Our Special Treat Sampler

Mar 24, 2016 by

                Our treat sampler is a variety mix of 9 different foods and treats that we have combined together in order to tempt your hedgehog’s taste buds.  Each bag is different to keep your hedgehog actively trying new tastes and textures of treats.  Click here to purchase: https://www.critterconnection.cc/products.php?ProdCatID=5 Here are links to the nutritional information and ingredients of all the products we use in our treat sampler mix: https://www.beyondpetfood.com/products/cat/grain-free-white-meat-chicken-egg/ https://www.temptationstreats.com/our-treats/classics/tasty-chicken http://www.instinctpetfood.com/product/instinct-grain-free-healthy-weight-kibble-cat-food-chicken-0 http://www.feedgoodness.com/products/recipe?title=Whole-Earth-Farms-Grain-Free-Recipe-with-Real-Chicken&id=27 http://bluebuffalo.com/natural-cat-food/grain-free-blue-wilderness/dry-food/wilderness-adult-weight-control/ http://bluebuffalo.com/natural-cat-food/grain-free-blue-freedom/dry-food/freedom-indoor-kitten-chicken-recipe/ http://chickensouppets.com/cats/adult-cat-dry-food http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/cat-formulas/dry/limited-ingredient-diets/green-pea-and-duck...

Hedgehog Safe Cupcakes

Aug 4, 2015 by

              Hedgehog Safe Cupcakes   1 cup rice flour  1 cup baking soda 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce1/4 cup olive oil 1 cup shredded carrots 1 tsp vanilla 1/3 cup honey 1 egg Mix flour and baking soda together and then add all other ingredients. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Frost with sugar-free yogurtGarnish with mealworms   ~ Melissa...

Obesity & Obesity Complications

Nov 11, 2013 by

   Many veterinarians will agree that one of  the most common medical problem seen in captive hedgehogs is obesity and obesity related problems. Cause Diet A few hedgehog enthusiasts discourage limiting a hedgehog’s food and claim that hedgehogs will not over eat. However, an overwhelming number of experts and enthusiast disagree. Hedgehogs can overeat even on a low-fat hedgehog diet, so food intake often must be restricted to maintain proper body weight. Overeating of foods too high in fat and protein such as regular cat food and fatty insects such as wax worms, mealworms, and superworms is a significant culprit of obesity. Exercise Lack of exercise is also a huge contributing factor. Cages that are too small can limit exercise and activity. However, when hedgehogs are a healthy weight they can become more active by running on their wheel and exploring their cage at night. Other Some hedgehogs are prone to obesity due to genetic predisposition. Other hedgehogs can become overweight in preparation for a lengthy hibernation that they would experience in the wild, but in captivity that that never comes. Hibernation attempts in captivity can   Detection Weight There is no standard weight for a hedgehog. The reason being that the sizes vary quite a lot from one breeder to another, so figuring out what is obese can be difficult. The typical healthy hedgehog is actually usually on the plump side but is...

Help! My Hedgehog Is Not Eating: Tempting Taste Buds...

Sep 2, 2013 by

Symptom The loss, or lack of appetitive, is medically referred to as Anorexia. The first sign of illness is often loss of appetite. It is important to get your hedgehog checked out right away by a veterinarian, if you cannot easily determine the reason for the change in eating pattern. Cause – Change in Environment or Routine It is not uncommon for hedgies to skip their first meal or two, in their new home. Sometimes hedgehogs are just too busy sleeping, exploring, or running on the wheel, to take the time to eat. Waiting to introduce the wheel, after the hedgehog has acclimated to eating and drinking in its new home, will help prevent eating distractions. Make sure your hedgehog is warm and comfortable and that they have easy access to their water bottle or dish and that your hedgehog in fact is drinking. Our small bag of “baby” food is the “trick up our sleeve” to tempt babies into eating when they go to new homes.  It tastes really good to them and they will typically eat it without a problem.  It is very rich so even a little food will sustain them through their adjustment period. Refer to our Environmental Stress and Not Eating article for more information on this topic. Cause – Change in Food It is a good idea to keep your hedgehog on the same diet for at least a month,...

