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Old 07-07-2019, 02:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Not eating old food

I have been feeding the same dry cat food for almost a year now which is simply nourish chicken and oatmeal. She has always seemed to do well with this but I thought to add some variety I would try wet cat food to also help with hydration since she’s not a big drinker. Ever since I introduced this wet food she has been in love with it, but now she loves it so much that she refuses to eat anything but that. The problem is that the wet food doesn’t have all of the nutrients she needs for everyday. I have tried mixing it, mushing up the dry food, and giving just the dry and she will not eat but a few pieces. How should I go about fixing this without her going days without eating?
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Try crushing the biscuit (you can put a small amount in a blender its easier and faster) and mix it into the wet food.
She'll either not notice the biscuit at all, have no choice but to eat it because its so small in the wet food or just not eat all.

Or leave the biscuit big and just mix the wet into it really well (we do this with dogs) so that they have to eat some the biscuit to eat the wet food.

I'd also decrease how much wet food your giving her slowly not in one go, because then she'll want to start eating the biscuit because theres not enough wet food to make her full anymore.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ultimately, she’s not going to let herself starve if there is a food source present. Try Ria’s suggestions, but if it comes down to it, you can just leave the dry in there and she’ll eat it eventually.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If she's not a big drinker, then I would look into wet food options that are complete with the nutrition she needs. They dont naturally consume such a drying diet and if she doesn't drink enough to compensate for that dietary change in captivity, she could develop some serious kidney problems.

You could use the suggestions others mentioned to get her to eat kibble again, or you could also try her with a new brand/flavour - and see if that temps her in any way. If all else fails, keeping her on a wet diet (thats complete, ofc) would arguably be far more appropriate for her given the fact that you mentioned she doesn't drink much. My hog is picky with kibbles, too - but she'll eat any wet food flavour put in front of her, so finding a complete wet food that your hedgehog will eat generally isnt too difficult.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If shes not drinking very much, what type of water container does she have? Most will drink more out of a shallow bowl than water bottles that are not really safe for them. You may try different water as in bottled , some brands have different minerals and taste.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hedgehogs wont generally dehydrate themselves much like they dont generally let themselves starve unless they are sick.
What you might think is not enough may well be enough for them, its really hard to tell, unless they are looking or acting dehydrated.

To be honest though even if this is the case, relying solely on wet cat food isnt a good idea, complete or not, because like having too little moisture can cause problems, too much moisture can cause problems too (this is what I was told anyway)
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be so sure - kidney problems are often reported in hedgehogs, and we can't exactly rule out (or similarly, say its even a direct cause) of this being diet related. Cats fed dry food often suffer kidney problems over time - caused by dehydration that adds stress to their kidneys. We can't really say for sure if hedgehogs too are similar to cats in this matter, where they naturally consume a diet higher in moisture thus often don't compensate enough for this change in captivity by drinking more water and so are pretty much in a constant state of mild dehydration.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a hedgehog being fed either a 100% wet or 100% raw diet, the latter must be done correctly and only by someone who has a firm understanding of their nutritional needs. I dont know who has said that a diet can be "too high in moisture" - natural diets have a high moisture content, so I would love to see sources to back such a claim, because it just doesn't make any sense.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm going to disagree that hedgehogs will not starve themselves. I have had too many who were not sick who wouldn't eat, would go night by night not eating until the food they wanted returned or I forced fed them. Nothing medically wrong, just a hedgehog who didn't like change. I've had some who were sick, fed wet foods, and would never switch back to dry food. Make the wet food an adequate diet and they will do fine on a wet diet.

A change to a wet diet initially may cause issues digestively, but those can be managed. I've had a couple of toothless quill kids now who ate an entirely wet diet for years and had no issues once their digestive systems adjusted to the change.

Couple of thoughts. 1. How old is the dry food? If it has been open for more than 3 months, try a new bag. I have had plenty now who would stop eating a food that was starting to age. Once a fresh bag was offered, all was well again.

2. Add water to the kibble. I feed kibble but I do not feed it dry. I vary the amount of water I add depending on the hedgehog, but it all gets a little water. It adds moisture, but it also just makes it easier for them to crunch. They have small mouths and some kibble is just big and hard.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Her food is only about a month old and has loved it up and never had a problem until I offered the new wet food. The new bag had larger chunks than usual so I have been cutting up the pieces in half every night. I believe she is just really picky, I mean I have left her for two days with just the dry because I thought she would eventually eat and I was very wrong. I also have tried wetting it and mixing it with the wet but she is just super stubborn. I would just leave the dry food for longer but I have been giving the wet because I don’t want her going longer than two days without eating even though I know she would be fine I still feel bad about it.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Try switching her to a new kibble - like anyone eating the same food for a year, they can get bored of it.

You can also try adding flax oil, or salmon oil to her food - it'll help with palatability, and could help encourage her to eat it. If all else fails, start mixing a complete wet cat food into her diet - at least that way, even if its the only thing she's eating she is at least getting a balanced & nutritious meal.
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