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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here! :D
I was looking at Naturals, with Vitamins and Minerals by Cat Chow. I normally don't use this for my cats, but was browsing what I can get them that works for our new hedgie, Puck also. It says the protien is 38% and the fat is at 13%. But chicken meal is the first ingredient.

There is also Iams Natural with Chicken, first ingredient is chicken, but the protien is at 33% and fat at 15%.
I have looked at the list posted, but I wan't sure if these would work also.

We just got Puck and he was being fed Iams Proactive Health with chicken, first ingredient is chicken, with 33% protien and 15 % fat. He seems fine on it, so I really don't know IF we should switch anything. Any input is welcome! Thanks! :)
 

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Chow brands are crap. Iams is not great either but their naturals line is a bit better than the regular. Neither are considered good.
 

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The thing with those bad foods is that an animal may seem fine on the food for ears and then develop kidney problems and die. It's better to do everything so the animal thrives instead of just seems fine.

A good rule of thumb when buying foods is stay away from any brand you can buy in the grocery store or wal-mart etc. Iams, Whiskas, Science Diet, Eukanuba etc. They are all bad and even if they have natural varieties that look better they usually are not better by much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use to use Siamese Royal Canin and then they stopped carrying the big bag here at our Petco. I can always call and try some charm to see if they'll reinstate it. :lol:
Do you know if the pieces might be too big? :? He seems to struggle with the Iams the way it is. :(
 

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hedgielover said:
The thing with those bad foods is that an animal may seem fine on the food for ears and then develop kidney problems and die. It's better to do everything so the animal thrives instead of just seems fine.

A good rule of thumb when buying foods is stay away from any brand you can buy in the grocery store or wal-mart etc. Iams, Whiskas, Science Diet, Eukanuba etc. They are all bad and even if they have natural varieties that look better they usually are not better by much.
Just wanted to point out that Hill's Science Diet is actually one of the best pet foods (for cats and dogs) on the market (besides veterinary brand food only sold in clinics) and is absolutely not sold in grocery stores. In fact Science diet's manufacturer Hill's is who makes the much-used A/D cat food that we often syringe to our hedgie friends when needed.

From my veterinary field nutrition experience this is what I've learned:

All the foods listed on the hedgie list are GREAT for hedgies, but are actually BAD for cats.

Whereas, the foods I feed my cats and dogs (Science Diet, Hill's and Medical) are GREAT for cats and dogs, but totally NOT suited for hedgies.

So I would stick to the cat food list if I were you. It usually leaves out certain brands for a reason.
 

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SnufflePuff said:
All the foods listed on the hedgie list are GREAT for hedgies, but are actually BAD for cats.

Whereas, the foods I feed my cats and dogs (Science Diet, Hill's and Medical) are GREAT for cats and dogs, but totally NOT suited for hedgies.
Out of curiosity, why are they bad for cats? I don't know much about kitty nutrition...Since I've gotten Lily though, animal nutrition in general has become rather more interesting to me, particularly for ones that I have as pets.
 

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SnufflePuff said:
hedgielover said:
The thing with those bad foods is that an animal may seem fine on the food for ears and then develop kidney problems and die. It's better to do everything so the animal thrives instead of just seems fine.

A good rule of thumb when buying foods is stay away from any brand you can buy in the grocery store or wal-mart etc. Iams, Whiskas, Science Diet, Eukanuba etc. They are all bad and even if they have natural varieties that look better they usually are not better by much.
Just wanted to point out that Hill's Science Diet is actually one of the best pet foods (for cats and dogs) on the market (besides veterinary brand food only sold in clinics) and is absolutely not sold in grocery stores. In fact Science diet's manufacturer Hill's is who makes the much-used A/D cat food that we often syringe to our hedgie friends when needed.
Hills makes two lines of food, their veterinary line called Hills Prescription Diet that can only be bought at vet clinics or in the vet area at pet stores, and their crap line called Hills Science Diet. Science Diet IS a crap food as it contains by products and corn.

As for the original post - those foods are not the best. I would recommend Royal Canin. Use the Baby Cat formula for hedgehogs under 4 months, and the indoor 27 adult fomula for adults over 4 months. When you look at the nutritional content you want a food with 30% protein (37 is a bit too high) and 15% or less fat. Avoid any food with animal by-products, corn, corn meal, or corn gluten in the first 5 ingredients. Meat meals are good, don't confuse them with by-product meals.
 