Ideal Diet

Sep 2, 2013 by

Food Many hedgehogs have developed fatal liver problems due to diet of too much fat. For many years, cat food has been the default food for domestic hedgehogs but many cat foods are too high in fat and low in protein to be healthy food for hedgehogs. Over time, hedgehog-specific food has been developed but don’t blindly accept it based on the label. The only way you can guarantee the healthiness of your hedgehog’s food is to analyze its fat, protein and carbohydrate content. Choose food (whether in the form of cat or hedgehog food) that guarantees a composition of at least 30% protein. Don’t feed your hedgehog any food with a fat content of over 12%. Make sure your hedgehog gets a good amount of fiber (food with 10% fiber analysis will work well), because fibers can partially substitute for some of the substances that a hedgehog would normally consume in its primarily insect diet. In the Wild Although traditionally classified in the now abandoned order Insectivora, hedgehogs are not exclusively insectivores but are almost omnivorous. Hedgehogs feed on insects, snails, frogs and toads, snakes, bird eggs, carrion, mushrooms, grass roots, berries, melons, and watermelons. In fact, berries constitute a major part of an Afghan Hedgehog’s diet in early spring after hibernation. The hedgehog is occasionally spotted after a rainstorm foraging for earthworms. Although forest hedgehogs, most well-known to Europeans, are indeed mainly...

Weight Log & Size

Jun 11, 2013 by

The average hedgehog weighs approximately ½ to 1-¼ pounds, and most are the size of a softball or slightly larger when they are rolled into a ball. Some adult hedgehogs have a slightly larger build and can weigh up to 2 pounds (the size of a small guinea pig) without being fat. Most hedgehogs are 6-8 inches in length, but it is hard to accurately and consistently measure a hedgehog because their body changes shape when it is balled up, relaxed, sitting or moving. One way to keep track of your hedgehog’s health is to keep a weekly weight log. Around 6 months of age your hedgehog should have reached it’s adult size. If an adult hedgehog’s weight changes too much in a single week then you should find out why. If it is a steady weight gain over a couple of weeks in an adult hedgehog then perhaps you should reduce the treats to avoid an obese pet in the near future. A weight loss (when not on a diet) can be a sign of an underlying illness and a veterinarian should evaluate your hedgehog. When searching for reasons of a weight loss please keep in mind that a hedgehog is quite capable of “losing” around 20 or 30 grams in a single trip to the potty. It can also “gain” just as much if you allow it to eat it’s dinner before...

Specialty & Tempting Foods For Hedgehogs With Health Concerns...

Jun 8, 2013 by

Any time your hedgehog is not eating it is cause for concern. Be sure to read our Help! Hedgie is Not Eating article to try and determine the cause of your hedgehog to stop eating. Soft Food Diets Hedgehogs that have dental problems (tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease) or are too weak to feed themselves may need a soft food diet. Traditional hard kibble can be crushed or ground with a food processor, blender (grind setting), or coffee grinder.  Several days worth of food can be ground at one time and stored in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. Pet Pro Products makes and sells “1st Crumbs” which is an excellent crushed kibble for young babies or hedgehogs with special needs. Many hedgehogs will accept traditional foods softened with warm water. Homemade or low-sodium chicken broth can be added to whole or crushed kibble provide moisture and to make the ground food a little tastier than plain water. Chicken, turkey and beef can be ground in the blender. Can be added to powdered regular food or feed alone. Crumbling Crickets and Mashing Mealies The exoskeletons of many insets and the crunchiness of freeze dried bugs may present a problem for hedgehogs that have trouble chewing. Live insects can be frozen and then crushed, crumbled, mashed, or ground either by them selves or with the dry kibble. Insect crumble can be fed alone or mixed with...

