Can Hedgehogs Eat Bread? The One Food You Should Never Feed Your Pet

We are all overbuying bread. Every week there is too much leftover virtually all the time. But is it possible to give a hedgehog some bread? Here are some questions you should be aware of. Can hedgehogs eat bread? You shouldn’t feed bread to hedgehogs. They lack an efficient digestive system that would allow them to handle it properly. 

Similarly, bread fills hedgehogs’ tummies and has little nutritional value, making it difficult for them to eat other, healthier meals. There are several nutrient-dense foods that your hedgehog will like and find delightful. Here’s all you need to know about a hedgehog’s diet and the delicious goodies it may consume. We will next look at some alternative recommended items that you might present instead, which are far more deserving.

Hedgehog’s Digestive System

The digestive tract of an omnivore is quite similar to that of a hedgehog. Their gut is smooth and their stomach is basic. Additionally, unlike omnivores, they do not need a varied diet since the anatomy of their ileocolic junction is not designed to handle a wide variety of foods.

While some wild hedgehogs consume plants, this is usually only when their normal food sources are unavailable. Hedgehogs often don’t find much nutritional benefit in plants.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Bread?

Do Hedgehogs Eat Bread

Hedgehogs cannot eat bread because their digestive systems are not equipped to handle it. This suggests that eating bread may cause bloating or upset stomach. Instead of digesting bread, it will sit in your hedgehog’s stomach for a long, occupying space that might be utilized to digest nutritious nutrients. Giving bread to your hedgehog may cause vitamin shortage and other health issues. 

Hedgehog’s Diet and Nutrition Requirements

Hedgehogs are obligate carnivores and insectivores, thus a diet heavy in protein is ideal for them. The diets of wild and farmed hedgehogs differ greatly from one another due to their very different lives.

Does Bread Kill Hedgehogs?

is bread bad for hedgehogs

If a hedgehog eats too much bread at once or over an extended period, it might die from nutritional inadequacies caused by the bread. Therefore, eating bread might be harmful in the short and long terms.

Bread has the potential to kill a hedgehog in several ways in the near term. Suffocation might result from a hard fragment being stuck in their throats.

Similarly, mold may form on stale bread. This might then result in a terrible sickness that could kill the hedgehog right away or lead to difficulties if it is fed to one. However, the presence of bread may also draw disease-carrying rodents. This is more likely to happen if food is served outside and is not cleared away right away.

A hedgehog will eventually become underweight if bread is the sole food source offered or accessible over the long run. Additionally, malnutrition severely lowers an animal’s quality of life and increases susceptibility to various illnesses and infections. Therefore, bread may be quite hazardous to these creatures even if it seems harmless.

What Can I Give A Hedgehog To Eat?

At this point, you might be thinking about what you might give a hedgehog instead. Fortunately, you have lots of alternatives. And here’s some excellent news. Diverse diets are thought to be preferable for meeting hedgehogs’ unique and somewhat unusual nutritional requirements. A variation can be created by combining blended dry foods or by topping a staple dish with a few healthful snacks to enrich the diet.

Low-fat meat, such as roasted chicken breast or turkey, is a great option. These meals are easily digestible for hedgehogs. Live insects are also quite appreciated; in fact, hedgehogs in the wild are said to consume over 30-75% of their total weight in insects per night!

They also consume the entire insect intact, which gives them an abundance of insect protein (chitin). In addition, supplying high-quality dry cat food – mostly hard biscuits and little kibble – is a good alternative. 

Wet cat food can be supplied, but you must ensure that the hedgehog gets adequate fiber from other items in the diet and that it is placed down fresh to avoid spoilage.

Consider this: some hedgehogs enjoy treats, while others will only eat their dry, main diet. It is something you will have to test and evaluate. When doing so, make sure to introduce only one new treat at a time. This allows you to see how a hedgehog reacts to the reward and plan accordingly. 

Wild Hedgehogs vs. Domesticated Hedgehogs

Wild hedgehogs live in a variety of settings, including woods, deserts, and people’s backyards. These hedgehogs burrow and like resting in subterranean nests constructed of twigs and leaves.

Wild hedgehogs spend much of their awake hours scuttling around and hunting for food. They are not renowned for storing food, thus they may roam for kilometers in search of anything to eat. Also, hedgehogs in colder climates will hibernate.

Given these considerations, wild hedgehogs often eat an insectivorous diet. Insects are abundant in fat, which gives hedgehogs a lot of energy and helps them bulk up when winter hits. 

Wild hedgehogs generally consume beetles, caterpillars, and earthworms. They can also eat animal protein and frequently raid bird nests to devour eggs and young birds.

Domesticated hedgehogs’ diet is more similar to that of an obligate carnivore because they do not graze for kilometers or hibernate. They thrive on a high-protein diet that has less fat than a wild hedgehog’s diet.

Many hedgehog owners feed their hedgehogs cat food since cats are also obligate carnivores. However, specialist hedgehog food is widely accessible through internet retailers, and feeding them this sort of food guarantees that it satisfies all of their daily nutritional needs. 

