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Old 11-10-2019, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Help! I'm concerned!

Hi all!
I gave my hedgehog one tablespoon of her food and she left a fair amount of it in her bowl when I woke up this morning. I am trying to transfer her over to a different food that is specifically for hedgehogs because she seemed to be having trouble eating the big kibbles, but I don't know if she likes the new food or not. What should I do?
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would be super concerned as long as he/she eats some. My girl doesn't eat all of her food every night. How old is your hog? Why are you assuming it had trouble with the kibble?

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Old 11-10-2019, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My hog is 5 months 15 days about. She seemed like it was hard for her to chew up, i.e. she would open her mouth all the way and when the kibble cracked sh would kind of flinch
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They all do that when eating the kibble. You could try grinding it up or softening it with water or fish oil.

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Old 11-10-2019, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What food are you feeding her now? Usually, food marketed for hedgehogs is a big no because its such bad quality. I'm personally not familiar with any hedgehog specific foods on the market that are actually recommended to feed to a hedgehog.
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If she's having difficulty crunching cat food, get a good look at her teeth. Many hedgehogs will do a minor flinch when theyre crunching kibble and it's harmless, but sometimes there can be a reason for it - and unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a hedgehog (even a very young hog) who is fed a kibbled diet to suffer premature tooth loss/tooth wear, which will show up as them flinching/having difficulty eating food.
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Her not eating a lot of her new food in the first night is just a hedgehog being a hedgehog. They dont like change, and they dont take kindly to it - it can take weeks for them to adjust to a new kibble if theyre feeling particularly picky.

Definitely do check the food youre trying to transition her onto though as like I mentioned, hedgehog specific food is often really bad quality and isnt recommended to feed. If shes having difficulty chewing her old food, you can add some water or crush the kibbles up into smaller pieces - it'll be kinder to her teeth.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am trying to switch her over to vita-smart high-protein insect formula hedgehog food. She is on blue-buffalo now.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unfortunately vitasmart is an extraordinarily poor quality brand - I wouldnt touch that food with a ten foot pole. There is just too much wrong with the food that I honestly dont even know where to begin with it. Throw it out or return it, but do not feed it to your hedgehog.

If you want to switch to a different brand of cat food, I'd highly recommend giving the following threads a read. This, this & this. Make sure you read the ingredients list throughly before buying a food too, and get yourself familiar with what ingredients you need to avoid. If your hog has difficulty with cat kibble, then break it up into smaller pieces or switch to complete wet food - but as a general rule of thumb, avoid any food marketed for hedgehogs like the plague.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What is wrong with the food... Do you just have a bad experience with it? It has high protein and is designed for hedgehogs, seems like food designed for hogs would be good for them. Or do you just not like it? I am a responsible hedgehog owner and just want the best for Holly so I am genuinely curious as to what you have against this brand.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never used it, but you just have to read the ingredients to see that it's a poor choice of food. Here's the ingredients list (taken from petsmarts website);

"Wheat Bran, Poultry Meal, Soy Protein Concentrate, Fish Meal, Shrimp Meal, Chitin Powder, Tuna Meal, Crab Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Freeze-Dried Mealworms, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Yeast Culture, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Kelp Meal, Psyllium Seed Husk, Algae Meal"

^ The ingredients that I've bolded are ingredients that you do not want to see in your hedgehogs main diet. Why;

Wheat bran = hedgehogs are insectivores and need a diet with a high animal protein content. While wheat bran is not necessarily bad, the best foods are grain free - and if grain is to be included in your hedgehogs diet, it should not be in the main food.

Poultry meal = poultry is a generic term. That could be chicken, it could be turkey, heck it could be pigeon or some ostrich, nobody knows. Specified meals are fine, unspecified are not - there is poor quality control, all batches may vary, and they can change sources at any time and so long as that source is poultry, theyre able to do so.

Soy protein concentrate = this is just a filler ingredient, and has no beneficial role in the diet of an insectivore. Its being used as a cheap protein source to bulk up the food.

Fish meal = again, its too generic and non-specific.

Freeze-dried mealworms: are fine as treats, but fed in too large quantities can cause issue with constipation in hedgehogs. Simply put; they are treats, and should not be part of your hedgehogs main diet.

Dehulled soybean meal = again, cheap protein source that you will not find in a high quality food.

All that aside, this food is just insanely heavily fish based too. Fish is fine to feed in moderation, but it doesnt exactly come close to resembling anything they'd be naturally consuming in the wild. As nice as it would be, all foods marketed for hedgehogs (that is, the ones that i am personally aware of) are pretty much trash - i'm sure there are endless threads on this forum stating the same thing.

I have nothing 'personal' against vitasmart; they are just a crap brand that sells crap food. Cat food is best for hogs - i'd highly recommend giving the above mentioned threads a read to get yourself more familiar with their dietary needs, and what ingredients are best to look out for when choosing a food.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Commercial hedgehog foods are formulated for wild european hedgehogs and not African hedgehogs which are what we keep as pets. They have completely different nutritional requirements. Please please don't feed commercial hedgehog food to your baby, it can cause many health issues.
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