What Is A Good Diet For A Hedgehog? (Detailed Response)

✅ Fact Checked
Updated on January 16, 2023
Michael Colt, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
Written by
Michael Colt, Bachelor Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science.
Ella Williams
Fact Checked by
Ella Williams
Dr. Michael Colt is a highly qualified veterinarian and animal scientist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of animals, and a deep understanding of the latest scientific research in the field. Dr. Colt is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to providing the highest level of care to his patients. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Middle Tennessee State University.

⭐ Fun Fact ⭐
Did you know that hedgehogs have over 5000 spines on their bodies, which they use to defend themselves against predators? These spines are actually modified hairs and they provide a barrier to protect the hedgehog from danger. Awesome, right? These spiny creatures have been around for over 15 million years and have adapted to survive in various environments. So next time you see a hedgehog, be sure to appreciate their impressive defense mechanism!
As hedgehogs become increasingly popular as pets, it’s important to understand what a proper diet looks like for these fascinating creatures. Providing a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health, wellbeing and longevity. In this article, we will delve into what constitutes a healthy diet for a hedgehog and provide valuable insights into the type of food that hedgehogs should consume and what to avoid. With this information, you can be confident that you’re providing the best possible diet for your pet hedgehog.

1 Essential Nutrients for a Hedgehog’s Diet

Hedgehogs, like all animals, have specific dietary requirements in order to maintain their health and well-being. As hedgehog owners, it’s important to understand what these requirements are in order to provide a balanced and nutritious diet for our furry friends.

Protein is an essential part of a hedgehog’s diet and can be obtained from a variety of sources including insects, meat, and eggs. A diet that is deficient in protein can lead to a number of health issues, such as muscle wasting and weakened immune systems. It’s important to ensure that hedgehogs receive a source of high-quality protein in their diet, and to feed it to them on a regular basis.

Fat is another important nutrient for hedgehogs, providing them with energy and helping to maintain healthy skin and fur. Good sources of fat for hedgehogs include insects, mealworms, and commercially available hedgehog food. It’s important to monitor the amount of fat in a hedgehog’s diet, as overconsumption of fat can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Fiber is important for maintaining digestive health and preventing constipation. Hedgehogs are naturally inclined to consume a diet that is high in fiber, and a diet that is deficient in fiber can lead to digestive problems. Good sources of fiber for hedgehogs include fresh vegetables, such as carrots and leafy greens, as well as commercially available hedgehog food.

Vitamin C is important for a hedgehog’s overall health, as it plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system and promoting healing. Unfortunately, hedgehogs are unable to synthesize Vitamin C on their own and must obtain it from their diet. Good sources of Vitamin C for hedgehogs include fruits, such as oranges and strawberries, as well as commercially available hedgehog food that is fortified with Vitamin C.

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Vitamin E is important for maintaining healthy skin and fur, and it also has antioxidant properties that help to protect against cellular damage. Good sources of Vitamin E for hedgehogs include nuts, such as almonds, and commercially available hedgehog food that is fortified with Vitamin E.

In short, providing a balanced and nutritious diet for hedgehogs involves meeting their requirements for protein, fat, fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. By understanding what these essential nutrients are and where to find them, hedgehog owners can ensure that their furry friends receive the proper care and nourishment they need to thrive.

2 Types of Food for Hedgehogs

As hedgehog owners, providing a nutritious and varied diet for our furry friends is important for maintaining their health and well-being. There are several types of food that can be included in a hedgehog’s diet, each offering different benefits and nutrients.

Commercial Hedgehog Food is a convenient and easy option for feeding hedgehogs. These foods are specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of hedgehogs and are often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. They are available in a variety of forms, including pellets, crumbles, and canned food. Commercial hedgehog food can be fed as a staple diet or as a supplement to other types of food.

Live Insects are a natural and nutritious food source for hedgehogs. Live insects, such as mealworms and crickets, provide hedgehogs with a high-quality protein source, as well as other essential nutrients. Live insects should be fed to hedgehogs in moderation, as overconsumption can lead to digestive problems. It’s also important to ensure that the insects being fed to hedgehogs are not contaminated with pesticides or other harmful substances.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables can also be included in a hedgehog’s diet as a source of fiber and vitamins. Some good options include carrots, apples, blueberries, and leafy greens. Fruits and vegetables should be offered in moderation, as they are not a primary food source for hedgehogs and can lead to digestive problems if fed in excess. It’s also important to avoid feeding hedgehogs foods that are toxic to them, such as avocado and citrus fruits.

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Cooked Meats and Eggs can also be included in a hedgehog’s diet as a source of protein and other essential nutrients. Chicken, turkey, and lean beef are good options, and eggs can be fed boiled or scrambled. Cooked meats and eggs should be offered in moderation and should not make up the majority of a hedgehog’s diet. It’s also important to ensure that these foods are cooked thoroughly to prevent the risk of foodborne illness.

So ultimately, providing a varied and balanced diet for hedgehogs is important for maintaining their health and well-being. A combination of commercial hedgehog food, live insects, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked meats and eggs can help to meet a hedgehog’s nutritional needs and provide a varied and enjoyable diet. It’s important to remember that all foods should be offered in moderation and that hedgehogs should have access to fresh water at all times.

3 Feeding Schedules and Amounts

A. Portion Control: Proper portion control is essential for the health of your hedgehog. A general guideline is to feed your hedgehog 1 to 2 tablespoons of food per day. However, the exact amount may vary based on factors such as age, weight, and activity level. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause a range of health problems, so it’s important to monitor your hedgehog’s weight and adjust their food intake accordingly.

B. How Often to Feed: Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and typically eat at night. It is recommended to feed them once a day, in the evening, when they are the most active. Consistency is key when it comes to feeding schedules, so aim to feed your hedgehog at the same time every day.

