Hedgehogs are adorable animals that some people may prefer to keep as pets. While they are easy to care for, one aspect that can cause some confusion is their diet. Hedgehogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both vegetables and meat.
They will likely eat whatever you put in front of them. However, ensuring they get a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is essential. In this blog post, we’ll cover what foods hedgehogs can eat and what they should avoid.
Hedgehog Food List
The food you feed your hedgehogs will affect their health, growth, and happiness. You, therefore, want to pick the proper diet for your furry friend. As a rule of thumb, incorporate a diet with protein and low fat.
Here’s a hedgehog food list to help you plan your friends’ meals.
- High-quality commercial food: This is the easiest and most convenient way to ensure your hedgehog gets all the nutrients they need. Go for options containing high-quality protein sources, such as chicken or mealworms, and avoid fillers like corn or soy.
- Live or dried insects: Insects are a great source of protein, and Hedgehogs love them. You can offer live insects like crickets, mealworms, or dried ones. Ensure the insects are from a reputable source and not collected from the wild, as they may be exposed to chemicals.
- Cooked lean meats: You can feed your hedgehog with small amounts of cooked chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, and crab or beef. However, avoid fatty meats or those that are seasoned with spices or sauces.
- Fruits and vegetables: Hedgehogs can have small amounts of fruits and vegetables as a treat. Some good options include apples, carrots, watermelons, strawberries, mango, papaya, blueberries, and bananas. Avoid feeding them citrus fruits or grapes.
- Hedgehog-safe treats: Several commercially available hedgehog treats are specifically formulated for hedgehogs. These treats can be an excellent supplement to their diet but should not replace their primary food source.
What Not to Feed a Hedgehog
There are several foods you don’t want to give to your hedgehog. These include the following:
- Dairy products: Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products properly. Therefore, avoid feeding them milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream.
- Sugary or fatty foods: Foods high in sugar or fat can cause obesity and other health problems. Keep such foods away from your hedgehog.
- Nuts and seeds: While some nuts and seeds are safe for hedgehogs, others can be a choking hazard or contain toxins. To be on the safe side, avoid all nuts and seeds.
- Raw meat or eggs: Raw meat or eggs can contain harmful bacteria that can make hedgehogs sick.
- Spicy or seasoned foods: Spices or seasonings can upset hedgehogs’ stomachs and cause digestive issues. So, it only makes sense to avoid them.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are great for a balanced diet, but some vegetables, such as corn, potato, onion, garlic, mushroom, and tomato, are not great for your hedgehog.
- Others: We know you love your hedgehog, but feeding them with chocolate, candy, and Tea tree oil may not be a good idea.
Hedgehogs are delightful pets to have around. They are generally low maintenance. However, their dietary needs must be taken seriously. A balanced diet that includes high-quality commercial hedgehog food, live or dried insects, cooked lean meats, hard-boiled eggs, and occasional fruits and vegetables can ensure your hedgehog gets all the necessary nutrients. It’s important to avoid feeding them dairy products, sugary or fatty foods, nuts and seeds, raw meat or eggs, and spicy or seasoned foods.