Have you decided to add this tiny and adorable creature to your family, or you already have a pet hedgehog? If you are nodding, then it is crucial to ensure that your cute friend is as happy and healthy as possible. One of the best ways to ensure that is to provide it with healthy and the best hedgehog food.
New and potential hedgie owners inexorably ask a common question “what food can hedgehogs eat?”. Obviously, they love to eat caterpillars, worms, beetles, millipedes, slugs, crickets, and snails (It is difficult to find them naturally). However, they will devour whatever you put in front of them.
Therefore, you need to know their ideal diet and give them proper food to eat if you want them to live a happy, healthy, and long life. That’s why we prepared this hedgehog food list contains the foods that your pet hedgehog should eat (to meet all its nutrition needs) and should not eat.
Check it now!
Overview of A Good Hedgehog Diet
It is very important to know the dietary needs of your pet hedgehog. Because the food your pet eats has a key impact on its health, growth, and happiness.
So, what food do hedgehogs eat? In the wild, hedgehogs eat a wide variety of food (pretty much whatever they can find). However, their main food source is insects and other invertebrates (fish, frogs, and bird’s eggs).
Notice the pattern here? These all contain a high amount of protein and a low amount of fat.
As a general rule, a hedgehog diet should be high in protein and low in fat. If you stick to these two principles, your pet will be healthy, nourished, and happy otherwise your pet’s health will suffer.
Moreover, they also love treats every once in a while. So, you can include some different options in their diet. It is not only essential to keep them happy but also ensure that they get a well-balanced food cycle and all necessary nutrients.
Best Hedgehog Food- Primary Food Options
We break up what food do hedgehogs eat into two categories:
- The main food Source (the foundation of their diet)
- Assorted snacks and treats
So, what are the main source of hedgehog food?
The answer is straightforward. The bulk of your hedgehog’s diet should be either cat or hedgehog kibble.
we highly recommend you go for cat kibble over hedgehog food. In fact, many respected breeders also encourage that you make cat kibble the core of your pet’s diet because of several good reasons:
- It comes with higher quality ingredients
- It is a cheaper option
- Numerous options are available in market
Hedgehog food formulas are specifically made to meet the nutritional requirements of your pet hedgehog. However, many breeders don’t like hedgehog food because they believe they are not made with quality ingredients. There are only a couple of hedgehog food brands that provide high-quality hedgehog kibble. But consider the following points while selecting a hedgehog food formula:
- It is harder to find than cat food
- A little bit expansive
- Not all food formulas are made for all type of hedgehogs
Here we recommend some specific brands of both cat and hedgehog kibble that will meet the exact dietary needs of your pet. We objectively select only those products that have a 4+ rating out of 5 with the maximum number of reviews on Amazon.
Low fat, high protein cat food for hedgehogs
|1||Blue Buffalo||Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 11-lb||Buy Now||Prime|
|2||Nutro||NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Indoor Natural Dry Cat Food for Healthy Weight Farm-Raised Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe, 14 lb. Bag||Buy Now||Prime|
|3||Sunseed||Sunseed Vita Prima Wholesome Nutrition Hedgehog Food All-In-One Pellet Diet, 25 oz (packaging may vary)||Buy Now||Prime|
|4||Sunseed||Sunseed 36035 Vita Prima Hedgehog Treat - Wigglers & Berries Trail Mix, 2.5oz||Buy Now||Prime|
|5||Ethical||Ethical 3-Inch Stoneware Small Animal Dish||Buy Now||Prime|
If you are looking for an ideal and wholesome diet to meet all the nutritional needs of your hedgie, Blue Buffalo freedom adult cat food may be for you! This product is rich in fiber and comes with a lot of meat-sourced protein (100% real chicken) and a decent amount of fat.
Another selling point of this product is impressive 4.7 out of 5-star ratings on Amazon with 1800 plus reviews. It is made of natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial flavor and chemicals that enhanced its flavor. So many hedgehogs do not resist this delicious food.
Moreover, This Blue Buffalo food is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and some antioxidants that are helpful in your pet’s growth. Overall, this is a balanced diet that promotes healthy digestion and the immune system that makes your hedgie nutritious and satisfied. That’s why we highly recommend blue buffalo cat food for hedgehogs.
This cat kibble is the best food for hedgehogs because of good reasons. It features farm-raised real chicken as its #1 ingredient that is the major selling point of this product. Your hedgehog gets a nourishing and wholesome diet with great taste.