C. Water and Hydration: Along with their food, it’s important to provide your hedgehog with a constant source of clean water. Fresh water should be provided daily and the bowl should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria buildup. It’s also a good idea to invest in a water bottle with a ball bearing system, as hedgehogs can easily knock over bowls and spill their water. Keep an eye on your hedgehog’s water intake, as a decrease in water consumption can be a sign of illness.

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So essentially, providing your hedgehog with a well-balanced diet, appropriate portion sizes, and consistent feeding schedules is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Remember to monitor their weight, water intake, and adjust their food as needed. With proper care and attention, your hedgehog will be happy and healthy for years to come.

4 Common Diet Mistakes

When it comes to feeding hedgehogs, there are several common mistakes that owners make which can lead to health issues. These mistakes include:

A. Overfeeding
Hedgehogs are known to have a tendency to overeat, and this can lead to obesity and health problems. Overfeeding can also cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea and constipation. To prevent overfeeding, it’s important to portion control and measure out the recommended serving size based on your hedgehog’s size and age.

B. Feeding a Poor Quality Diet
Feeding your hedgehog a diet that is low in essential nutrients or contains unhealthy fillers can lead to health problems in the long term. It’s crucial to research and select high-quality, nutritionally balanced commercial hedgehog food or make sure that homemade diets include all the necessary nutrients.

C. Feeding Human Foods
Human foods such as bread, crackers, sweets, and processed snacks are not appropriate for hedgehogs. These foods can upset their digestive system and lead to malnutrition. It’s important to stick to feeding them specifically formulated hedgehog food or fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked meats and eggs, and insects.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following a proper diet and feeding schedule, you can ensure that your hedgehog stays happy and healthy. Don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice on your hedgehog’s diet and feeding habits.

5 Supplements and Treats

Supplements and Treats

In addition to a balanced diet, supplements and treats can provide important nutrients and benefits for your hedgehog. Here’s what you need to know about Calcium Supplementation, Probiotics, and Treats.

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Calcium Supplementation

Calcium is essential for hedgehogs’ overall health, including the development and maintenance of their bones and muscles. Hedgehogs’ natural diets are low in calcium, so supplementing their diet with calcium is crucial. Calcium supplements can be found in the form of powder, liquid, or small blocks that can be added to food or offered as a treat. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage, as too much calcium can lead to health problems.


Probiotics are live microorganisms that can have a positive impact on digestive health. Probiotics can help to maintain a healthy gut and improve nutrient absorption, promoting overall health. They can be found in the form of powder, liquid, or treats and can be added to your hedgehog’s diet.


Treats can be a great way to provide your hedgehog with extra nutrients, as well as mental stimulation. Treats can come in the form of dried mealworms, crickets, or other insects, or specially formulated hedgehog treats. It’s important to remember that treats should only make up a small portion of your hedgehog’s diet, as they are high in fat and can lead to weight gain if overfed. Offer treats in moderation, and always make sure they are appropriate for hedgehogs.

By incorporating supplements and treats into your hedgehog’s diet, you can provide them with the essential nutrients and benefits they need to thrive. Just remember to follow recommended dosages and use treats in moderation.


What should I feed my hedgehog everyday?

Yes, hedgehogs should be fed a diet that consists of a good quality, commercially available hedgehog food. In addition to this, they may also benefit from occasional mealworms, crickets or pinkie mice as a treat. It is important to avoid feeding hedgehogs dog or cat food, as well as fruits and vegetables, as these can upset their delicate digestive systems. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific dietary requirements for your hedgehog. It is important to monitor their weight and adjust their diet as necessary to maintain optimal health.

What is the best food to feed your hedgehog?

The best food to feed your hedgehog is a high-quality, commercially available hedgehog food that is specifically formulated to meet their unique nutritional needs. This type of food should be balanced and contain a variety of ingredients, including protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also important to choose a food that is free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Additionally, it is a good idea to complement their diet with occasional fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as mealworms and crickets as a treat. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the exact diet and nutrition requirements for your hedgehog. Never feed your hedgehog a diet consisting solely of cat or dog food.

What do hedgehogs like to eat?

Hedgehogs are insectivores, meaning they primarily eat insects. They also like to eat mealworms, crickets, and other small insects. It is important to provide a varied diet for hedgehogs, including a mix of live and dried insects, as well as a balanced commercial hedgehog food. Additionally, it is recommended to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, blueberries, and kale, as a treat. However, it is important to limit the amount of fruits and vegetables given, as too much can upset their digestive system. Overall, providing a balanced and varied diet is crucial for the health and well-being of hedgehogs.
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What should you not feed hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are omnivores and require a balanced diet to maintain their health. However, there are certain foods that should be avoided to prevent health issues. These include:

1. Dairy Products: Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and consuming dairy products can lead to digestive problems and diarrhea.

2. Processed Foods: Processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, and junk food, are high in sugar and artificial ingredients and offer little nutritional value.

3. Meats with bones: Cooked bones, such as chicken bones, can splinter and cause blockages or injury to the digestive tract.

4. Avocados: Avocados contain persin, which can be toxic to hedgehogs.

It is important to provide a balanced diet that consists of high-quality hedgehog food, insects, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If in doubt, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations.

7 Conclusion

To sum it up, providing a nutritious diet for a hedgehog is crucial for its overall health and well-being. As a hedgehog owner, it’s important to monitor and adjust the diet as needed to ensure your pet is getting the necessary nutrients. Additionally, seeking professional advice from a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets is highly recommended to get specific recommendations based on your hedgehog’s individual needs. By following these guidelines, you’ll be taking an important step in ensuring your hedgehog stays healthy and happy. Remember, a healthy diet is a key aspect of providing a loving and fulfilling life for your pet.
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