Insects A La Carte

Jun 5, 2013 by

Benefits of Insects as Treats Insects are the most common treat for pet hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are insectivores by nature, and a large portion of their diet in the wild consists of insects. Hedgehogs of the wild and the captive bred hedgehogs have different nutritional requirements and needs due to the differences in their activity levels. Wild hedgehogs are often able to adjust to what they eat according to their needs. Pet hedgehogs eat what we give them because it is the only thing available to them. It isn’t a good idea to feed a straight insect diet, because chances are that it will not meet all of the hedgehogs’ nutritional requirements. We suggest using feeding tongs or tweezers when feeding insects. Hedgehogs have poor eyesight and may nibble on your finger trying to get its treat. After it has eaten its treat your fingers will still smell like insects. Store Bought Versus Wild Caught We strongly encourage you to feed your hedgehogs with insects that are raised as feeders. When you feed your pet with insects you are also feeding your hedgehog with whatever the insects have eaten. Wild caught bugs can carry parasites, toxins, and bacteria. Even if you do not use pesticides or herbicides, your neighbors or nearby farmers might use them. The toxins in the insects can build up in your hedgehog over a period of time. Parasites are found in...

Hedgehog Treats

May 27, 2013 by

Treats that provide nutrition are always more beneficial than food items that seem to be nothing more than empty calories. Establishing a regular routine when offering treats my help your hedgehog try new treats since they know treats are expected at that time. Perishable treats should be removed after one hour. Insects Insectivores by nature, hedgehogs typically love insects. It is a good idea to include insects as part of your hedgehog’s balanced diet. The most popular insects of hedgehogs and their owners are live mealworms, wax worms, silk worms and crickets. Canned crickets, mealworms (only one or two per day), wax worms or other insects can be used but they tend to smell bad and should ideally be used within a week of opening. Rancid canned insects can cause stomach upset to hedgehogs. Amy Hood of Hood Petz had a necropsy report that showed that one of her hedgehogs died from a freeze-dried mealworm impaction in the intestinal tract. This was due to the hedgehog’s inability to digest the freeze-dried mealworms. For this reason, many hedgehog breeders and enthusiasts do not recommend freeze-dried insects. We prefer to use pet-quality, farm raised insects to wild caught insects because of the risk of parasite infection, insecticide exposure, or other toxins in bugs caught in the wild. Even though hedgehogs are insectivores, a captive hedgehog diet of only insects would not be nutritionally balanced. When purchasing...

Evaluating Food Ingredients

May 26, 2013 by

Food Ingredient Description & Effect Chicken Good for sensitive stomachs Contains only muscle meat Chicken Meal Clean meat from the animal that has been cooked, dried, and ground Most of the moisture is removed By-Product Non-muscle parts of animals Can be specific as chicken-by-products or generic as animal-by-products By-products are most often products left over from meat source processing (the muscle). Lamb Good for sensitive stomachs Turkey NA Poultry Meal May contain any type of poultry Animal Meal May contain any animal Duck NA Beef NA Meat and Bone Meal Meat meal with the addition of bones Does not contain non-edible parts such as feet, fur, or feather Slightly lower grade than meat meal Animal Fat Fat trimmed during the meat processing Should be limited in most diets.   Food Ingredient Description & Effect Vegetables Vegetables are becoming more popular in pet foods Common vegetables found in pet foods are carrots and peas The amount of vegetables in the food and the quality of the vegetables determines their overall nutritional effect on the food Whole vegetables are considered the most beneficial and parts of vegetables such as beet pulp and pea hulls have different purposes in food other than supporting nutrition Grains – Corn Corn is widely used in the animal industry as the main protein source for many animals and is common in many human foods as well Corn is processed in many...

Insect Nutritional Analysis Comparison...

