Is your cute hedgehog putting on a lot of weight? Is it just lazy and likes sitting around all day? Does he look like a literal ball of fur now? Well, if you are facing these issues then it’s okay to say that you have one of the overweight hedgehogs.
Having a hedgehog as a pet is fun. They are super cute and makes any dull day happy. What is not good is an obese hedgehog. Though they still continue to look cute and adorable, it is highly dangerous and unhealthy for your beloved pet.
Your fat hedgehog might be growing fatter due to the lack of exercise or due to eating fatty food constantly. Obesity among hedgehogs is a common problem and can cause a lot of complications.
But what all can you do to take care of your obese hedgehog? Here are a few pointers:
OverWeight Hedgehogs: Causes
Before getting on solving the problem obesity, its crucial to know what leads to obesity among hedgehogs so that such problems can be avoided in the future. The primary reason for weight gaining among hedgehogs is overeating. These cute little creatures can nibble on food almost throughout the day!
However, just because it looks cute, doesn’t mean its good to do. Hedgehogs need 30-70 calories a day, that is 1-3 tablespoon of food. Thus, if you are giving anything more than that, it might be the reason for your hedgehog’s obesity.
Overweight hedgehogs does not exercise at all, which further adds to its weight gain! Generally, hedgehogs are lazy animals and prefer resting throughout the day. In addition to that, if they have a small cage, their ability to move around for a while is also restricted.
Even though you might have a hedgehog exercise wheel installed for your little darling, still enough space to move around will be required.
While overeating and lack of exercise are the two main reasons why hedgehogs put on weight, multiple overweight hedgehog suffer due to the genetic pattern.
For such reasons, be very cautious about the diet you give to your hedgehog. Consult a vet if required and formulate a well thought out diet chart.
Problems Faced By Overweight Hedgehogs:
Your pet is your lifeline. You might be in the habit of waking up every morning to check on your adorable darling who might be scuttling around, doing utterly cute things. Its a sheer joy to come back home to find your hedgehog all energetic and in the pink of health.
Though you might have an obese hedgehog, who cares? As long it’s happy and jumping around the cage. That is where we go wrong. One fine day you might return home to find that your hedgehog is utterly sick, almost lifeless. The very thought makes you shudder right? As bad as it might sound, it is a probability. Thus you must act on it from now on.
Obesity is a disease which affects hedgehogs and humans alike. Some health impacts of obesity among hedgehogs can be:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Fatty Liver
- The high chances of developing a tumor
- Early Death.
Since your hedgehog does not understand what is good for it, it is your responsibility to ensure that it does not binge all throughout the day. We understand that you love your hedgehog and denying it what it loves to eat will break your heart. But remember that’s is for their well being. They must eat right to be fit and fine.
How To Help Overweight Hedgehogs?
In order to get your obese hedgehog in shape, you need to tweak the equation of calorie in vs calorie out. Like humans, the hedgehogs too must intake a small amount of calorie and must burn out the extra to remain physically fit and active.
In that light, it’s important to focus on the two primary pillars of weight loss:
- Restricting daily calorie intake of your hedgehog
- Increase in the daily calorie expense of your hedgehog
However, do not begin the weight loss regime for your hedgehog abruptly. In fact, it is ideal to introduce a transition period where you slowly change the lifestyle for your hedgehog. But if you feel that your hedgehog is obese rather than just overweight then its best to have a discussion with a veterinarian in your locality.
Get Your Hedgehog To Excercise:
Believe it or not, exercising is an excellent way to bond with your hedgehog. In addition to that, exercising will get your hedgehog to lose weight. Your hedgehog will at first not understand what to do. Being all ball like, it will start searching for food.
You can use this to your advantage. Add a small piece of food to the hedgehog exercise wheel. However, do not add anything fatty. Stick to a healthy option. The food can lure your little darling to exercise!
In addition to a hedgehog exercise wheel, get your hedgehog a small hedgehog exercise ball, a playing maze, and such other things! You may wonder “do hedgehogs swim?” Oh yes, they do! In fact, swimming is a good water-based exercise for them. However, do not opt for anything fancy. Just a small tub can do the trick.
If you have an obese hedgehog choose any one of the above-mentioned activity or a combination of two. They are relatively easy and provide quick results.
This is one pillar in which almost every hedgehog owner fail. Most owners do not understand the dietary requirements of their hogs and end up feeding them unsuitable food. Additionally, they also get their hogs to overeat which makes the situation even worse!
If you are confused about what to get your hedgehog to eat, then it’s best to consult a professional. A vet can make the best diet chat for your hedgehog covering a large range of foodstuffs that your hedgehog can eat. Additionally, if you are feeding staple food to your hedgehog change that habit immediately, as it’s not suited for them. Replace their daily diet with high-quality hedgehog meal for better results.
Help your hog remain cute and active!