Feeding your hedgehog is one of the most important things to do. Hedgehogs should have a sufficient diet, enough, so they get all the nutrients. To ensure that hedgehogs remain healthy, it is vital to understand what they eat.
If hedgehogs do not receive their staple meals, they can grow to be weak. As a result of insufficient nutrients, your hedgehog will not survive.
Hedgehogs are carnivores by nature. These mammals love eating insects such as earthworms and beetles in the wild.
Apart from munching on insects, hedgehogs in the wild have been known to eat small snakes, rodents, and roadkill.
However, do not let their funky diet stop you from getting a hedgehog. A domesticated hedgehog will have an entirely different diet. You can feed your pet hedgehog various things, including dried cat food, boiled eggs, and more.
Are Hedgehogs Omnivores?
Pet owners need to know what hedgehogs consume to provide them with the right amount of protein and nutrients. Hedgehogs are famous for being insectivorous, which means that their diet majorly consists of insects.
However, hedgehogs in the wild have also been known to eat small snakes, rodents, and even roadkill. This shows that hedgehogs do not solely rely on insects but also meet, categorizing them as carnivores.
Hedgehogs in the wild, however, have also been known to eat groundnuts and wild plants. This portion makes up a small part of their diet, and hence, hedgehogs mostly lean towards being carnivores.
A pet hedgehog, of course, will not consume bugs and roadkill. Pet hedgehogs have different diets, and to make up for nutrition and protein, you can give them dry cat food and boiled eggs.
These hedgehogs can occasionally be fed fruits as well. Hence, hedgehogs do have tendencies you would find in other omnivores.
Do Wild Hedgehogs Eat Meat?
A wild hedgehog’s diet mainly comprises insects such as worms, beetles, grasshoppers, and more. One of the reasons why hedgehogs are known as garden allies is because they will eat all the insects that harm plants.
Moreover, apart from tiny insects, wild hedgehogs also consume meat. Hedgehogs have been known to eat small snakes and even small rodents. They also munch on roadkill. Wild hedgehogs can eat about almost anything and everything.
Due to their diet mainly comprised of meat and insects, they must have sufficient protein.
A hedgehog’s body is not designed in a way to digest and easily break down plants. Therefore, plants and nuts make a small proportion of the hedgehog’s diet.
Should You Feed a Wild Hedgehog?
There may be times when you come across a wild hedgehog in your garden. It would be best to leave out fresh water and some food for the little guy if he is hungry or thirsty.
For example, you can leave out dry cat food or crushed biscuits. Hedgehogs also enjoy boiled eggs as they are rich in protein. Some food suppliers also supply wild hedgehog food.
However, refrain from putting out milk for the hedgehog. Milk can be harmful to hedgehogs and cause diarrhoea.
What Should You Feed Pet Hedgehogs?
If you are planning to get a pet hedgehog, do not worry! You will not have to feed your hedgehog with wild insects and rodents. Instead, it would be best if you fed hedgehogs as pets with high-quality food as it will compensate for nutrients and proteins.
You should also consult your vet on what your hedgehog’s diet should be regarding fruits and vegetables.
It is very important to think about which fruits and vegetables you should give your hedgehog. Some fruits and vegetables can be harmful to them. For example, you should avoid giving celery and lettuce as they do no good for the hedgehog.
You should also not give your hedgehog avocados as they are toxic.
The most common meal for pet hedgehogs is cat food. Cat food is high in protein as it is made for carnivorous animals and can prove great for hedgehogs.
You can purchase some well-fed insects from a store or raise some at home. Moreover, you can also give mealworms to hedgehogs but not so often. Hedgehogs, due to their small size, are prone to gaining weight and becoming obese.
Hence, it is vital to monitor their diet and make sure all things are given in moderation.
You do not need to give your hedgehogs additional vitamins or supplements. If you are providing your pet with proper and balanced meals, then no supplements are required.
Can You Give Hedgehogs Treats?
You can give your hedgehog treats on occasions. The treats can include boiled chicken, a small number of apples, or boiled eggs. Moreover, mealworms should also be given as a treat rather than a regular meal.
It is not recommended to give nuts as hedgehogs can choke on them. You should also avoid giving wild insects as there is always a risk of a parasite infection.
If your hedgehog does not like some of the foods mentioned, there is no need to worry. Hedgehogs can sometimes be picky eaters, and if they are taking protein, they will be healthy.
Your hedgehog is dependent on you for its needs, and its diet is one of them. Hedgehogs are carnivores, and the majority of their diet is focused on insects and other animals such as small rodents and snakes.
Thus, most of the time, they are referred to as insectivorous. Hedgehogs also consume, although on a smaller scale, fruits and nuts occasionally, which gives them the identity of being omnivores.
However, hedgehogs lean more towards being carnivores.
Hedgehogs in the wild will eat worms, grasshoppers, and even roadkill. Your domesticated hedgehog does not have to consume these things.
You can give your pet hedgehog dried cat food, boiled eggs, and a small number of fruits and vegetables. It is important to ensure that you monitor your hedgehog’s diet and consult the vet as some fruits and vegetables can be toxic for it.
You should also control the quantity of food given as hedgehogs being small animals, are prone to gaining weight and becoming obese.