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Commercial Hedgehog Foods

81082 Views 105 Replies 53 Participants Last post by  coopdavillage
I decided it might be a good idea to talk about commercially prepared Hedgehog foods. Why some are ok choices for African Hedgehogs and some are not.
If you walk into a pet store and ask for "bird food" you will probably be shown a lot of packages that say "Bird Food" on them. The problem then arises if your bird is a Minah, a Toucan, a falcon, etc.etc. Even a Robin Redbreast cannot live off of seeds. So just because it says "Hedgehog Food" on the package does not neccesarily mean it is appropriate for African Hedgehogs.
Here is a list of most of the commercially prepared "Hedgehog Foods":
1. Spike's Delight Hedgehog foods (all formulas)
2. Sunseed Hedgehog food
3. Brisky's Hedgehog foods
4. 8in1 Ultra Hedgehog food
5. L'Avian Hedgehog food
6. Hedgehog Complete by Exotic Nutrition

7. Pretty Pets hedgehog food
8. Zoofare insectavore
9. Mazuri insectavore
10. Brown's Zoo Vital
11. Vitakraft

Now the first six on the list are ok to feed an African Hedgehog. Most experts agree
to mix several types of high quality, high protein, low fat cat foods / Hedgehog foods. It is also recommended to feed a variety of treats such as live insects, lean cooked meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables. So let's discuss why the last five products on the list should be avoided in African Hedgehog diets. These products may be great for other types of hedgehog but for African Hedgehogs they are not a good choice. Pretty Pet's hedgehog food contains very little nutritional content. It may be ok as a treat but should be considered "junk food". Zoofare and Mazuri contain artificial preservatives and/or softening agents which have been linked to all kinds of health problems. Brown's Zoo Vital and Vitakraft actually may be very good for European Hedgehogs but contain ingredients which are extreme health
risks to African Hedgehogs. Things like seeds and raisins are choking hazards and have resulted in African Hedgehog deaths. The best way to insure you are choosing a healthy African Hedgehog diet is to learn the nutritional requirements of the African Hedgehog. And then READ THE LABEL of the food you are considering feeding your hedgie. Knowledge is the key when choosing a food to add to your
African Hedgehog's diet.
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Ok, thanks, though I still would like to try it out along with mealies, Sonic loves grasshoppers, I fed him one last night it hopped and he tackled it and ate it in 14seconds.
Hi. I have two hedgies. Recently, I began to notice that my older one, Einspine, was gaining weight, so I switched them to Spa Select weight management from Pretty Pets. He absolutely loves it - eating every last kibble I gave him, where with PP he wouldn't eat much of it. My concern is about my younger hedgie. She doesn't seem to like it! I really want to move her off of the PP as it has alot of fillers, but that is what she is comfortable with. Has anyone experienced this? It seems opposite of what I think should be happening!

I supplement ~4 times a week with 1 meal worm each (Einspine is now reduced to 2 times a week!!), the occasional banana, and zuchinni.
i was feeding my hedgie the browns zoo vital and she was always grouchy and she would always skip 1-2 nights with out eating / she bassically hated it :| so i switched to high quality cat food mixed with hedgehog complete :D
i was also wondering if there is an important difference in kitten food/or youg cat food then adult cat food?
The main difference between kitten food and adult food is that kitten food has more fat in it. Unless your hedgehog is a runner that needs more fat in their diet to stay at a healthy weight, it's usually recommended to use adult food, with 15% or less fat, so your hedgehog doesn't get overweight.
Yes, kitten is specifically formulated for growing animals and usually has higher fat than adult cat food (sometimes the adult formulas are just as high in fat).
Oh, okay, cuz b4, i was feeding her the royal canin kitten 36 but know i have moved on to the 38 adult 1

i wanted to make sure it did not have any milk type, products for a kitten that could upset pinchitas belly
despite the claims against hedgehog formulated food i have had great luck with the 8 in one ultra mixed with chicken soup for the cat lover's soul adult light dry formula.

i supplement with chicken and turkey organic baby food (there's my human grade ingrediants i guess) and fresh veggies and melon, and fresh cranberries.

i know it's mixed in, so maybe that's why i had success with it, but hammy seemed to find it really tasty. she didn't chose it over the cat food, but she also seemed to eat them interchangeably with no real preference for one over the other.
gyaku said:
My hedgehog (bought at PJs Pet Store) was giving him something for "fat" hedgehogs (even says right on the bag.) Right now I am feeding him Pretty Pets since its all I can afford till next week. So does any one know where I could find Spikes Delight in Edmonton,AB sadly PJs doesn't have it nor can they get it... Though I have been told to check Pets Mart...
In my experience the best place in Edmonton to find premium (ie. grain free, holistic and free range REAL food) pet food has been Tail Blazers -- there's one on 76ave and 103 St and one on 170st just before Mayfield Road. They carry, or can order a lot of natural foods for dogs and cats, both dry and wet, as well as natural treats like dried liver, dried chicken breast, venison strips etc etc
Lol, when people ask me "where's a good place to buy pet food" -- I say, not the grocery store or the pet store thats for sure.

--> Does anyone know the nutritional breakdown of PJ's Pets brand of hedgehog food? I can't remember for the life of me what its called now... :?
teencie said:
--> Does anyone know the nutritional breakdown of PJ's Pets brand of hedgehog food? I can't remember for the life of me what its called now... :?
PJ's here sells Ultra 8 Select for their hedgehog food.

