Hedgehog feeding guide

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Fussy is often an understatement!

Hedgehogs are creatures of habit. This tendancy can lead them to become very fussy eaters. Often it can be difficult to introduce new food items, especially fruits and veggies to many hedgehogs. Sometimes it does not make a difference what you try to tempt them with, they simply refuse to try it. None the less, we still offer all of our hedgehogs a variety of fresh food items daily. Those of them who choose to eat it seem to really enjoy the variety while those who don't want to try any new item, often never eat anything but their kitten/cat food. We still continue to offer it anyway. That way just in case they get the urge to try it, the food is readily available to them. Sometimes we trick fussy eaters by adding a bit of freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices to their drinking water. We find that berries and berry juice are the most readily accepted fruits.

We have had hedgehogs that live long, healthy and happy lives, eating little more than good quality kitten and cat food and drinking lots of fresh water.

Below we have attached the feeding guide that we use to feed our own hedgehogs. It offers variety and because we have several animals to feed at the same time it is easy for us to use but it may not be practical for the average single pet owner. However it should give fellow hedgehog caregivers a good idea of some of the items that can be fed to hedgehogs.

With close to one and half million hits to our site many people who are familiar with us at heritage-pets.com already know that pet nutrition is very important to us. We take pet nutrition and animal health very seriously.

There are a few but not a lot of companies that put any effort into species-specific nutritional studies. For most of the animals we raise we typically have to pay very close attention and conduct our own independent studies before we can whole-heartedly endorse a particular pet nutritional product.

For the past couple of years quite a few other hobbyists and ourselves have been studying different food products. We all seem to agree that ‘fish based’ ‘grain free’ cat foods are winning out. Fish protein is highly digestible and the body easily converts it into muscle. Fish is highly palatable and most animals seem to eat it readily. I suppose this only makes sense since for the past few decades’ scientists and other health professionals have all been touting the benefits of fish as an excellent source of animal protein for us humans.

We have been experimenting with several brands of pet foods long enough to recognise the excellent results from feeding them to our animals. We are confident that we are doing the right thing and are now in the process of making the switch to a few comparable ‘fish based’ ‘grain premium quality pet foods.

We are working together with manufactures hoping to compile a list of the foods and where the best places to buy these foods. Once we know that the majority of our customers are able to purchase brands across the country we will post their brand names on our website.

In the meantime if you are looking for a good food to feed to your pet, perhaps you should consider grain free fish protein based pet foods. We have even switched our cats and dogs to it and their coats look amazing.

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CLEAN, FRESH WATER MUST BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES !!

We are often asked if it is true that hedgehogs, like to eat insects and if it is necessary to supplement their diets with live bbbbb..ugs?

NO! We do not feel that it is necessary to feed insects but yes, some hedgehogs do enjoy them. Just like many well fed house cats, some will pounce on a mouse, kill and eat it, others will, at the very least play with it without eating it and some will totally ignore it. Hedgehogs are very similar.

At one time we offered all of our hedgehogs insects (live, frozen or freeze dried). A few hedgehogs did enjoy them but for the most part the live bugs often escaped and the dead bugs just sat in the food dishes until we threw them out.

Approximately 10 years ago we stopped offering insects and started to supplement their diets with small pieces of cooked meat, eggs, fish and shrimp. Since then we have not noticed any ill health effects in our herd.

I certainly would not recommend feeding wild caught insects, as they may be a host to dangerous parasites. Store bought insects may not offer anything more than environmental stimulation. Captive raised, store bought insects are often not cared for properly and do not offer much in the way of adequate nutrition.

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Do to time constraints, we are not currently scheduling visits to our home in Mississauga  however we still welcome  visits to our home in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario.  (Just under an hour from Mississauga)

We never commit to a sale or schedule an appointment via email. Please call us at 289-99h-pets (289-990-4738) in Niagara Falls or 647-725-1111 or in the GTA. We are usually available to receive phone calls 7 days a week between (9AM-10PM EST) or you are welcome to email us anytime at  heritagepets@cogeco.ca

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