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SnufflePuff, I am curious why you think Science Diet is such a great food, OTHER than the fact it is a Hills product. I am a food rep for Nutro, so I talk to Science Diet reps all the time, and it's always bugged me that they will never talk about the ingredients. They always change the subject to their production process, or their scientific research, or their vet recommendations. But how about what is actually IN it? HOW do those particular ingredients make it the best food? (Other than being scientifically formulated, because all foods are scientifically formulated.) Have you ever read the ingredient list of a Science Diet formula? THAT is why people on here say it is bad. Because the quality of the ingredients are not that great. Sure, it's natural so it's better than Cat Chow, but what is in it that makes it the best?

Okay, sorry about the rant. This has been an ongoing question and I just can't seem to find an answer!

Anyways, KathyS, when looking for a food to feed your hedgie, I personally would say the number one thing you should try to look for is higher-quality ingredients, at a price you can afford, that is pretty easy for you to find. Do they need to eat better than we do? Do you need to buy the most expensive food? Of course not! But you want to read the ingredients, keeping in mind that it is listed by volume, so the first ingredient is the largest part of the food, and it goes down from there.

At the very least, check to make sure it is all natural (no BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, color dyes, artificial flavors), and has a meat or meat meal as the first (or second if it's a diet formula) ingredient. Also, rice is the most digestible grain, so if there are grains at the top, that is the one I like to see (almost all pet foods are going to have some sort of grain.) And since hedgehogs are prone to dry skin, Omega 6 is also nice, which will be any sort of oil (sunflower oil, fish oil), fish meal, or flaxseed. Higher fiber is important for hedgehogs, so try to look for good sources like real vegetable fiber, and avoid ones like "Soybean Mill Run".

And if you see corn, don't freak out. You don't want it way up on the list (like in the top 3 or 4 ingredients) mainly because it is just not very digestible. So, if it is one of the main ingredients, your hedgehog will actually need to eat a lot more of the food to get the nutrients that they need (like the protein). And with their little hedgehog tummies, this just isn't really possible since they can't eat that much. So, it's best to try to get them as much of the nutrients in as little amount of food as possible. That is why everyone always says that the higher quality, the better!

And many people feel by-products are what the animals would eat in the wild, so if it is down on the list (no higher than 4 or 5) then it might be okay, as long as there is that real meat as the first ingredient (which will be the main source of protein.) I personally avoid by-products because it is not specific and that scares me.

Okay, I'm done. Sorry I went off. Yes, I work for a pet food company so this is what I get paid to talk about. There are some great (expensive) high quality foods, but many will argue that they are "too" high quality and not really necessary. As long as you are sticking with all natural and try to get something easily digestible so your hedgehog can get more of what they need, then you're doing good! :)
 

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Snufflepuff: Science Diet as in

http://www.hillspet.com/products/scienc ... l-dry.html

With these Ingredients:

Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Brewers Rice, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Chicken by-product is the first one! How is that good. That could mean beaks, or feet or FEATHERS!!! You have no idea what that is. As to drpepperheather's point that it may be what the animal eats in the wild, sure it might be a part of the chicken that is good for cats and is eaten in the wild, that would be parts like eyes, brain, stomach that we don't eat, but there is just no way to know what they've put in it. Also in the wild they are most certainly eating the whole animal so how is just having the by-product a good thing? Also hardly any animal digests corn well. Not even people. So the fact that it is the second ingredient really bothers me. This is the food you think is so great? It's good they are preserving with tocopherals instead of horrible chemicals but that's the only good thing I can see about this food.

I don't mean to upset you but I'm really passionate about my pets health. It upsets me that so called scientifically formulated foods can still have so much corn and other ingredients that don't make logical sense to put in food for animals that evolved as mainly carnivores. It's just common sense. If you were a carnivore would you eat corn? I don't get it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to you all for your input! I'm glad to know the order in which to look for the ingredients too. It seems labels get so confusing with "by product" and "meal". MEAT I understand! LOL! I remember with Royal Canin the cat's poops were fewer and smelled less. ;) I'll make sure NOT to get anything too high in protien. We needed that before with our diabetic cat, Morticia.
 

