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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I made a post before regarding the food my hedgehog has been on (Royal Canin medi cal calorie control) and I'm concerned about it yet again. It was recommended by a vet (who I also had a problem with), because my hedgie was getting really soft stools on her other wellness brand food. Her poops are back to normal, but I'm concerned the food is too high in protein. It's 39.5% which I know a lot of people say is too high. I'm just wondering what actual evidence there is for this level causing problems, as opposed to just word of mouth (not that I don't trust you guys, I'm just curious though).

I'm really hesitant to change her food and risk her having more stool issues, but I don't want to cause kidney problems as well. I'm getting really fed up with this veterinarian either way, I feel like she doesn't know anything about hedgehog diets.
 

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Most vets know nothing about any animals nutrional requirements. In fact the classes they do take are for just cats and dogs and they are sponsered by Royal Canin and Hills, which are both crap foods (though AD wet is good for sick hedgies)

Anyway since you found something that he/she is eating, I would recommnend finding one or two more kibbles that he or she will eat that is lower in protien to bring down the over all protein content. Like say blue buffalo senior Chicken and rice or their new friedom weight control. They are both at 29 percent protein. There are several Natural Balence that fit as well at 30% protien, and a couple of Nutro ones. These are just ones I can think of off the top of my head. I am kinda in the same boat right now. My hedgie actually stopped eating the Wellness in her mix because they changed the formula and her other two foods are kitten ones, so I am trying to find a third one to mix in to lower the protein. I've tried most of the Natrual Balence but she doesn't like them, I am gonna try the blue buffalo next I think, since she seems to prefer the blue buffalo in her mix right now, So hopefully they taste simular enough, that's what I hope anyway lol
 

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There have been studies done and a lot of breeders that have just tried different things and found that the "optimal" protein percentage is around 33-35. 40% is where most everyone draws the line. Most likely once you account for the moisture in the food, unless you've already done that, it will be over 40%.

It is always good to have a mix of 2-3 (or more if you want) foods. Gives a good variety and if ever you have a recall on a particular food (happens more often than you might think) then you don't have to switch everything over all of a sudden.

Add a couple of low protein foods to balance things out and you should be good. Oh, and Wellness has been known to cause poop issues lol. I have it in my girls mix but it doesn't seem to bother them but I know a lot of people have had issues with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your responses, I think I'm going to slowly add in a blue buffalo kibble (I'm thinking grain free indoor), and a bit later phase out the royal canin for something else (not sure what yet though). I'll probably try to do it over the course of 5-6 weeks to try to prevent more upset stomach issues.
 

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Ok reading this I am wondering if I should be mixing several different kinds of food.. It seems most of you do this. Why is this done? Is there a significance to why? I have Archie on one kind of kibble that is 30% protein and 12% fat. He gets chicken breast too at the moment. We are introducing new foods one at a time so if there is a reaction I can know what food it was.. But should I have him on a mix of kibble?
 

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A lot of people prefer and recommend to mix at least two foods together. The main reason is because we don't know exact nutritional requirements, so multiple foods covers the bases. The other reason is because hedgehogs are so picky and they do so badly with sudden food changes. If one food becomes unavailable due to a recall or being out of stock, then you can at least be assured you have one food your hedgehog will still eat, without having to stress them with a sudden food change and risk them going on a hunger strike (which requires hand-feeding, which is stressful for everyone).
 

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BTW hedgies don't require a grain free diet :) Here is a quote from the owner of Volcano View Hedgehogs
"Grain free foods are too high in protein, and hedgehogs, unlike cats, are designed to have "roughage" in the diet - so eliminating grains can do more harm than good. Healthy grains are best (oatmeal, barley, etc), but even wheat and corn in moderate amounts are fine, as long as the foods they're getting have more meat content"
 

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Thank you JulieAnne .. I did know that but when I got my Archie I asked myself where I wanted most of his protein to be sourced from.. I wanted it to be from meat and not grain.. The ingredients in feline food are listed with the ingredients in order but it is still listed in weight.. So my choice was to go grain free. He seems to be doing amazing on it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's really interesting to know, thank you for that information :smile: I'll be adding in another food once the grain free one is fully introduced, so far she is doing really well with the couple pieces she's tried so far. When I pick a second food I'll most likely get one with some healthier grains, although I'd just like to add that the blue buffalo grain free food has a decent amount of roughage, in the form of peas and potatoes, so she isn't lacking with that, it's just that it isn't grain roughage. It has a 32% protein content as well.
 
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