very simple manner, so I’ll add the link if I can find it again. But, this post is just an *example*.
I just recently went to find Christina another dry diet option. The first thing I did was look at the flavor (just cause she has chicken now so it’d be nice to mix it up a bit) and then flip the bag over. Don’t look at the claims brands make on the front of the bag or the price of the bag. Go straight to the ingredient list. As you can see, the first SIX ingredients listed (which means the six most abundant ingredients) are named real meat ingredients. A general rule is to look for the first 3-5 as real meat ingredients, but I got a bonus sixth. Going down the list, you don’t see too many starchy ingredients, and once you get to the first oil ingredient, the lower ingredients are so small in the bulk of the kibble that they’re irrelevant in my mind. Note I still run down the entire list just in case a bad ingredient is hidden somewhere 😉
Going to the analysis, protein levels should be between 30-35% and fat no more than 15%. But, you ask, why is this kibble showing 20% fat? Great question! Since I’m creating a mix of different kibbles and the first kibble has quite a low fat level of 8%, it balances each other out to roughly 14% fat (20+8/2=14). You should also look for a fair amount of fiber (between 3-6% is what I’ve seen) and a phosphorus to calcium that’s pretty even. Lastly, in purple, I look for taurine listed in the analysis. If it’s listed in the ingredients but not analysis then there tends to be an insignificant amount. Taurine is a great “multivitamin” amino acid for humans and animals alike. With that being said, you see it’s only a 0.1% because, as with many things, taurine is only good in moderation, and you do NOT need a lot of taurine to reap the benefits.
I hope this example is enough to give you a start when looking for a quality kibble!