Spiky as they may be, hedgehogs are adorable, little creatures that will devour anything yummy on their path. This hoggish critter has 44 tiny teeth that can nibble on crickets, slugs, snails, worms, millipedes, caterpillars and everything else they see as dinner.
However, even though hedgies are not picky eaters, it does not mean that you should not consider choosing the best hedgehog foods to feed them. They still need a proper and balanced diet in order for them to be healthy and live a long, happy life.
But, what makes a good hedgehog food?
Important Factors To Consider
Type of Food
Hedgehogs are omnivores, which mean they eat a variety, from insects to plant-based foods.
CANNED, DRIED OR FROZEN INSECTS
Insects such as mealworms, silkworms, crickets, grasshoppers and more are hedgehog staples. These are your hedgehog equivalent of fries and pizza.
Besides adding variety to your hedgehog’s diet, insects provide a good amount of chitin, a polysaccharide that is derived from an insect’s exoskeleton.
Hedgehogs, however, are prone to obesity. And a majority of insects which make up a wild hedgehog’s diet should only be given as treats to domesticated hedgehogs in order to avoid such risks.
You can buy canned or frozen insects from pet shops and ensure that these insects are farm-raised. NEVER feed your pet insects that you have caught from your garden or even bought from a bait shop. Such insects may contain harmful pathogens as well as poisonous insecticides or pesticides.
VEGGIES AND FRUITS
Hedgehogs love an occasional fruit or veggie treat. IT is also a great way to add a variety of nutrients in your pet’s diet. Just be careful not to overfeed your hedgehog with veggies and fruits.
Some of the best fruits and veggies you can feed your pet includes bananas, apples, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, kiwi, honeydew, cantaloupe, cranberries, papaya, mangoes, plum, arugula, pears, peaches, strawberries, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, peas, lettuce, spinach, green pepper and turnip.
However, keep in mind that some fruits like bananas and cherries contain lots of sugar and should be fed sparingly to prevent the risk of diabetes. In addition, hedgehogs should not be fed raising or grapes, since these fruits can be harmful to your hedgehogs.
In general, commercially hedgehog foods were not always available. And most hedgehog foods available in the market were not as nutritious as most pet owners had hoped for.
This is why most people opt for cat foods instead since they are easily available in any local pet stores. In addition, cat foods are available as small kibbles which a hedgehog can eat and won’t have any problem chewing.
What makes cat foods suitable for hedgehogs is the high protein content that is right for your hedgehogs as well as the fiber content which replaces the chitin component that is found on insects.
As I’ve mentioned before, hedgehogs are omnivores. Their primary diet consists of insect protein (chitin) and a variety of vegetables, fruits, cooked meats and more.
Hedgehogs require a mixture of fat, protein, carbohydrates, water, fiber and more. Proteins should consist of over 20 percent of their diet, fat should be about 5 – 15 percent, and a good amount of fiber from veggies and fruits. A variety of protein sources is great, however, poultry and insects are the easiest for them to digest.
If you are feeding your hedgehogs canned cat food, then you need to supplement it with more fiber and that they need hard foods in order to maintain their tiny teeth.
Although wild hedgehogs will eat anything without hesitation, some domestic hedgehogs can be picky eaters. This is especially true if you choose foods that offer a mixture of veggies and insects that encourage their foraging instincts. Some hedgies will just go for the tastiest pieces and leave the rest.
So, you might want to read the reviews from other owners first, in order to know how their hedgehogs responded to the product.
You want your hedgehog to always have fresh food. Therefore, the packaging of the food needs to be considered. Re-sealable bags will keep the food fresh for longer and maintain a longer lifespan without causing it to catch any bacteria or pests.
In terms of canned foods, especially moist foods, you can just transfer the food in tight containers and make sure to use a separate spoon when feeding your pet, in order to prevent it from being spoiled.
When it comes to hedgehog foods, brand is something that you also need to be considered. Cheaper foods that are made by unknown brands usually contain low-quality ingredients and replaced with fillers which can cause malnutrition in your pets.
