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Old 01-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default About to bring home my very first hedgie!

Hello! I am new to the hedgehog community and I am about to purchase my very first hedgehog. I am looking for tips for first time owners and other information that I might need to know. I have been looking for a wheel and I saw one at Petsmart that claims it is for hedgehogs. Is that okay or what should I get? Also, what is your favorite food? I heard Purina ONE is a good choice. Thanks for your time! ~Maria
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: About to bring home my very first hedgie!

Hi Maria,
Welcome to the forum. Do some searching on this site under the titles for foods, wheels, cages, etc. We also have a member who wrote a book that you can download free - read it all - please. These will give you all the information you need - but please read them. There is a lot of information that has been gathered for you by people who know what they are talking about. Do this before getting your baby and wasting good money on stuff that may harm your baby.

Pet stores will claim to know what is good for a hedgehog, but most of them don't and check out the list of cat foods that contain the best ingredients for you hog. The research is all ready done for you.

Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, I don't mean it to. Again welcome. Hedgehogs rule!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: About to bring home my very first hedgie!

Welcome to HHC!

The wheel at Petsmart depends on which brand it is - Comfort Wheels are safe for hedgehogs, and so are Flying Saucers. For both, you'd need the large or giant 12" size to be big enough. If the wheel is a Silent Spinner, do not get it - the crack between the white/colored parts can catch and injure nails and toes. However, if you're looking for a wheel that's silent and easy to clean, bucket wheels or cake top wheels are MUCH better than any store-bought wheels. You can make your own (tutorials on youtube), or buy one from someone else. There's several people that sell them on here, if you look in the For Sale forum under wheels.

Purina One isn't really a great choice. It tends to still have corn in the ingredients, as well as other not-so-great ingredients, like unnamed fats and by-products. The brands that are popular on here are Innova, Blue Buffalo, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Natural Balance, and Solid Gold. There's plenty of other good brands too - you want to look for protein around 28-35%, fat below 15% (only runners need higher fat, usually), and for ingredients you want a meat or meat meal for the first ingredient, you don't want any corn, by-products, you want any meat, meat meals, or fats to be a named animal (chicken versus poultry, chicken fat versus animal fat), and no BHT, BHA, or ethoxyquin. It can be kind of confusing at first, but there are quite a few good, healthy brands out there once you get used to what to look for.

Also, on the subject of tips and information for first time owners...I highly recommend checking out this hedgehog care book, written by one of our mods LizardGirl - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html It's free to download and full of great information that's perfect for new and old owners. Definitely worth keeping on hand to look things up easily!
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: About to bring home my very first hedgie!

Welcome. I wanted to let you know that the giant comfort wheel is a good wheel I have it for Sonic if you take a piece of fleece and tie it on the back of the wheel where it turns it helps the wheel not make noise and it is still able to turn easily. The food I feed Sonic is innova senior cat food and Simply Nourish indoor cat turkey and oatmeal. the total protein is 35% and the fat is 11% so its a good balance with the two food. I had someone tell me that it is better to have two or more foods combined because in case a company changes the recipe or discontinues a food that you use and you will not have to freak out on trying to find a new food right away with two or more brands of food as you would if you were just feeding one brand. you will find alot of good information here like I have I have only had my hedgie Sonic for 6 months and I have learned a ton of information.
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