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...

Introduction To Biting Articles

Jun 24, 2013 by

Introduction  Most hedgehogs do not bite. Any animal with teeth has the potential to bite, so hedgehog owners must understand the potential of getting bit is always present. Hedgehogs aren’t like dogs, where the bite is usually an intentionally mean or aggressive act. Their main line of defense is to ball up and use their spines for protection, rather than to bite. Hedgehogs do investigate the world around them with their nose, eyes, and mouth.  Quite literally, your pig probably doesn’t even realize she’s hurting you. Also keep in mind that hedgehogs are *hard-wired* to put new/odd/unusual things in their mouths, chew on it and then anoint with it.  So in a way, it’s a compliment your hedgie is biting you, because she finds you interesting. The good news is that hedgehogs’ mouths are designed to crush bugs and not fingers! Their tiny teeth and elongated jaw make it difficult to get in a good chomp when compared to the average cranky hamster. One need not be fearful of a hedgehog bite, but we do want to make you aware that it can happen and when it happens, what to do and how to understand your hedgehog’s biting. Proper understanding of hedgehog behavior will help decrease the risk and/or frequency of biting. How Bad Does it Hurt? Hedgehogs have fairly small teeth designed to crunch insects. They do not have the typical rodent incisors...

FAQ

Jun 11, 2013 by

Answers to most of our frequently asked questions can be found on our website under the tab“Hedgehog Info.” Our most popular link is our Available Animals page. Please feel free to explore our website – there is a lot of useful information there as well 😉 Here is a list of our most popular FAQs: About Our Babies Decision Making Purchasing Options Appointments Pricing Products Shipping and On the Road Health Care At...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...