Also, for really good pricing and all the good cat foods that are on the recommended list, check out G & E Pharmacy, on Whyte Ave and 75 St. It's a pet pharmacy, but they sell foods and toys and supplies really cheap!
i was at my local exotic pet shop, the owner is very informative on almost all exotic type animals, she told me cat food is not for hedgehogs and not good for them, and told me that hedgehog food is best for them, i got one with shrimp and such in it and she feeds all their hogs it along with some other foods, so i am going to take her word as she has helped me in the right direction and been very helpful in the past with the best choices.
In the end its the choice of the owner to do what is best for their hedgehogs, but I can tell you that the woman at the pet store no matter how kind hearted and informative she is, is wrong on the cat food. Commercial Hedgehog Food varies, there are certain brands that are alright as a filler or 'junk' style food for hedgehogs, and there are brands that are deadly by having raisins and grapes in them, which will cause renal failure. Other brands are formulated for euro hedgehogs which eat a different diet, and some are just repackaged rat or ferret food. As said its your choice in the end, but weigh in the facts before you make a switch, you can take the advise of someone who runs a pet shop, or the advise of an entire community that includes breeders and experts that have had hedgehogs for over two decades. The right cat food as specified in the recommended list is better, indeed there's plenty of crap cat food that shouldn't be fed. In the words of Captain Planet, the choice is yours.
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the hedgie food she said she fed all her hedgies has poultry meal, blood meal, fish meal, shrimp meal, crab meal and tuna meal as the first 7 ingredeients. it has no raisins or grapes in it, and has 7% min crude fat. it is sunseed brand, that has vitamins and minerals in it along with natural sources of protein. i will try this and see if my girl eats it or not.
Well that isn't overly bad, most still recommend not to use it as a staple of their food but indeed, the cat food that is fed, especially the high class stuff is typically one or two pure meat products as the first ingredients, the lower class crap that isn't recommended cat food wise is the stuff with filler and corn in it, which after searching many different cat foods in my area, seems to be a biggie. Beware the poop might stink more due to the fish products. :)
i looked for the Wellness brand cat food today and the petsmart here didnt carry it, or any with lower than 13% min fat, which is more than they need, i am going to try the other stores the next few days, or is it a US brand and not sold in Ontario? if its not here what is the next best to get? and can i mix the hedgie food with some of the cat food? i feed my girl live meal worms 1-2 times a week and she devours them.
I can't say if Wellness is specifically a US brand or not, but I know it can be hard to find the right food in your area, depending on what stores are available. I'm across from Cornwall, Ontario and we have no petsmart or petco, and our local pet store doesn't carry any cat food. If no one has directed you to this (and it can be hard to find sometimes), the below link is to the recommended cat food list for hedgehogs, anything on that list is good for them, obviously the top ones on the list are the best, the double & single meats.


Most people do a mixture of two or three different brands, because not one brand of cat food has everything a hedgehog needs, so three kind of rounds that out. Its also just in case a food is recalled or removed from the market since switching food outright can cause stomach problems (upset stomachs).

I personally use Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul + Castor & Pollux + Purina One Salmon and Brown Rice, the Chicken Soup I have shipped from Amazon.com and the other two I found at a new supermarket that just opened up, before that I had to get it all shipped. Each of my guys gets 20 grams of kibble per night, I dump all three bags into a bin and shake it so its well mixed, and then they both get 7 mealies a night, both are avid runners (though my female is getting fat).
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i will have to check out the superstore this weekend, im in oshawa, Ontario if you know where it is. i tried petsmart and they had all kinds of cat food but most were high in fat and costly, right now i need what money i got to get the rest of my materials to finish my cage i am building. can i mix the 2 hedgie foods for now? the one i have been feeding her is pretty pets or something,
You can but any switch or new addition of food needs to be done slowly, as many hedgehogs will get an upset stomach from a sudden switch or addition. Basically you add a little of the new food the first night, first see if she's going to eat it, some hogs can be very picky about new foods. If she does, then slowly add the new food while removing one of the old foods you don't want to use, such as the Pretty Pets which is pretty much ground up cardboard, so its a good thing you're looking into new foods for her. But basically you monitor poop, make sure it isn't green or she doesn't develop the runs, and keep increasing the new blend and removing the old blend, until the old stuff is no longer being added.

Even for now I'd at least slowly move her onto the Sunseed for now, commercial hedgehog food might not be the best in many cases but its better and healthier than Pretty Pets.
If I was you I would be more concerned about buying healthy food for my hedgie than I would be at building a 2 level cage. 7% fat is pretty low, all my guys get a mix cat foods with a fat level of 10-15% and some also get kitten food mixed in to help keep them from losing weight.
as i said i will look for the purina one cat food this weekend, so i atleast have one to mix in
When we first adopted Col. Mustard we were feeding her Sunseed hedgehog food until I find this forum and see that cat food is better for them. We switched her to good quality cat food and the difference was immense, her poo used to stink a lot and now we can barely smell it (and her cage is in our bedroom,) her quills feel softer to the touch, her ears aren't tattered anymore and her skin is less dry. We tried to make the transition gradually but as soon as we put a little cat food mixed with the Sunseed she stopped eating it and would only eat the cat food.

Also, as Nikki said, 7% fat is very low. If your hedgehog is active, I would think it would be very hard to keep weight steady with that low of a fat content.
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