When you feed your hedgehog specific food, you’ll have precise measures for how much it should consume, which makes it simpler to keep an eye on its weight. Since hedgehogs may easily gain weight and become obese, it’s critical to monitor their weight closely. Using a scale to weigh your hedgehog once a week and keeping a regular weight log may be quite beneficial.

What Can Hedgehogs Eat?

What do Hedgehogs Eat

The following are some instances of foods that hedgehogs can safely consume:

1. Live Insects

Hedgehogs hunt and consume a lot of insects in the wild. Insects make up a large portion of the hedgehog’s natural diet.

Hedgehogs get enough nutrition from insects, which are high in protein, to develop. Insects that hedgehogs consume include:

  • Mantids in prayer
  • The grasshoppers
  • Roaches Crickets
  • Butterfly and moth

Give your hedgehogs these insects as rewards if you can locate them. 

2. Pet Food

Cat food is appropriate for hedgehogs and has the proper nutrition. Hedgehog growth and development may be supported by cat food that is high in proteins and has enough fiber, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

Hedgehogs can benefit from eating fruits and vegetables. Hedgehogs are omnivores, meaning they consume both plant and animal goods, although they are mostly insectivores, meaning they like eating insects. To avoid wastage, you should provide fruits and vegetables to hedgehogs on occasion rather than daily. 

4. Insect Larvae

Hedgehogs enjoy eating protein-rich insect larvae. Insect larvae, or maggots, are the larval stages of many insects. Hedgehogs may eat the following bug larvae:

  • Mealworms
  • Black soldier fly larvae.
  • Grub worms
  • Housefly maggots
  • Moth and butterfly larvae (caterpillars).

It is important to remember that some insect larvae (particularly those found in unclean locations) might contain viruses, thus it is best to raise your own or purchase them from feed mills and stores rather than gathering them in the wild. Mealworms, black army fly larvae, and other insect larvae are extremely easy to raise. 

5. Grains and Seeds

Grains and Seeds

Grains and seeds are plant-based protein sources for hedgehogs. Examples of hedgehog-friendly grains include:

  • Wheat Barley
  • Oats Maize Millet

You should feed grains and seeds to your hedgehogs. Hedgehogs may reject grains at first, but they will eventually learn to accept and like grains and seeds. 

What Can Hedgehogs Not Eat?

Here are some food products that you shouldn’t offer your hedgehogs:

1. Raw Meat

Hedgehogs are neither carnivores (animals that eat meat) nor detrivores (animals that consume rotting flesh, such as vultures). You should avoid feeding raw meat to your hedgehogs. If you must feed them meat, make sure it is cooked and cut into little pieces. Do not offer them big quantities of meat.

2. Raisins and Other Dry Fruits

These arid fruits are loaded with sugar. Your hedgehogs’ stomachs may become disturbed by them. It is not advisable to feed your hedgehogs meals high in sugar. Give them raisins sparingly and only when necessary, if at all possible. 

3. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are hazardous to many pets. They can bloat and disturb your hedgehog’s tummy. Onions and garlic repel the insects that hedgehogs like to consume. Do not feed onions or garlic to your hedgehogs. 

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits might raise the acidity of your hedgehog’s stomach. Giving hedgehogs too many citrus fruits can be harmful. You may, however, offer hedgehogs a tiny bit of citrus fruit since it contains a lot of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals. 

5. Contaminated Food

Hedgehogs should not be fed moldy foods or food from trashcans. To keep your hedgehogs healthy, simply feed them nutritious foods. Hedgehogs should not be fed near their own or other animals’ feces, as feces can taint foods. 


Q1 . What Pets Can Eat Bread?

If hedgehogs can’t eat bread, can other pets? No, not necessarily.

Here are several pets that can eat bread. 

  • Pets: Dogs and Cats
  • Guinea pigs
  • Mice, chickens, and other birds

As you can see, many different creatures can consume bread. 

Q2 . Can Hedgehogs Drink Milk?

Milk and milk products are unhealthy for hedgehogs since they contain lactose. Hedgehogs are lactose-intolerant, thus you should not offer them milk or milk-derived items.

Q3. Why Do Hedgehogs Need a Lot of Proteins?

Hedgehogs require a lot of protein because of their quills. Hedgehogs’ quills are comprised of keratin, a hard protein utilized for protection in many animals. Your fingernails are composed of keratin. Hedgehogs must consume a high-protein diet to produce a large number of quills. 

Q4. Can hedgehogs eat baby food?

Hedgehogs cannot eat baby food as a meal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer them little quantities of it sometimes.

Q5. Can Bread Kill Hedgehogs?

Bread is not very harmful to hedgehogs. When administered in tiny doses, your hedgehogs may develop stomach distress or bloating. When you feed your hedgehogs too much bread, they may develop vitamin deficiencies, seem sick, and become feeble.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this article gives information in detail about the question can hedgehogs eat bread? Hedgehogs cannot digest bread. Instead of providing your hedgehogs bread, provide them healthier options such as insects, maggots, cat food, veggies, etc.

Hedgehogs have a fairly restricted natural diet, thus they will benefit from consuming protein-rich foods. However, you can occasionally treat your hedgehog. Just make sure it’s not bread, as bread is not nutritious for hedgehogs. If you take the correct measures while offering hedgehogs treats, they can safely learn to like a variety of foods.