Hedgehog’s Daily Nutrition [Feeding Schedule For Each Age]


Regarding the care and feeding of our prickly pals, hedgehogs, it can be quite the adventure to discern what to feed them daily.

These little creatures, although small, require a well-rounded, balanced diet to keep them hale and hearty.

Just like us humans, hedgehogs need a diverse diet to get all the nutrients they need. This includes a mix of high-quality cat food, a variety of insects, and the occasional fruits and vegetables.

Quick Answer: Hedgehog’s Daily Diet Essentials

Hedgehogs need a diet rich in protein and low in fat. This balance helps to keep them healthy and avoid obesity, a common issue among pet hedgehogs.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you should be feeding your hedgehog every day:

  • Protein: A bulk of your hedgehog’s diet should come from high-quality cat food or specially formulated hedgehog food. These often contain the right balance of nutrients that your prickly friend needs.
  • Insects: Insects like mealworms, crickets, and waxworms make excellent additions to their diet. Remember, variety is key here!
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables can be given in small amounts as treats. Stick to safe options like apples, bananas, and carrots, and always ensure they are finely chopped to prevent choking.
  • Water: Fresh, clean water should always be available for your hedgehog.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet for Hedgehogs

So, you now know the essentials of a hedgehog’s diet. But why is it so important to ensure they get a balanced diet? Hedgehogs, just like us, require a range of nutrients to maintain their health and well-being.

A diet skewed in one direction, such as too many fats or insufficient protein, can lead to health problems like obesity and malnutrition.

Proteins are vital for hedgehogs. They provide the necessary building blocks for growth and development, especially in young hedgehogs. Protein also supports healthy skin and quills – those sharp little spikes also need nutrition!

Fats provide energy but should be moderated to avoid obesity. Obesity in hedgehogs can lead to many health issues, including heart disease and mobility problems.

Fibers are important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Insects and certain vegetables provide the necessary fibers for your hedgehog.

Vitamins and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, and insect exoskeletons are crucial for various bodily functions, including boosting the immune system and maintaining bone health.

What Can Hedgehogs Eat?

Wondering what exactly you can feed your hedgehog? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Let’s break it down:

High-quality Cat Food

Though it might sound strange, high-quality cat food can make up a substantial part of your hedgehog’s diet. It’s packed with protein and is easily available, making it a convenient choice for many hedgehog owners.

Ensure it’s a high-quality brand, preferably grain-free and low in fat.

Insects and Other Proteins

As insectivores, hedgehogs love a good bug. You can feed them various insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Live, freeze-dried, or canned versions of these insects can be used.

Other proteins can include cooked poultry or fish, but these should be given in moderation and without any seasoning.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide your hedgehog with necessary vitamins and minerals. Stick to options like apples, bananas, bell peppers, and carrots.

Always serve them finely chopped and in moderation, as too many can lead to digestive upset.

Treats and Foods to Avoid

While giving your hedgehog occasional treats like hard-boiled eggs is fine, certain foods should be strictly avoided. These include junk food, dairy products, raw meat, and anything high in sugar or fat.

Hedgehog Feeding Schedule and Quantity

Wondering how much and how often to feed your hedgehog? The answer depends on their age, size, and activity level.

Baby Hedgehogs (Hoglets)

Hoglets should be kept on their mother’s milk, especially if they are still nursing. Once weaned, they can be gradually introduced to solid food.

Start with moist cat food and small insects. Baby hedgehogs must eat every few hours, so leave food out for them to consume when hungry.

Juvenile and Adult Hedgehogs

These hedgehogs should be fed once daily, typically in the evening when they’re most active. Offer around 1 to 2 tablespoons of high-quality cat food, a handful of insects, and a small serving of fruits or vegetables.

Senior Hedgehogs

Older hedgehogs may require less food, depending on their activity level. Monitor your hedgehog’s weight and adjust their food quantity as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In this section, we’ll address some common questions that pet owners often have about feeding their hedgehogs.

Q1. Can I feed my hedgehog dog food?

While dog food isn’t harmful to hedgehogs, it’s not ideal. Dog food is typically lower in protein and higher in fat compared to cat food, which makes cat food a better choice.

Q2. Do hedgehogs eat fruits and vegetables in the wild?

In the wild, hedgehogs do consume plant material, but it makes up a small part of their diet. They primarily eat insects, small animals, and eggs.

In captivity, fruits and vegetables can be included as a small portion of their diet for added nutrients.

Q3. Can I feed my hedgehog mealworms every day?

While mealworms are a good source of protein, they should not be the sole component of your hedgehog’s diet as they are high in fat. It’s important to offer a variety of insects for a balanced diet.

Q4. Can hedgehogs drink milk?

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and should not be given milk or dairy products. Instead, always provide fresh, clean water.

Q5. Is it safe to feed hedgehogs food scraps from my kitchen?

While giving your hedgehog table scraps might be tempting, it’s not recommended. Human food often contains ingredients that can be harmful to hedgehogs.

Stick to a diet of high-quality cat food, insects, and appropriate fruits and vegetables.

Q6. Should I put food out for hedgehogs every night?

Yes, feeding your hedgehog in the evening is best as they’re nocturnal animals. Fresh water should always be available, and food should be taken out by morning to avoid attracting insects or becoming spoiled.

Q7. What is the best food to feed a hedgehog?

The best food for a hedgehog is a mix of high-quality cat food for their daily protein intake, a variety of insects for added protein and fiber, and small amounts of fruits and vegetables for additional nutrients.

Q8. How often should you feed a hedgehog?

Hedgehogs should be fed once a day, typically in the evening when they are most active. However, freshwater should always be available.

Q9. What food should hedgehogs not eat?

Avoid feeding hedgehogs dairy products, junk food, raw meat, or anything high in sugar or fat. Certain fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, citrus fruits, and onions, should also be avoided as they can cause digestive problems.


Caring for a hedgehog is a unique experience filled with joy, and part of that joy comes from knowing you’re providing your spiky little friend with the best nutrition possible.

By offering a balanced diet that includes high-quality cat food, a variety of insects, and appropriate fruits and vegetables, you’re setting the stage for a healthy, happy hedgehog.

Remember, always monitor your hedgehog’s health and adjust their diet as needed. Don’t hesitate to consult a vet if you notice any changes in their eating habits or overall behavior.

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