Moreover, this natural food comes with 33% protein content and only 14% fat content that is fairly low. It is also rich in fiber that enhances healthy digestion. Another reason we adore this product is its non-GMO ingredients. It comprises omega-6 fatty acids that ensure the healthy skin of your hedgie.
This product has a 4.7 out of 5-star Amazon rating (3300+ reviews!) and many pet owners praise this product for its natural ingredients. Not only it tastes great but also easy to eat for hedgehogs and meet all their dietary needs.
Hedgehog Food Formulas
Sunseed is a reputable manufacturer that provides some best hedgehog food in the market. This vita prima hedgehog food is fortified with everything your hedgehog requires for a nutritionally complete diet. It comes with a decent amount of fat and rich in meat-sourced protein (a premium blend of poultry, dried mealworms, shrimp, tuna, and crab). It is suitable for almost all types of hedgies.
Furthermore, Sunseed hedgehog food is gut-loaded with fiber, omega-3, essential vitamins, probiotics, and calcium. It comes with what every hedgehog parent is looking for. This product has a 4.6 out of 5-star Amazon rating (800+ reviews!) and in our top recommendations.
Another selling point of this product is its chewing texture that is great for your pet’s dental health. Moreover, it ensures that your pet stays happy and healthy as well as grows best.
Hedgehog Snacks and Treats
A dry cat or hedgehog kibble provides enough nutrients to your pet. However, hedgehogs love to eat occasional treats and snacks. These treats or snacks go outside their typical eating routine and add variety to their meal.
This is a fantastic idea for a couple of reasons:
- It is a great way to bolster the bond between you and your adorable hedgie. If you are trying to make your hedgehog more comfortable with you. A good treat speed up this process like magic!
- These various treats provide them with extra nutrition and enrichments and keep them healthy and active.
- It is also a great way to hold them back from falling into an unfulfilling routine and will bring excitement and bliss to your hedgehog.
It’s worth pointing out that treats should be given in tiny amounts (no more than a teaspoon per serving). Some foods on the list (discussed in the below section) should be served 3-4 days per week and some should be a weekly treat! The main food source is still going to be the cat/hedgehog food you decided on earlier.
Here’s a link to the one hedgehog treat we recommend:
A recipe with the best ingredients (mealworms, vegetable oil, ground corn, dried egg, ground oats, dried bell peppers, wheat middling, and freeze-dried strawberries) that exactly hedgehog craves. Fill your hedgehog food bowl with this high-protein fun snack it deserves.
This particular package is fortified with all vital nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and probiotics that would enhance the growth and energy of your pet. It has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon (more than 1400 reviews!). This balanced and varied treat is the number one choice of many hedgehog parents.
Key Considerations When Choosing the Best Hedgehog Food
now you know that cat kibble is a good way to meet their dietary needs. But you can’t buy any random product and throw in their food dish. There are a few things you must consider first.
Dry or Moist Food
Many pet specialists recommend dry food (especially that contains chicken and other lean cuts of meat) as a fundamental source of your pet’s diet. Hard food is a little richer in fiber. That’s why we recommend dry food instead of moist food. It is also good for the health of their teeth.
As we said earlier hedgehogs eat insects (hard, wriggling, crunchy) in the wild. Dry food is a good way to give them a closer experience of how they have in the wild.
Yet, moist food is easy to eat and a good option if your hedgehog can’t chew due to illness. Don’t give moist food more often to your healthy pet.
Get Adult instead of Baby Hedgehog Food
Next, make sure you get adult food for your hedgehog instead of baby food. Baby food is smaller and easy to eat. However, it has a higher amount of fat instead of adult food that can throw your pet’s diet out of sync.
Go with the Right percentages
Always buy food that has more than 20% protein and fat between 5-15%. You can find the percentage of fat, protein, moisture, and fiber on the box or packs of the food. Make sure it provides all essential nutrients to meet your pet’s dietary needs.
Storage and Smell
We recommend that you select the food with little or no smell so you can store it without any worry. Also, you should go for food that you can store for a reasonable period.
Mix a Few Together
You can mix some high-quality food. It is a great trick to provide a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients to your hedgehog. This is not crucial at all but do if possible. It seems to look expensive but costs the same in the long run and makes your pet healthiest.
Frequently Asked Food Questions
Q: When should I feed my hedgehog?
You can feed your hedgehog around twilight (wake-up time of your pet). However, if you have a nursing or baby hedgehog, provide them an unlimited supply of food. The hedgehog food dish should be always full for hoglets. Freshwater should always be available too.