May 25, 2013 by

The table below demonstrates that the nutritional content of insects varies not only between species of insects, but also between canned, live, and freeze dried versions as well as between vendors. When studying the protein and fat content of the insects, it is important to note the moisture content. The higher the moisture contents the lower the percentage of protein and fat. Food Item Protein % Fat % Fiber % Moisture % Crickets FFD 50.67 14.47 7.65 11.37 Crickets GCF 17.53 4.79 1.40 76.31 Crickets GRU 21.32 6.01 3.20 69.07 Crickets ZMC 20.00 5.00 1.00 75.00 Fly Larvae GRU 15.58 7.81 3.46 68.18 Grasshopper ETC 18.30 2.60 4.60 72.00 Grasshopper ZMC 20.80 2.20 4.40 71.20 Mealworm FFD 46.64 25.28 6.74 9.56 Mealworm Larvae (Worms) GCF 19.70 9.78 2.60 66.07 Mealworm Larvae (Worms) GRU 20.27 12.27 1.73 62.44 Mealworms ENFD 46.64 25.28 6.74 9.56 Mealworms ETC 17.00 5.00 1.00 70.00 Mealworms ZMC 17.00 5.00 1.00 70.00 ReptiWorms 15.71 8.09 69.46 Snails (De-shelled) ZMC 15.40 17.00 6.30 64.20 Silkworms ETC 15.00 5.60 2.30 75.90 Snails (Shelled) ETC 18.80 0.60 3.20 76.00 Superworms GCF 22.28 17.10 2.10 59.67 Superworms GRU 17.41 17.89 6.80 59.37 Waxworms ENFD 18.80 0.60 3.20 76.00 Waxworms GRU 15.50 22.19 7.69 61.73   ENFD – Exotic Nutrition’s Freeze Dried ETC – Exo Terra Canned FFD – Fluker’s Freeze Dried GCF – Gahnn’s Cricket Farm GRU – Grubco ZMC – Zoo Med’s Canned Please...

Insect Variety Comparison

May 25, 2013 by

Crickets Crickets can be purchased live from pet stores or online from insect suppliers. Live crickets should be “gut loaded.” The food the cricket has eaten (in its gut) is also beneficial to your hedgehog. Gut loaded crickets have more vitamins, minerals, calcium, and nutrition than a cricket that hasn’t been fed properly. Live crickets can be pre-killed or stunned by placing them in the freezer for hedgehogs that have not had the experience of hunting crickets or who are not adept at hunting crickets. Crickets left in the freezer for only a short amount of time will revive, so if you are intending to kill them they should be left in the freezer overnight. Crickets should be maintained in a large aquarium with a screen or mesh lid or other specialized container. Cardboard egg crates provide hiding places and keep the crickets from trampling each other. They should be fed a high-calcium cricket food and water should be provided via carrots, sweet potatoes, a moist sponge on a shallow dish, or specialized cricket gel. Freeze dried crickets are brittle and should be stored in plastic containers to prevent crumbling. Earthworms and Night Crawlers According to Becca at Daisy Meadows, “Night crawlers and earthworms are just about guaranteed to give your hedgehog foul smelly, liquidy poos, and cutting them into manageable portions is almost as icky as the poo that the hedgehog produces.” Earthworms...

Transition From The Breeder’s Home To Your Home...

May 25, 2013 by

 When to Feed Your Hedgehog Hedgehogs are typically crepuscular (awake during dusk and dawn) to nocturnal animals. Wild hedgehogs typically spend most of their awake-time hunting for food. We feed our animals in the morning because that is what our schedule allows. Our animals know the routine and are very well adjusted. Most of our hedgehogs come out and take a nibble of their favorite part of the mix and then go back to sleep and eat the rest in the evening. Other hedgehog owners find that evening feeding works well for them and it certainly doesn’t hurt hedgehogs to adjust to a new routine. Moist or wet food or treats should be left in the cage for about four hours to prevent spoilage. This needs to be kept in mind while developing a routine. Your hedgehog will adjust to feeding at any time during the day or evening but it is important to be consistent in feeding at the same time every day. Shipping Stress Overview Baby hedgehogs in transition to new homes are subject to “shipping” stress.  Shipping stress occurs in all types of animals and can occur at any age. The most common problems during shipping stress are diarrhea or loose stools, and/or not eating. Many hedgehogs are happy to discover a new wheel and be so absorbed with running that they forget to eat, drink, and attempt to use the...

