Considering that the dawn of time (okay, not that long, yet considering that hedgehogs ended up being preferred as animals) hedgehog owners and breeders have debated what food is best to feed to their spiny good friends. The fantastic food dispute proceeds today as well as exotics veterinarians, breeders, hog proprietors, as well as a huge quantity of other sources still have the tendency to disagree on just what food is best. Let’s explore this topic further.
Why Do People Feed Pet Cat Food to Hedgehogs?
Historically, business hedgehog food was not constantly available, and then when it initially became available, it wasn’t as healthy as lots of people had wished for.
Cat food is readily available to practically everyone, no matter where they live, and consists of healthy protein and also is a little kibble that hedgehogs can consume. This is why many people opted, as well as may still select, to feed a pet cat food over a hedgehog kibble. Another reason individuals may feed pet cat food to hedgehogs is that they merely remain to feed whatever the animal store or dog breeder fed after taking their brand-new hog home. Pet cat food, not dog food, is supplied because it is a smaller kibble that the majority of hedgehogs don’t have a trouble eating.
Why Do Some People Believe Hedgehog Food Isn’t the very best Choice?
Some people have just had experience with the very early days of hedgehog food, or low-quality brands of hedgehog food, therefore they feed an extremely high protein brand name of feline food rather. The protein source does not bother them and also the fiber in the diet plan replaces the chitin element. They could likewise easily obtain a high healthy protein cat food from their neighborhood grocery or animal store rather than having to buy a great hedgehog food online or drive to a specialty family pet store.
Not every animal store lugs hedgehog food, especially smaller sized shops that understand that the majority of their clients do not have pet hedgehogs.
Just what are a Hedgehog’s Nutritional Requirements?
Hedgehogs are omnivores or insectivores, relying on where you look it up. This indicates their key food must be made up of insect healthy protein (chitin) and a range of fruits, veggies, cooked meats, live pests (such as mealworms) and a lot more.
In the wild, they are opportunistic feeders as well as will certainly eat nearly whatever looks delicious. They socialize in yards and also have up to 44 little teeth to munch on almost anything they desire. Consequently we have to actually consider what we provide them to consume in captivity.
They need a mix of healthy protein, fat, carbs, fiber, water, and a lot more. Protein in the food you feed must more than 20%, fat should be in between 5 as well as 15%, as well as a great amount of fiber. Dr. Graffam, who did a lot of study on hedgehog nutritional requirements at the Bronx Zoo in the 1990s, mentions that if tinned cat food is fed to your hedgehog you should supplement it with even more fiber (Benefiber, child oatmeal, etc.) and that hedgehogs need tough foods to crisis on preserve their little teeth. A range of healthy protein resources is finest yet insect as well as fowl are easiest for hedgehogs to digest.
So, Exactly what Should I Feed My Hedgehog?
I recommend feeding a quality, completely dry, hedgehog food with at least 20% protein and also a fiber web content with dual digits as the staple food. You need to likewise see to it the food has L-carnitine detailed as an ingredient for heart health and wellness or supplement the diet regimen with a small amount (ask your exotics vet how much but normally a hedgehog requires regarding 50 mg a day for treatment of cardiomyopathy).
Several zoos, universities, parks, and also museums feed Exotic Nutrition’s Hedgehog Total Food In addition to this food you should use online pests, cooked poultry, vegetables, and fruits. A really percentage of canned pet cat food can be supplied as a reward. Stay away from seeds, raisins, and also dried out fruits and vegetables (they obtain embeded their mouths).
If you are incapable to buy your hedgehog’s food online as well as your local family pet shop doesn’t carry a quality hedgehog kibble after that the next finest thing is to feed a holistic or high-grade poultry cat food with a small kibble. Just remember though that this is not the suitable food because there is no blood meal or chitin in it like the hedgehog food consists of.