Meanwhile, reputable brands have more to lose if their products have bad results, thus they make sure to only create only premium, high-quality foods. So, it is always better to invest in foods that are made by established brands.
The Top 15 Best Hedgehog Foods 2019
#1 Sunseed Vita Prima Wigglers & Berries Trail Mix Treat
If you are looking for a great treat for your spiny friend, then the Wigglers & Berries Trail Mix Treat from reputable company Sunseed is your best bet. Being an Amazon’s Choice for “Hedgehog Supplies”, it offers a fun variety of delicious ingredients that your hedgehog will surely love.
It features high-protein mealworms, nutritious celery, dried eggs, ground steamed-rolled oats, dried red bell peppers, puffed millet, ground corn, wheat middling and sweet freeze-dried strawberries.
Each pack of this food contains nutritious and high protein treats that are specifically formulated to meet your hedgehog’s nutritional needs. In addition, the variety of food also helps stimulates your hedgehog’s natural foraging instincts. It also comes in a resealable bag to ensure the freshness of the content for longer.
#2 Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs
Reputable company Exotic Nutrition offers a nutritious diet for hedgehogs— the Berries & Bugs. This food diet features 3 variety of gut loaded insect larvae in addition to sweet berries and grains, formulated specifically to meet the nutritional requirement of insectivore mammals like hedgehogs, sugar gliders, opossums, skunks and more.
The food can be fed alone or even mixed it with other foods, fresh fruits and veggies, insects and cooked meat in order to create a tasty, complete diet for your spiky friend. It is made of 100 percent natural ingredients without preservatives, artificial flavors or synthetic colorings that can harm your pet.
It also has a long shelf life that can last for up to 6 months when refrigerated and up to 12 months when frozen. In addition, it comes in an easy, heavy-duty resealable bag in order to keep its content fresh. Proudly made in the USA, the Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs Food is highly recommended by veterinarians to feed your pet.
#3 Ezliz Dried Mealworms
Ezliz offers this hard to resist tasty dried mealworms that your hedgehog will definitely go crazy for. Formulated for chickens, birds, hedgehogs, hamsters, reptiles and other pets, this pack of dried mealworms is a great source of protein, vitamins, fiber, minerals and other important nutrients for your pet.
These dried mealworms are 100 percent natural without GMOs, preservative, additive, and have not been exposed to chemicals such as pesticide and insecticides. It is even FDA-approved, so it is totally safe and healthy for your pet.
Easy to use and store, this dried mealworm food comes in a resealable bag to keep its freshness. Not only that, Ezliz ensure that their mealworms are of high quality and offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee for a risk-free buying.
#4 Blue Buffalo Natural Adult Cat Dry Food
Feed your hedgehog fresh and real meat with this natural adult cat dry food from Blue Buffalo. The food contains premium, high-quality protein from real chicken which helps your pet maintain strong muscles. In addition, this dry food also contains wholesome garden fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
The Blue Buffalo Dry Food is high in protein and enriched with natural sources of fiber in order to help provide optimal digestive health and optimal nutrient absorption. In addition, it features omega 6 and 3 fatty acids that help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
The dry food is made of the finest and natural ingredients enhanced with essential minerals and vitamins. It does not contain poultry by-products, wheat, corn, soy, preservatives or artificial flavors, making it safe to feed for your pets. Lastly, this dry food is available in 3 sizes— 3 pounds, 7 pounds, and 15 pounds— so you can choose the right amount for your pet’s needs.
#5 Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Complete Food
Being an Amazon’s Choice, the Hedgehog Complete is another great nutritious food product from established company Exotic Nutrition. This is a pellet-based diet for your spiky hedgehogs that is specifically formulated to meet your pet’s need.
These fortified hedgehog pellets are mixed with dried mealworms and fresh grains that contains all necessary nutrition for reproduction, growth, and development for your growing hedgehogs. Made from 100 pe2rcent natural ingredients, this hedgehog food is free of artificial flavors, synthetic colorings or preservatives, so it is totally healthy and safe for your pets.