Diet Selection Criteria

May 25, 2013 by

Overview Selecting a diet is one of the most important decisions you can make for your pet. This guide contains diet recommendations that are based on information we have gathered from other breeders (both large and small scale), nutrition experts, veterinarians, and other experts, as well as our own 15+ years of hedgehog breeding experience. Diet plays an important role in reproduction, growth of babies, the overall health of your pet, and in longevity. We have attempted to address basic hedgehog nutrition in our Nutrition Overview article. Our hedgehog diet has evolved over the years and will probably change in the future as we learn more and new products are developed. We have tried and tested just about every hedgehog specific food out there as well as many other breeder recommendations.There are several key components that will ultimately help you decide on the best choice of food for your hedgehog. We as owners have to educate ourselves so that we can make better choices for our pets since they do not get to decide what is best for themselves. Not all foods are created equal, but keep in mind the perfect food has not yet been determined. Nutritional Content There are a lot of foods that have many of the same ingredients, but the amount of each ingredient as well as the quality will determine how “nutritious” the food is. Many breeders and hedgehog...

Treats Purpose & Guidelines

May 24, 2013 by

Purpose of Treats Providing treats to your pet hedgehog is both beneficial to you and your pet. We enjoy offering the treats and watching our pets benefit from our efforts. Variety One of the primary reasons for feeding treats to your pet is to provide a variety in their diet. The Hedgehog Diet Overview describes why variety is beneficial to your hedgehog. Different tastes and textures of foods provide enrichment as well as a source of nutrients that may be missing from its staple diet. Environmental Enrichment “Hiding” or scattering dry food treats encourages the hedgehog to forage as it would in its natural environment. Dry treats are preferred over moist treats, which will spoil if undiscovered, when hiding or scattering food. Stimulating hedgehog activity encourages exercise, which is beneficial to your hedgehog’s overall health. Bonding The giver of treats is always more welcome than empty hand. A happy hedgehog is more social and will look forward to handling and interaction. Tempting Taste Buds Hedgehogs can suddenly stop eating due to illness, depression, or stress. By knowing their favorite treats or foods, you can often tempt a hedgehog into eating when they aren’t inclined to eat their regular food. Having a list of foods they like and don’t like will not only help you, but also your hedgehog sitter if you should happen to leave your hedgehog in another person’s care. Knowing your hedgehogs...

Environmental Stress & Not Eating...

May 24, 2013 by

New Environment It is very common for hedgehogs to eat or drink very little the first day or two in its new home. Maintaining the same diet your hedgehog was fed at the breeders will certainly help your new pet adjust more quickly. See our article Diet and Transition. Temperature Temperatures that are too hot or too cold are a stress to your hedgehog. While hedgehogs in the wild are used to experiencing temperature fluctuations, pet hedgehogs in captivity do not tolerate temperature changes as well. A hedgehog that is too hot will lay flat on it’s tummy with all four legs stretched out in sort of a “splat” and will probably be taking quick, short breaths. Moving it to a room with recommended temperatures should slowly cool the hedgehog. A hedgehog that is too cold will attempt to go into hibernation, which is not natural to African Pygmy hedgehogs, and it might die if not found in time and warmed up. It will be in a ball and refuse to unroll or if it does unroll it will move slowly and wobble or even fall. When you feel their tummy it will be cold and clammy. A chilled hedgehog should be warmed up slowly and not overheated. It should then be taken to an experienced veterinarian for check up. See our Temperature Requirements article and Keeping Your Hedgehog Warm article for more information...

Determining If Your Hedgehog Is Eating Enough...

May 21, 2013 by

Variation Between Animals Hedgehogs will eat different amounts depending on their stage in growth, metabolism, and activity level. The quality and type of food also plays a role in how much a hedgehog needs to eat to meet its nutritional requirements.   Read our Digestibility and Nutrition article for more information on this topic. Environmental stress factors including temperature, noise, light, and travel may vary hedgehog’s eating habits.  See our Environmental Stress and Eating document for more information on this topic. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact amount that will determine if your hedgehog is eating enough. Using the following guidelines will help you gain a better understanding of your pet’s needs. Monitor Water Consumption Dehydration can become a problem with hedgehogs, just as it can with any other animal. Be sure to keep fresh, clean water available to your hedgehog at all times. Water that has sat out more than a day will no longer taste fresh and can grow harmful bacteria. Water bowls need to be scrubbed and disinfected every day before adding fresh water. Hedgehogs will kick shavings into the bowl, as well as drop crumbs of food in the water. There will also be occasional bits of feces left behind, so be sure to check on the water bowl both in the morning and before going to bed for the night. Water bottles should be cleaned on a daily basis and the...

