Providing a balanced diet for your hedgehog is super important! Proper diet can help fight illness and parasites attacking your little one, and can help prevent fatty liver disease and certain cancers.
But how do you choose a good food? It’s all in the ingredients!
1st: Check the “Guaranteed Analysis” table. The Hedgehog Welfare Society recommends a food with at least 20% crude protein and between 5%-15% crude fat.
2nd: Check the First FIVE Ingredients. Your first ingredient should be meat. Anything that has “by-product” or “brewers” is not healthy and is mainly there for filler. For example; Chicken by-product meal is bones, cartilage, skin, and offal and undeveloped eggs. It may also contain feathers. Chicken meal, however is actually ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat.
3rd: All the extras. Lots of foods add all kinds of catchy, tantalizing ingredients that may or may not be beneficial to your hog. Hedgehogs don’t really need fruits and vegetables (F&V) in their diet so brands like Blue Buffalo that have a high amount of F&V may not get eaten. On the flip side, some extras are really really good. DHA, Omega 3 & 6, and vitamins and minerals are essential to diet and some brands don’t add these into the food.
We’ve also found that a completely grain-free diet may cause the hedgehog to have looser stool. They do need some fiber! If you choose a grain free option, mix it with another food with grain in it.