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Old 12-09-2009, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default weight loss mix?

Hey everyone,

I have had my hedgehog, Henry, for a little less than year now, and he is doing great except he is a little on the chunky side. I am trying to determine what would be the best mix to help him lose a little weight. He seems to run on his wheel every night, so I assume the problem is with his diet. As of right now he eats a mixture of Purina Indoor Formula and Purina Complete Formula. This is the mix our breeder told us to use, however it originally had kitten chow in the mix as well.

I know I want to start him on some Wellness healthy weight, but I was trying to figure out some other brands to mix it with.

Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: weight loss mix?

Hello,
I had a hedgehog who after about a year of age was overweight for the rest of her life. It is really hard to get a hedgehog to loose weight! I think some of them are just big, like people. That being said, it isn't good for your hedgie to be too fat. When I got Snoball she was being fed Pretty Pets. I changed her to a variety of foods including Purina One and Iams Healthy Weight Management. At any rate, she didn't loose weight on these. If I were to get another hedgehog, after much reasearch and worrying about Snoballs weight, I think I would try Select Diet Lite. You can search for it on the internet. You could at least give it a try and/or mix it in w/ the foods you are currently feeding. I am sure that there are a lot of various organic foods that might be better than Purina that people will suggest here too. Remember any time you change their food you must slowly introduce the new foods like 1/4 new, 3/4 old for a couple weeks, then 1/2 and 1/2 etc. My vet used to tell me Snoball was obese and that I should feed her more insects and less cat food - so that is a thought. I think you probably ought to also feed him at specific times of day rather than free feeding. That is my opinion based on my experience and what I would do if/when I get another hog. Bottom line is calories in/ calories out...
Good luck!
Susan H.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: weight loss mix?

Herisson's favorite food is Natural Balance- reduced calorie and his second favorite is Wellness Indoor. I should also mention he weighs 602 grams!
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/catfor ... alCat.html
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/cat_well ... ealth.html

Here is a great link to good food choices: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: weight loss mix?

I don't agree with limiting kibble unless the hedgehog is very obese and nothing else works. There are many ways to control weight while still free feeding. Purina foods are not the best so I'd slowly switch him a couple of better foods. Wellness Healthy weight is a good one and you can check Reapers list for another one.

Does he like veggies? In the evening when you get him up, you can give him some cooked or baby food veggies to eat. They will help fill him up so he will eat less kibble. How large is his cage? Scatter some food around his cage so he has to search for it. Rearrange his cage nightly which forces him to walk around to find things. Does he use his wheel much? When out for playtime, encourage walking.

Some hedgehogs like water and if he does, you could see if he'ell swim but make sure you provide a shallow area that he can easily reach to touch bottom and make sure to never leave him alone in the water. I've never had a hedgehog that liked water so swimming has never been an option here.

Count his kibble now to see how much he actually eats. I've found that most of my overweight hedgehogs are not huge eaters to begin with and their body size is more genetics than over eating.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: weight loss mix?

Thanks for all the replies. I have actually added on to his cage since I have posted, the extra space encourages him to move around more I noticed. I also let him swim around every few days. He does use his wheel at night, but I do not know how much. He has a flying saucer right now, but i will probably look into getting him a cakewalk supreme in the near future.

Overall the changes in his exercise routine seem to be helping. It is possible that he is just a bigger guy as well though, if I remember his mom was around his size when we first picked him up.

I also looked at another forum that was suggesting that the kitten food keeps them at a healthy weight. I know kitten food has higher fat and I assumed it was more for when they are growing up. I wonder if since I omitted that from his diet, that could play a factor? Anyone have the absolute word on whether kitten chow is good or bad for adult hedgies?

Thanks Again,

James
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: weight loss mix?

Logically, a high fat kitten food really doesn't make sense to give to an animal that is overweight. That being said, years ago kitten food used to be the recommended food for all of them regardless of weight. I really don't know the answer but I go by what makes sense to me logically.
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