Daily Monitored Feeding

May 21, 2013 by

Overview There are many differences in opinion whether hedgehogs should be free-fed or should have daily monitored feeding. There are some people that firmly believe hedgehogs should have food in front of them at all times and that hedgehogs will not over-eat. However, it is very common in many animal species to only be fed once per day and we have found that Daily Monitored Feeding works the best for us. Please note:  baby hedgehogs, nursing moms, or slim body type hedgehogs should not be limited in the amount of food they receive but at the same time their food intake should be monitored closely. Advantages of Daily Monitored Feeding Daily rationed feeding helps to prevent over-eating, obesity, and the health problems associated with obesity.  Most human diet plans are based on this same principal. Many breeders believe that monitoring your hedgehog’s food intake will keep your hedgehog from becoming obese. Obesity and its associated health disorders are very common problems in pet hedgehogs. The method of daily monitored feeding will quickly alert you if your hedgehog has suddenly stopped eating and allow you to investigate and find out why. Many breeders prefer to give their hedgehogs fresh food every day rather than allowing some food to sit out for what may be a period of several days. Determining the Appropriate Amount to Feed It is recommended that you give your adult hedgehog only...

Nutrition

May 5, 2013 by

In the Wild Hedgehogs are insectivores and like many other insectivores they can eat one third to one hundred percent of their body weight in insects and food every night. Hedgehogs eat the whole insect including the hard exoskeleton. Wild hedgehogs seem to have a preference for soft-bodied insects such as centipedes and millipedes when available. (Graffam) They are also opportunistic omnivores and may feed on small vertebrates they can catch or carrion they encounter. Birds’ eggs are said to be a hedgehog favorite. Hedgehogs do not have a cecum, which is the lower end of the colon in other animals. Herbivores have a relatively large cecum, hosting a number of bacteria, which aid in enzymatic breakdown of plant matter such as cellulose whereas carnivores have only a small portion of a cecum called vermiform appendix. Hedgehogs have been known to eat some seeds, soft fruit, and vegetation. Their body is not designed to digest plant matter; it is probable that they eat these foods because there is a shortage of their preferred diet. Traditionally, hedgehogs are a welcome friend in gardens and will never become agricultural pests. What We Know A majority of the hedgehog diet information available today originates from research by Dr. Graffam-Carlsen of the Bronx Zoo. She presented her research at Go Hog Wild 1998, a convention of hedgehog enthusiasts. Like humans and other animals, hedgehogs need a blend of...

Pet Pro’s Spike’s Ultra

May 5, 2013 by

About Pet-Pro Products Pet-Pro Products is a small company committed to the development of specialized animal food and animal health products. Individual formulas are developed for specific animals and “cooked” (extruded) to provide the highest quality nutrition possible. Each product provides great taste, quality nutrition, and excellent value. The Pet-Pro Difference Almost all Pet-Pro Basic Diets are extruded (cooked) using friction as the sole source of heat. This patented process provides benefits that include: Increased digestibility Gelatination of starch Sterilization of each product Denaturization of enzyme inhibitors Texturizing of each product Intentional Selection of Ingredients Ingredients are carefully selected for maximum digestibility and nutrient absorption.  Hedgehogs have a very short digestive tract (no caecum) compared to other animals. Each ingredient is selected to furnish certain amino acids (proteins), carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Each ingredient is included in specific amounts to balance the total diet formula. Ingredients are selected for hedgehog’s unique nutritional requirements.  Hedgehogs are prone to fatty liver disease and cancer, so vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients are carefully chosen for the hedgehog’s unique needs. Grains have incomplete proteins since they do not include all amino acids. According to The Biology Project in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at University of Arizona: Amino acids play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. The 20 amino acids that are found within proteins convey a vast...