If you’re looking for the best food dish for serving a meal to your pet, here is the link of one we recommend:
- heavyweight and sturdy dish eliminate spillage
- Easy to clean
- suitable for outdoor feeding and watering
- best for hedgehogs and other small animals
Q: How much food does a hedgehog need per day?
Your little friend is prone to obesity. One tablespoon of food 2-3 times a day is enough to meet their dietary needs. Treats (fruits, veggies, and insects) should be offered in moderation.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat vegetables and fruits?
Yes! hedgehog love to eat numerous vegetables and fruits. However, they can’t digest veggies very well. So, give them diced and cooked vegetables and avoid starchy vegetables.
It’s recommended you offer fruits and veggies in moderation (3-4 days a week or once a week) due to the high sugar content.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat strawberries?
Hedgehogs can eat strawberries. Berry family contains less sugar and more fiber. However, don’t overdo it and served 3-4 days per week.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat cheese?
No!!! hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so the cheese is not good for them.
However, some hedgehogs can eat cottage cheese in very small quantities. if your friend belongs to this group, then you can give this as a rare treat.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat watermelon?
Hedgehogs look very cute while eating watermelon. They can intake too much sugar with it. So, do it in moderation.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat grapes?
No!!! Grapes are toxic and cause serious issues even if consumed in a small amount. Keep them away from your hedgie.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat apples?
Hedgehog can eat apples as well. But don’t overdo it and stick to the 3-4 days a week rule.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat carrots?
Hedgehogs enjoy eating cooked carrots. Add cooked carrots into their diet in moderation.
Q: Can hedgehogs eat bananas?
Yes! hedgehog can eat bananas. They enjoy eating these soft, tasty, and easily chewable pieces.
Additional Options for Their Diet
Remember that hedgehogs have their preferences like humans when it comes to food. They may like some food on the list and dislike others. Let us discuss the full food list that you can add to your hedgehog’s diet without further delay.
What Meats Can Hedgehogs Eat?
hedgehog can eat meats that contain high protein and low fat. The following are the good options for hedgehogs:
Fruits That Hedgehog Can Eat
Hedgehogs love fruit treats. However, don’t overdo it (should be served once a week) because fruits contain a large amount of sugar. If your hedgie intakes a large number of fruits, it might be lead to serious health issues. Additionally, remove the skin of fruits that have them because it can be a choking hazard.
- Melons: Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew
- Squash + Pumpkin
- Berries: Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Cranberry
Vegetables (generally cooked)
Cooked veggies are healthy snacks you can add to your pet’s diet. They don’t contain a lot of sugar and add variety to their meal.
Here is a list of veggies you can serve to your hedgehog:
- Sweet potato
- Collard Green
- Green pepper
- Romaine lettuce
- Dandelion Green
The answer to the question of “what is a hedgehog’s favorite food?” is always insects. But these days many insecticides and chemicals have been used on them. Furthermore, feed insects are rich in fat content.
This means you should give an or two insects to your hedgie as an occasional snack (once a week). Here is the list you can consider:
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant (means dairy products are not good food for hedgehogs), but you can add a couple of dairy products to their diet. Remember that don’t serve these products too often (maybe one day a week is enough). The dairy product that your hedgie can eat are:
- Yogurt (low in sugar)
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs (cooked, unseasoned)
What Can’t They Eat? Hedgehog foods to Avoid…
You have a lot of food options to choose from that you can add to any hedgehog diet!
However, there are some things that you can’t give to your hedgehogs. These foods are toxic for them and cause serious health issues if given even in a very small amount. So, you should keep these foods out of their diet.
In fact, it is more important to remember what you can’t feed to your hedgehog instead of what you can to ensure that your pet stays happy and healthy.
- Grapes and raisins
- Citrus fruits
As we mentioned earlier hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so dairy products are not good for them excluding the foods we listed above. Here we list some products for reference:
- Ice cream
- Processed and canned meat
- Raw meat
- Fatty red meat
- Fried or unseasoned meat
Probably, they have been exposed to chemicals so avoid the following:
- From bait shop
- From your yard
- Fatty foods
- All types of nuts and seeds
- Tea tree oil
To summarize, hedgehogs are very loving and unique pets. Therefore, it is crucial to know “how to look after a hedgehog” properly. You have to be aware of their dietary need as it plays a major role in their overall wellbeing.
We hope this article helps you to know everything about what your hedgehog should eat and what they should not. You must choose the best food for your hedgehog. We mention some of the best food as well as a complete guide on how to choose the best food for your tiny pet.
We wish you a happy time with your cute friend!