It’s important that you feed your pet hedgehog a balanced diet that’s going to allow them to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Hedgehogs in captivity are prone to becoming overweight. This is largely due to the fact they don’t hunt their own food in captivity and are therefore less active.
Another common problem is a bad choice of diet. As hedgehogs are relative newcomers as domestic pets, they often get fed foods that don’t meet their nutritional requirements.
Choosing the right food and feeding it to your hedgie in the correct amounts is vital for them to stay healthy and in shape.
We will now show you our recommended hedgehog foods and accessories so you can care for your hedgie in the best way possible way and own a healthy hedgehog for many years to come.
Check out the list below or read on for a more detailed look at each product we recommend…
- Hedgehog Food USA – Latest Price On Amazon
- Hedgehog Food UK – Latest Price On Amazon
- Live Crickets – Latest Price On Amazon
- Live Mealworms – Latest Price On Amazon
- Freeze-Dried Crickets – Latest Price On Amazon
- Freeze-Dried Mealworms – Latest Price On Amazon
- Canned Grasshoppers – Latest Price On Amazon
- Canned Crickets – Latest Price On Amazon
- Food Bowl – Latest Price On Amazon
- Water Bowl – Latest Price On Amazon
- Water bottle – Latest Price On Amazon
- Feeding Tweezers – Latest Price On Amazon
- Food Scoop – Latest Price On Amazon
A lot of owners feed their hedgehogs on cat food and have done successfully for years.
Even though hedgehogs will eat cat food and they can successfully live on it we don’t think it’s the best option for them.
There’s a couple of reasons for this and we’ll briefly go over them now.
Dr Graffam who has conducted lots of research on hedgehogs and their dietary needs suggests that they need if you need a hedgehog on cat food then you will need to supplement their diet with additional fibre from Benefiber or baby oatmeal.
Failure to do this will cause an imbalance in their diet and isn’t optimal for your hedgies health.
It’s also suggested that hedgehogs need hard foods to keep their teeth healthy and feeding them cat food overtime won’t help them isn’t good for their teeth.
So What Food Do We Recommend?
With all things considered we recommend feeding your hedgehog actually hedgehog food that’s specifically produced for their nutritional needs.
A few years ago the hedgehog food on the market was low quality and not freely available but as hedgies have increased in popularity, the food on offer has increased in quality and availability.
Experts recommend that hedgehogs get around between 28% to 35% proteins and 12% to 15% fats in their diets. (to reach this goal you can also supplement with live, freeze-dried or canned insects)
If you live in the US we recommend you use Vita Smart hedgehog food. It contains 38% protein and 9% fat as a minimum and is a great mealtime option for your hedgie.
As mentioned above, you can slightly increase the fat and protein content in your hedgies diet by adding insects (more on this shortly)
If you live in the Uk then we recommend Spikes hedgehog food. It contains 25% protein and 12% fat while meeting your hedgies nutritional needs.
It’s the most popular choice in the UK and they now sell crunchy and semi-moist varieties depending on what you are looking for.
At this moment in time, there’s actually more choice available in the UK compared to the US but this will undoubtedly change in the coming years.
Whatever brand you choose, providing your hedgie with actual hedgehog food rather than cat food is the way to go in our opinion.
Insects For Hedgehogs
In the wild, hedgehogs are opportunist feeders and are considered ‘insectivores’ so you can imagine that their diet mainly consists of a wide variety of insects.
Even though their diet is drastically different n captivity, it’s a good idea to provide your hedgehog with either live, freeze-dried or canned insects.
Live insects provide the most mental stimulation and will also contain the most nutrients especially if they are gut loaded.
We have found these to be the highest quality and best prices for insects. All these places offer a live delivery guarantee for peace of mind.
Freeze-dried insects generally contain fewer nutrients but are often a preferred option for owners that don’t like the sound of handling or keeping live insects such as crickets.
Amazon is a great place to source freeze-dried insects and you can find lots of sellers competing against each other.
