Hedgehog Feeding Tips

As I was randomly browsing through the Internet for pet ideas for my family, I came upon this website that discusses raising exotic pets such as hedgehogs. They became a popular choice because of their unique appearance and easy-care requirements. Hedgehogs as pets are more suitable for busy households like ours because they don’t need much attention. Most importantly, they can also entertain children as they would normally play and do basic tricks in their playground.

But unlike dogs which you can feed with store-bought dog foods, I wonder what to feed hedgehogs if ever I get one as a pet.

Hedgehogs are insectivores which mean they feed primarily on insects. In the wild, they are known as opportunistic eaters because they also eat mollusks such as snails and worms, ground beetles, slugs, caterpillars, crickets, small animals and vegetation. This information is an important consideration when raising a hedgehog as a pet.

When raising a hedgehog as a domestic pet, you need to feed it with foods that hedgehogs commonly eat in the wild. You can easily find some insects in your garden as its food. However, during summer or winter when these crawlies become scarce, your pet will benefit from supplemental feeding of commercial hedgehog foods. Look for feeds that contain chitin which is a material present in the exoskeleton of insects. Many breeders consider this material as a vital component of a hedgehog diet. Canned or freeze-dried waxworms, mealworms and crickets may also be available and you can use them as treats. But if hedgehog food is not available, you can also use low fat and high in protein cat food as a substitute. You could also feed your pet with table foods such as cooked lean mean in small portions.

Basically, hedgehog daily diet should be composed of a combination of any of the following:

  • Meat-based  high quality dog or cat food
  • Unsalted crushed or chopped peanuts
  • Dried mealworms
  • Small amount of dried fruits and vegetables
  • Sunflower hearts

As hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, avoid giving your pet dairy products especially milk because they may cause stomach problems on your pet. But occasionally, you could give low-fat plain yogurt which contains healthy bacteria that process lactose. Also avoid foods that have added sugar and insects that were caught in the wild or using bait because they may contain traces of insecticides that can be harmful to your pet. It is best if you have your own garden where you can get them.

Hedgehogs have the tendency to be obese. So if you notice that your pet is gaining much weight, you could start cutting back on high fat foods and encourage it to play or exercise. Doing so can also help your pet lower its risk of developing a fatty liver disease which is common among these animals.

From what I read in several sources, hedgehogs have a unique diet composed of a combination of insects, meat, fruits and vegetables. It is important that pet owners should give their pet the right nutrition for their overall health and to avoid obesity and certain health conditions.

 

Is There Something to Worry About Newborn Hiccups?

parenting

Have you experienced having a period while pregnant? How about having a period while lactating? If your answer to these questions are no, then perhaps you will say yes if I will ask you if you have experienced dealing with conditions such as newborn hiccups. These are just some of the common problems mothers have to deal with in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

I am also a mother of twins and can relate to what many women have experienced. When my twins were newly born, I also experienced waking up at night to their cry. More often, they were just hungry but there were also times when their cry was because of hiccups. Among the various pregnancy and parenthood problems, dealing with hiccups for me is one of the most challenging because they are pretty unpredictable. You will not know when they will happen and why. I’m just glad my girls never experienced a serious problem in connection with their hiccups. But I heard of some infants who did.

Now, should you worry about hiccups on infants? Hiccups are more common among newborns and infants who are under one year and the frequency diminishes as they mature. The problem normally occurs after feeding and can last for several minutes up to an hour. Some leading pediatricians assert that infant hiccups are caused by feeding or by a sudden drop in the temperature of the surroundings. They are generally considered to be harmless so parents should have nothing to worry about. However, if hiccups become persistent and are accompanied by coughing and irritability and are already interfering your baby’s feeding and sleeping, that could be a serious problem. It could be a sign of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In such case, you should see your doctor.

Although hiccups are not something parents should panic about, they are still something that must be remedied because hiccups cause some discomforts on your baby. More often, they could disrupt sleep or cause spitting. One of the simplest things you can do is to keep your baby upright for at least 20 minutes after feeding. You could also try giving your baby smaller foods but more frequently, to avoid acid reflux which is one of the major causes of hiccups. Also, letting your baby burp after feeding is important especially if you are feeding on bottles. If despite doing these tips you still notice frequent hiccups on your baby and are really worried about, you may consult your doctor for some advice.

Hiccups are a common occurrence among infants. I know this not only because I have read about them and experienced them with my twins but also because I also talked with many parents who experienced the same problem with their babies. When my twins were newly born, they had frequent hiccups. As they matured, the hiccups became less frequent. And I can understand why some parents will immediately panic if their baby has hiccups because I too panicked at first. But now, I already know that as long as your baby is breathing, feeding and sleeping normally, you should not worry about hiccups.