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Meat and meat meals are excellent sources of protein. Legumes like green peas are also sometimes used as a protein source, these are fine. Basically, to find out if a food is good or not, you want to follow these rules:
1. No corn products (corn, corn meal) in the first 5 ingredients. If it's lower on the list it's okay. Corn gluten and corn gluten meal are not as indigestible so it's okay if it's after the first 3 ingredients.
2. No animal by-products int he first 5 ingredients. Lower on the list is probably okay.
3. Make sure it has at least some Taurine which is important for eye health
4. For baby hedgehogs (up to 4 months) you want a cat food or dog food with about 30-35% protein and 15-20% fat.
5. For adult hedgehogs (over 4 months) you want a cat food or dog food with about 30% protein and 15% or less fat. If your hedgie is a runner and has trouble keeping weight on then you could increase fat intake up to about 20%. Most hedgehogs need 12-15% though.
6. If you buy dog food crush or cut the kibble into smaller pieces or buy a small dog breed dog food.

I recommend Royal Canin Baby Cat 34 for hoglets and Royal Canin Indoor 27 for normal adult hedgehogs. The ingredients are good, it's found in most pet shops, it's not terribly expensive, and it meets these criteria.
 

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I definitely didn't mean to stir up a big debate, sorry about that! :) I was just stating my opinion from the knowledge I've gained working in the vet field and the research I've done (as I want to be a vet).

If anyone is interested, here is what I've learned (but I don't want to stir up any arguments so remember this is just ONE of the many opinions out there!!)

This is what I know from talking to Vets/Nutrition Specialists/Pet food Reps:

1) Science diet and Hill's Prescription Diet are essentially the same foods, the only difference is Science diet is made as a prevenative life-stage product, whereas Hill's Prescription Diet is formulated to treat medical problems. In fact Hill's kitten food and science kitten food contain the exact same ingredients. (The only reason I feed Science Diet and not Hill's is because I don't have my discount anymore at the clinic where I work and Prescription diet food is crazy expensive when you don't need it for a medical issue)

2) Hill's Prescription Diet and Medi-cal/Royal Canin Veterinary lines are really the only 2 lines of veterinary food on the market (Iams makes one too, but it's not as well tested). They both contain "corn" as one of the top ingredients. And while Medical doesn't have the "chicken by-products" that Hill's does, Vets often see better results with Hill's food than with Medical food. While the ingredients may not sound appealing or "high quality" the fact is, these foods are PROVEN to extend lives, prevent health problems and successfully treat a lot of issues.

3) We are starting to see that the new lines of pet food containing "organic high quality ingredients" can actually CAUSE liver and kidney failure because their levels of protein are of a TOO high quality and/or quantity. Also any brand other than Hill's or Medical has the potential to cause urinary stones / crystals. At the clinic I work at, when we ask someone who's pet has this condition what food they are one it is very rarely Hill's, their pet store brand Science Diet, Medical, or their petstore brands Royal Canin and Technical.

I am simply going by experience. I have seen countless cats and dogs come in with problems and I can almost always pinpoint the food as a major factor in it. I know that as pet owners we think that we should go by what sounds healthy/natural/organic but the fact is, the evidence seems to show otherwise.

This is just what I've SEEN. Obviously I'm not a nutriton specialist. Nutrition is a changing field and by the time I am a certified Veteriarian things could completely have changed. So I definitely don't want to offend anyone! Just thought I'd share this info :)
 

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I love the manner you replied to this, SnufflePuff. Thank you so much for not being one of those people that freaks out and defends themself and gets all angry! LOL :lol:

Thanks for sharing that info.
 

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LizardGirl said:
I love the manner you replied to this, SnufflePuff. Thank you so much for not being one of those people that freaks out and defends themself and gets all angry! LOL :lol:

Thanks for sharing that info.
Not a problem, I was trying my best not to sound like that cause I know how easy it is for us pet owners to get carried away with our opinions, so I am glad it came across in a good way. :) I think what's more important than being "right" or "wrong" is that as pet owners we make decisions for our pets to the best of our experience/knowledge and be open to always learning more.
 

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SnufflePuff said:
3) We are starting to see that the new lines of pet food containing "organic high quality ingredients" can actually CAUSE liver and kidney failure because their levels of protein are of a TOO high quality and/or quantity. Also any brand other than Hill's or Medical has the potential to cause urinary stones / crystals. At the clinic I work at, when we ask someone who's pet has this condition what food they are one it is very rarely Hill's, their pet store brand Science Diet, Medical, or their petstore brands Royal Canin and Technical.
While I don't care for the ingredients of Hills, SD and Royal Canin and Technical, I definitely agree with you that these high quality foods can cause problems because of the high protein levels. I've been hearing that too. I firmly believe that since we really don't know what is best, it is better to stick to a middle of the line but decent quality with moderate levels of protein.
 

