Hedgehog LOVES beauty/hygeine products, not food. - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog LOVES beauty/hygeine products, not food.

My hedgehog is rather strange. I can't get him to eat anything I want him to eat, such as fruit, veggies, chicken, mealworms, or most types of cat food (he only eats one brand and that's it) but he can't control himself around perfume, deoderant, toothpaste, anything of the sort. So much that he bites wrists and armpits if there's anything scented on them. And if he gets a hold of one of my worn shirts, he chews on the armpit of the shirt where my deoderant rubbed off. Can anyone explain this or suggest how I can get him to eat food instead of my deoderant?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog LOVES beauty/hygeine products, not food.

Well for starters, definitely don't let him eat perfumes or deoderant But do be careful they don't have tea tree oil in them - deadly toxic!

As far as the kibble goes, hedgehogs are as stubborn as they come! Your best bet is to crush up some old kibble, put it in a bag, store the new kibble in the crushed up old kibble to get the smell and taste on it and then add it slowly into the mix (just a few kibbles at a time - to prevent tummy upset).

The same method can be applied for other food, shake some mealies in kibble crumbs, fruits/veggies, etc.

It will take time, but you just have to be more stubborn than the hedgehog!
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog LOVES beauty/hygeine products, not food.

It's definitely the scent of the stuff. Hedgehogs have a very keen sense of smell, they'll go crazy over scents they like. Sometimes they'll anoint themselves in reaction to it, too. There's not really any way to avoid it, just don't put anything with a strong scent in the cage (besides the food, obviously), and when you have him out of the cage, gently discourage him from chewing/licking whatever it is by just tugging him away.

As for foods, sometimes it's kind of hit or miss. With some kinds of fruit/vegetables (peach, melon, kinds that are soft/juicy) you can try mushing a little bit of it to rub on his mouth; the same thing has been known to work for introducing them to mealworms. Also try integrating it into the regular food in his bowl, so he'll encounter it when he goes to eat. It can just be a matter of finding the right kinds that appeal to him, or just being patient and letting him come around to the idea on his own. Some hedgehogs are extremely picky and won't eat mealworms or fruits/veggies/chicken, or anything but their kibble, but most of them will end up being interested in at least a few kinds of non-kibble food.
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