• Feeding Treats

    What kind of treats can I feed my hedgehogs?-
    Basically, almost anything can be offered to a hedgehog as a small treat. The exceptions to this would be unprocessed dairy products (such as any form of milk or cream), highly spiced foods, anything extremely hard or sticky, raw meats, or anything that is overly salty. You should also avoid nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Some favorites among hedgehogs include cooked meat, fish, or poultry, cooked egg, small pieces of soft fruits or vegetables such as melon, peeled grape, small berries, green beans, peas, cooked carrots, or unsweetened applesauce. Remember these foods are treats, and should not make up a high percentage of the daily intake.

    Do I need to give my hedgehogs any kind of nutritional supplement?-

    As a rule, no. If you are providing your hedgehog with an appropriate healthy diet, it should cover the nutritional needs. An exception that could be made to this statement is that occasionally fiber does need to be supplemented. This can be in the form of a powdered fiber product, dry baby cereal dusted onto their food, high fiber breakfast cereals, or high fiber treats.

    Can I give my hedgehog milk?-
    It isn't a good idea. Hedgehogs seem to be lactose tolerant to some degree at least, and will often suffer from vomiting or diarrhea after drinking it. Processed dairy foods such as cottage cheese, yogurt, or cheeses appear to be ok in small quantities, but if your hedgehog shows sensitivity to these foods, discontinue them.

    What kind of bugs can I feed my hedgehog?-
    The most commonly used bugs given to hedgehogs are probably crickets and mealworms. Other options available are wax worms, butter worms, silkworms, ants, and roaches. You should always get your insects from either a pet store or a company that specifically raises healthy insects.

    Do I have to feed my hedgehogs bugs?-
    No, you don't HAVE to. However, insects are a good treat for your hedgehog, because they are exactly what your hedgehog was designed to eat. Insects, especially ones with a crispy shell such as crickets, help provide a source of fiber that is appropriate for your hedgehog. They aren't really an appropriate complete diet for captive hedgehogs, however, because of differences in activity levels between wild and captive hedgehogs. An abundant diet of insects to a captive hedgehog would most likely result in a very obese hedgehog with multiple health issues.

    Can I feed my hedgehog bugs I caught outside?-
    Absolutely NOT. Wild caught bugs can carry many forms of parasites, bacterial infections, viruses, and can even be carrying toxic chemicals such as fertilizer, pesticides, automobile fluids, or many other dangerous materials that can make your hedgehog very ill and die. As well, some insects are toxic. Fireflies are one of the most common insects that can be very toxic to reptiles and insect eating mammals.