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Does anyone else find it strange how everyone is knocking one food because it contains corn and suggesting another that also contains corn? Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Nutro all contain corn in the first 5 ingredients. o.o

SnufflePuff, I too like the manner of your reply. I would like to share my own alternate view on your findings.

We are starting to see that the new lines of pet food containing "organic high quality ingredients" can actually CAUSE liver and kidney failure because their levels of protein are of a TOO high quality and/or quantity.
I agree that some of these high end cat foods may contain too much protein, and I am looking into a lower protein diet for my cat. However I am still wary of Science Diet and Royal Canin due to their poor choice of ingredients.

While the ingredients may not sound appealing or "high quality" the fact is, these foods are PROVEN to extend lives, prevent health problems and successfully treat a lot of issues.
I find that research done on products are often biased. Many times companies fund the research themselves, so to no surprise the results are in their favor.

At the clinic I work at, when we ask someone who's pet has this condition what food they are one it is very rarely Hill's, their pet store brand Science Diet, Medical, or their petstore brands Royal Canin and Technical.
This can be a misleading statistic since there are so many different cat foods on the market, and most people feed a lower quality cat food than Science Diet or Royal Canin. So it can be easily said that Hill's is rarely the culprit of a problem.

I try to take what I hear from such and such studies with a grain of salt.
1. Logic tells me to avoid any foods that contain corn since it's a cheap filler that is highly indigestible and contains sugars. Corn is also often associated with allergies.
2. By-products such as beaks, feet, or feathers aren't that bad since animals in the wild eat their kill whole. However by-products should be avoided because the category is so vaguely defined that any number of other unwanted leftovers can be added. (Pork?)
3. Soy is controversial because of the estrogen and GMO issues.
4. Natural or organic is always a plus. Who wants to eat chemicals preservatives?

I myself am thoroughly confused about what cat foods are best, especially with all the recalls and money issues leading to buyouts and formula changes. I personally don't believe a higher end cat food would be bad as long as you follow the protein/fat percentages. Though perhaps sticking with something in the middle is safest, as Nancy stated.
 

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I know it's all very confusing hihihi****e. I also do believe company researching is bias, so instead I go by results I personally have see with patients. Although Hill's does actually allow other independent companies to do studies for them, and these results have proven quite promising too so I don't know. We just need a nice solid guide telling us what's good and what's bad eh? :lol:

I wish they'd just remove the corn and chicken by-products and then it'd be a close to perfect food. But unfortunately no one seems to want to do that. When asked, all the food companies answers seem to be the same: "cats and dogs have been doing just fine on corn for years, so why mess with it?" (essentially) But really have they? Different studies seem to show different things so who knows.

So I guess it's better to just choose food on an animal-to-animal basis. Some pets do great on some foods, some better on others.

So we do the best we can to the best of our judgement. I guess you can't really ask for more than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When you look back where pet food started you can see it's all about the $ from the get go. Meat plants had meat going bad, grain mills had grains of all sorts going bad. They all had losses in profit.
So they put it together and made something not fit for people, but fine for animals :cry: (in their opinion). Making profits...large profits. :shock:
The idea of food that is human consuption worthy is a fairly new idea for the masses. So when they have (and have had) the ability to make really good stuff, they will make you pay for it. :twisted: Just like people food. The cheaper, crappy stuff is what you start buying when you run out of paycheck. It's a matter of time and we'll be all dining on Solent Green! ;)
 

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SnufflePuff said:
"cats and dogs have been doing just fine on corn for years, so why mess with it?" (essentially) But really have they? Different studies seem to show different things so who knows.
Go watch the movie "Food Inc." and you will see why corn is in pretty much everything (not just pet food )

I will warn you tho it could very well change how you view the food You eat as well as your pets. (It did for me) As the saying goes for some, Ignorance is bliss..

KathyS said:
The idea of food that is human consuption worthy is a fairly new idea for the masses. So when they have (and have had) the ability to make really good stuff, they will make you pay for it. :twisted: Just like people food. The cheaper, crappy stuff is what you start buying when you run out of paycheck. It's a matter of time and we'll be all dining on Solent Green! ;)
^ This

Is one of the main reasons 70% of the US population these days is obese, it is easier (and cheaper) to eat unhealthy than it is to cook and eat well balanced meals... ie fastfood for a couple bucks in 5 min VS shopping and cooking for an hour+ at 5 times the price
 
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