Well-researched and veterinarian recommended, this food product offers a long shelf life and can stay fresh for 6 months when refrigerated and up to 12 months when frozen. In addition, it comes in a resealable bag to ensure freshness and is available in 3 sizes: 1-pound, 1.5-pound, and 3-pound bag.
#6 Tasty Worms Nutrition Inc. Dried Mealworms
An Amazon’s Choice for “Freeze-Dried Mealworms”, this hedgehog food from Tasty Worms Nutrition Inc. is a tasty and nutritious treat for your spiny friend. The mealworms are freeze-dried in order to retain more nutrients, making it more beneficial and nutritionally dense than live mealworms.
In addition, the frozen worms that do not emit foul odors, unlike other brands. It is ready to feed and does not require you to dehydrate the worms before feeding it to your pets. Made from natural and real mealworms, this food is high in protein, fibers, and fat that is essential for your hedgehog’s daily nutritional needs.
This hedgehog food is also free of preservatives, artificial flavors, and chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides, so it is completely safe for your pets. It comes in a tight resealable bag in order to ensure its freshness for a long period of time.
#7 Suncoast Sugar Gliders spike’s Delite Premium Food
An established company, the Suncoast Sugar Gliders has been in the pet business for 2 decades now. They provide premium and high-quality food products for small pets including sugar gliders, hamsters and hedgehogs.
And the Spike’s Delite Food is specially formulated for your spiny little friends. This hedgehog food is a totally cooked food supplement made from chicken, fish proteins and whole soy to meet your hedgehog daily nutritional needs.
This hedgehog food offers essential vitamins and minerals for your pet’s health. In addition, it provides specific nutrition such as protein and fats for young hedgehogs as well as adult hedgehogs for reproduction. This 1.5 pounds hedgehog food is free of preservatives and artificial flavors, so it is totally safe and healthy for your spiky pets.
#8 Eight In One Ultra-Blend Select Nutrient-Rich Hedgehog Diet
The Ultra-Blend Select Hedgehog Food is Amazon’s Choice for “Hedgehog Diet”. It is a superior mixture of wholesome, nutrient-rich and high-fiber ingredients that provide optimum nutrition for your hedgehog’s health.
This x-shaped kibble offers a tantalizing taste that will keep your hedgehog’s wanting more. Fortified with essential minerals and vitamins, this 22 ounces bag of food is formulated to provide nourishment to hedgehogs of all ages.
The kibbles come in small sizes to ensure that your pet can chew and digest on it properly. In addition, this kibble form prevents your hedgehog from picking up only his favorite pieces and having leftovers.
#9 Vitakraft VitaSmart Hedgehog Food
Offering a pellet-based hedgehog food, the Vitakraft VitaSmart is fortified with essential nutrients and vitamins in order to provide optimum health for your spiny pets. This hedgehog food is formulated with a delicious blend of high-protein ingredients, including seafood, poultry, and insect meals.
Since this hedgehog food comes in pellets, it prevents your pet from picky its favorite food and leaving leftovers behind. It also ensures that your hedgehog gets a balanced amount of nutrients.
Tasty and appealing, this hedgehog food also contains natural oils and omega fatty acids from beneficial flaxseed in order to support a shiny skin and healthy coat. Proudly made in the USA, this product guarantees superior quality and comes in a resealable bag in order to maintain freshness.
#10 Spike’s World Ltd. Spike’s Dinner
Spike’s Dinner is a flavorful meal to offer your spiky little friends. Suitable for all ages, this semi-moist hedgehog food is highly palatable on its own but can also be mixed and served with other hedgehog food such as veggies, fruits, and insects.
It is a chicken-based food, so it is high in protein and packed with essential vitamins and minerals that meet your hedgehog’s daily nutritional needs. Each pack is 500 grams and an average adult hedgehog can eat up to 20 grams of servings. This means, that each bag can last you up to 25 days, depending on how frequent you feed your hedgehog.