You can find the latest prices for freeze-dried crickets and mealworms here…
When it comes to canned insects, the rules are basically the same as freeze-dried.
They generally offer fewer nutrients than live insects but they can be a better option if you just can’t bear the thought of handling or keeping live insects in your home.
The easiest place to grab either of these is from Amazon as they are readily available on there and for the best prices.
It’s also worth mentioning that insects such as mealworms and super worms are quite high in fat when compared to crickets so they could cause your hedgehog to become overweight in overfed.
If this is the case then you may want to cut out mealworms and other kinds of worms and stick to crickets.
An essential food accessory that you’ll need for your hedgehog is a food bowl.
You really don’t need anything fancy or elaborate as bowls like these generally don’t offer any better functionality and just take up more floor space in the enclosure.
Having said this, there are a couple of things you need to look out for when purchasing a food bowl.
Because hedgies are only small, you’ll need to provide their food in a bowl that’s small enough for them to eat from comfortably.
The bowl also shouldn’t take up much floor space in the cage as space is at a premium and should be reserved for your hedgie to explore and wander around.
We would recommend this bowl from Amazon as it ticks all the boxes of practicality and size.
The bowl is 3.5 inches long x 3.5 inches wide x 1.5 inches high and is slanted to make one end lower and allow feeding to become easier.
Using a practical food bowl such as this will allow your hedgie to love mealtimes without overcomplicating things.
Before we move on, here’s a tip when installing the food bowl into your hedgehog’s cage.
It’s a good idea to put a flat rock that’s a little bit wider than the food bowl in the cage and then lay the food bowl on top of it.
This will allow the food bowl to be raised up and stop bedding contaminating your hedgies food.
They will then step up on the rock every time they feed from the bowl.
Water Bowls & Water Bottles
When it comes to providing water for your hedgehog, there are two ways you can go.
You can either use a traditional water bowl or a hanging water bottle.
Both options have their pros and cons and will depend on what you feel is best.
When it comes to water bowls, young hedgies can find these easier to drink from as bottles can be more challenging.
One problem with bowls is that the bedding can end up in the bowl depending on how thick the bedding is and how small the bowl is.
As we mentioned earlier, one way to combat this is to put a stone/flat rock in the enclosure and lay down the water bowl on top of it.
The flat rock must be wider than the bowl, this will raise the bowl much higher than the bedding and stop it from getting into the water.
Your hedgehog will step onto the flat rock and then comfortably drink from the bowl.
The bowl you use should be anti-tip with small dimensions so your hedgie can easily drink from it. This one on Amazon is the one we recommend and fits their needs perfectly.
Water bottles are typically a good choice for older hedgies and come with some added benefits.
The main advantage of using a water bottle as opposed to a bowl is that the bottle simply hangs from the cage and doesn’t take up any of that much-needed floor space.
The second benefit is that there’s no risk of bedding or poop getting in the water.
This water bottle on Amazon will simply hang on the side of the cage and allow your hedgie to drink whenever they are thirsty.
You will need to check it daily to make sure the water is still flowing freely as they can get blocked from time to time.
Tweezers are one of those accessories that are an afterthought but can actually come in really handy.
When you’re handling insects, whether they’re live, freeze-dried or canned it can be a lifesaver to have a handy pair of feeding tongs/tweezers to hand.
Some hedgehogs will prefer their insects such as worms in a bowl, while others might prefer them hand-fed one by one.
You can end up spending a lot of money on feeding tweezers but there’s’ really no need.
We recommend purchasing a pair of good quality, low-cost tweezers such as the ones that Zoo Med offers. You can check the latest price on Amazon here.
Food scoops are another one of those afterthoughts that make life so much easier.
You can easily add dry hedgehog food to the bowl without having to try and empty the bag out every time.
There’s no reason to purchase one that’s expensive and one such as this on Amazon is all you need to do the job.
You can also pick them up from your local pet store for next to nothing if you happen to be passing but they do make a good investment.