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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it better to feed hard or soft food? or softened hard food?

Here are some possible advantages/disadvantages I can think of:

Hard:
cleans teeth
prematurely wears down teeth

Soft:
promotes plaque accumulation
more moisture

What do you guys think?

(Originally posted on the Chins&Hedgies forum)
 

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I like how some soft foods have better ingredients (like all meat), and the fact it isn't hard on their jaws to eat. The convenience of dry food and the oral hygiene it provides (because there's no way Inky's letting my brush his teef :lol: ) makes it a good option. Considering hedgies don't live too terribly long, they would not have to deal with worn down teeth unless they were very old or had been fed a very hard (such as dog food) food.

I ended up feeding Inky his hard kibble, but cutting them into smaller pieces so he could eat them easier. I don't feed soft food often, since he won't eat it.
 

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Yeah that's the other disadvantage to soft food, lots of hedgehogs will not eat it. Quigley is like that. Unless it's crunchy he won't eat it. Even his baby food which he loves he will not eat unless I syringe it (I guess the hard plastic of the syringe convinces him).
 

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I thought I read somewhere that soft food (ie. canned cat food) can be hard on the digestive system if given too often & that a full soft food diet should only be if the hedgie can't eat hard foots (ie. loss of teeth). Now I'm only 'recalling' this & I might be totally wrong. That said, Sylvie loves soft food but I only give it as a treat and do notice her poo a lot softer & a lot more the next day.
 

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My 2 male hedgies are missing some teeth. They are both about 2.5 years old. They have a hard time chewing/gumming crunchy kibble. I have been giving them Fancy Feast pate from a can. They love it, especially salmon flavor. I got the info to use canned cat food from the stickie about soft food.

I am concerned for their digestion, though. How can I make sure they are getting enough fiber? I usually mix in around a tsp of infant rice flakes into 1/2 a small size portion per night. Does that help?

My problem is mostly the poop. They go just fine, but it's soft and light colored--it resembles chocolate soft serve ice cream. They get it on their tails and all over their fleece liners, and it's harder to clean up. Aries had poop smeared on his leg tonight, so he had a bath and he got mad about it. I'm typing one handed because he is cuddling on my chest under the other one.

Any suggestions on what to give the boys for some firmer, healthier poops?
 

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Quigley won't eat soft food either (unless I syringe it to him). When choosing a soft food you have to look at ingredients the same way you would for a kibble. Some of the good brands of kibble will also make a soft food. I like Wellness for my cats they seem to do well with it. Merrick and Halo are also good brands for cats but I don't know what they are like for hedgehogs.

To add fiber and help with the poop you could try mixing in some plain canned pumpkin or get some baby food squash. A tsp mixed with the food should help but you can add more if they need it.
 

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I gave them some pumpkin tonight. So far, they have ignored it because they were tearing up their salmon Fancy Feast! I didn't mix it in, though. I'll try that tomorrow and see what they think.

Does crunchy food wear down teeth faster? How can I avoid tooth problems with the girls who still have a full set of teeth? Herisson's owner said Royal Canin 27 for mature cats is softer, does anyone use that?
 
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