Also, the product comes in a tight resealable bag that helps ensure its freshness. And since it is a semi-moist food, it is recommended to be stored in your refrigerator in order to prevent it from getting spoiled.
#11 Kaytee Mealworms
Reputable brand Kaytee offers a great-tasting insect meal for your hedgehogs as well as different kinds of birds and lizards. This product offers a high protein content that is essential for your pet’s growth and development.
This mealworm diet can be fed alone as a treat or mixed with other food sources for added variety. In addition, it is oven-dried in order to retain most of its nutrients and allows for a longer shelf lifespan.
This product contains no artificial flavors, coloring or preservatives, so it is totally safe and healthy for your pets. In addition, it is packed in a resealable bag in order to help preserve its freshness.
#12 M. Brown’s Hedgehog Food
This hedgehog food from F.M. Brown’s is specially formulated to meet the unique energy and protein needs of your spiky friend. It features a blend of animal and plant food sources for your pet’s overall health and well-being.
The food contains legumes, fruits, and veggies in order to increase palatability as well as variety to help encourage your pet’s natural foraging behaviors. In addition, it also contains crunchy ingredients that help in reducing tartar formation and promote good dental health.
Not only that, freeze-dried mealworms were also added, making this food blend highly nutritious and simply irresistible to your spiky pets. To aid in freshness, this hedgehog food comes in a resealable bag and includes natural tocopherols to extend its shelf life.
#13 Wormyworms Premium Hedgehog Insect Food
For the ultimate insect meal, this hedgehog food product from Wormyworms offers a rich variety of insects that your pet surely craves. It has 5 different kinds of dried insects: locusts, crickets, silkworm pupae, superworms, and mealworms, adding diversity to your pet’s diet for overall health and well-being.
In addition, the variety of insects also encourage your pet’s natural foraging behavior. This hedgehog food is fortified with omega 6 and 3 as well as essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy and happy hedgehog.
It is available in tight resealable bags and contains more insects than dry food by volume. Wormyworms offer this hedgehog food in 3 sizes: 2.5 pounds, 5 pounds and a sample size of 5 ounces, so you can try it out first and see if your hedgehog actually likes it.
#14 Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Wet Food
Specially formulated for cats, this wet food from Chicken Soup for the Soul features chicken meat as its main ingredient, which is also necessary for a hedgehog’s diet. In addition to chicken meat, this wet food also contains cracked pearl barley, salmon, duck, turkey, flaxseed, oatmeal, potatoes, carrots, peas and more for complete nutrition.
Low in fat, this wet food is suitable if you want your spiky friend to lose some weight and prevent it from getting obese. This food can be fed on its own or mix with other tasty hedgehog foods for added flavor and variety.
Committed to manufacturing high-quality products, the manufacturer ensures that this wet food does not contain preservatives, artificial flavors, or synthetic colors that can harm your pet’s health and uses on the best and freshest ingredients available.
#15 Merrick Before Grain Chicken Meal
This dry food from Merrick makes a great meal for the picky eaters. Plus, it comes with 2 different unique flavors— salmon and chicken— so you can find your pet’s preference.
In addition, this dry food is also a great choice since it is grain-free. This only means that it is loaded with other wholesome ingredients. Chicken meat is the first and major ingredient of this pet food which is also approved by the FDA.
It contains no artificial flavors and preservatives and only uses the highest quality of ingredients to ensure your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. In addition, the sizes of the kibbles are ideal for small pets and help prevent the risks of overeating and choking.
Hedgehogs are adorable little creatures. And despite their spiky side, more and more people choose to take home these cute critters as pets. Fortunately, they are easy to take care of and are not picky eaters, so it would not be a problem when it comes to picking the best foods to feed them.
If you are still confused and don’t know what to pick for your spiky pets, consider this list and choose one or more products from above. These hedgehog foods are guaranteed to have the right amount of nutrients in order to keep your adorable hedgehogs healthy and happy.