Best Food For Hedgehogs – Reviews and Buying Guide 2019
When your child eats something harmful to their body, it is terrifying. You also can’t allow them to eat junk food every day. You force them to eat their vegetables. For pet owners, their pets are like their children. You want your pet hedgehog to eat only food that is healthy and good for them.
Some people feed cat food to their hedgehogs because they can’t think of a better alternative. Hedgehogs in the wild feed mostly on insects, supplementing this diet with veggies and fruits. As pet owners, we are confused: what is the best food for hedgehogs in captivity?
We have prepared reviews of the ten best hedgehog foods in the market. They are packed with the nutrients required in a hedgehog’s diet.
What Foods are Safe for Hedgehogs?
Before we look at what foods are safe for hedgehogs, let us first consider the foods that are not safe for hedgehogs. You see, their digestive systems are somewhat sensitive ca. Hedgehogs can also be prone to obesity.
Don’t feed them dairy products. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.
Don’t feed them excessive portions of red meats and fatty meats. Hedgehogs require a low-fat diet.
Do not feed them bait shop insects – there is a risk of these insects containing toxic insecticides.
Grapes and raisins are not safe for hedgehogs.
Do not feed them nuts. They are not easily digestible by hedgehogs. Furthermore, they find nuts difficult to chew.
Now let us look at foods that are safe for hedgehogs.
Cat food is the most well-known and available food that owners feed to their hedgehogs. Most hedgehog food formulas are not as easy to find as cat food. Cat food is good for hedgehogs because its protein to fat ratio is similar to what is required in an insectivore’s diet.
This article focuses on hedgehog-specific foods. When picking hedgehog food for your pet, ensure it has at least 20% protein, 5 to 15% fat, and plenty of fiber. If L-carnitine is listed as an ingredient, that’s a plus.
Being omnivores, hedgehogs also eat fruits and vegetables. As we have seen, some fruits are harmful to hedgehogs. Avoid grapes and raisins. Do not feed your hedgehog large amounts of fruit – too high sugar content.
Hedgehogs also eat meat, but do not feed them raw meat. Cook the meat without seasoning. Do not fry the meat. Never feed your hedgehog canned or processed meat.
The best insects to feed your pet hedgehog include silkworms, crickets, and meal worms. Do not give your hedgehog insects that came from a bait shop as these are likely to contain poisonous insecticides and chemicals.
10 Best Hedgehog Food Reviews
1. Vitakraft Hedgehog High Protein Insect Formula Food
Hedgehog loves this brand of food, even the picky types. It is a high-protein insect formula which gives your pet a nutritious diet.
Protein is very important. It's why so many people feed cat food to their hedgehogs (cat food is one of the most easily available pet foods). You see, cat food contains protein. However, if you can feed your hedgehog food that is specially made for hedgehogs, that is even better!
Hedgehogs happen to be omnivores or insectivores. That means that their primary food is supposed to consist of insect protein (chitin) as well as a variety of vegetables, fruits, cooked meats, live insects, and so forth.
The protein in a hedgehog's food should be more than 20 percent. That is why this protein-rich formula food is so ideal for your pet hedgehog.
The food contains omega fatty acids, natural oil, and flax seed which supports healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Some of the ingredients include soy protein concentrate, poultry meal, wheat bran, fish meal, chitin powder, tuna meal, shrimp meal, freeze-dried meal worms, fish oil, vegetable oil, and many others.
In addition, it is a tasty formula that hedgehogs love.
2. Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Complete high-Protein Hedgehog Diet
Nowadays, companies use so many dubious chemicals in their products that one does not always know what is pet-safe and what is not. If this is a major concern of yours, you will be happy to know that this hedgehog food is 100 % natural. It does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It is made in the US.
The food comprises a nutritionally complete diet for hedgehogs that is fortified with minerals and vitamins. It is veterinarian-approved, and you can feed it to African, Asian, and European hedgehogs.
The food contains a protein-packed pellet which is mixed with fresh grains and dried meal worms. Protein is key in any hedgehog's diet.
Some of the ingredients include ground corn, blood meal, soybean meal, whole roasted soybeans, corn gluten meal, cane molasses, tallow, dried meal worms, dried beet pulp, Vitamin E supplement, and many others.
This formula is designed to satisfy the hedgehog's mineral, amino acid, vitamin, fiber, and digestive enzyme needs.The diet provides the nutrition necessary for a hedgehog's growth, reproduction, and development. It also contains chitin, which comes from insect exoskeleton.
3. Eight in One Ultra-Blend Select Hedgehog Diet
Hedgehogs require a lot of protein in their diet. This hedgehog food is made with this need in mind. It is packed with a high level of animal proteins and amino acids that are crucial for a balanced nutrition.
Furthermore, it does not matter how old or young your hedgehog is: this food is made to keep hedgehogs of all ages in optimum health and well being.
In addition to the proteins and amino acids, the formula is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Fiber is also a crucial part of a hedgehog's diet: this brand is rich in fiber.
To top it all off, it is tasty - for hedgehogs, that is. You know how picky some of these pets can get!
4. Pretty Pets Premium Hedgehog food
When hedgehogs are in the wild, they feast mostly on insects. In fact, their diet is almost exclusively insect-based. Different insects vary in their protein and fat content - the hedgehog may choose one over the other. The problem is that in captivity many diets have high fat content and are not well-balanced.
To remedy this situation, this Pretty Pets hedgehog food contains a balanced set of ingredients that will help your pet hedgehog grow and develop in the best way. The ingredients include corn gluten meal, ground corn, ground oats, poultry meal, potato protein, beet pulp fiber, corn oil, and many other nutritious ingredients.
Indeed, this food is a suitable replacement for most of the inconsistent insect feed you find on the market since it is packed with the necessary proteins and nutrients. It is a wholesome vegetable meal mix that will ensure your hedgehog remains strong and healthy and thrives even in captivity.
5. Spike's Delite Hedgehog Premium Diet Food
If you want your hedgehog to eat cooked food, this one is the best option. It is a supplement that consists of cooked food: chicken, whole soy, and fish protein sources that are nutritious for a hedgehog diet.
The supplement contains minerals and vitamins. It provides your hedgehog with specific nutrition that is nutritiously beneficial to young as well as adult hedgehogs. The food is also good for the animal's reproduction.
You can test it out against cat food. After a while, your pet hedgehog is more likely to prefer this food to cat food. Many people feed cat food to their hedgehogs, but well-prepared, nutritious, well-balanced hedgehog-specific food is the best option.
6. Sunseed Company Vita Prima Hedgehog Treat-Wigglers and Berries
Wild hedgehogs subsist on a diet that consist mostly of insects. Pet hedgehogs do not need to have insects in their diet, though, thanks to pet food companies. That means you won’t have to catch a bunch of insects for your hedgehog to have a nutritious meal.
All you have to do is buy pet food that contains the same nutrients that the hedgehog would have gotten if it ate an insect. Protein is the main draw – a hedgehog needs a protein-rich diet. This pet food is manufactured by the Sun seed Company, and is rich in protein content.
It is a trail mix style treat that is packed with tasty meal worms and berries. It is designed specifically for hedgehogs and encourages your pet to develop its natural foraging instincts.
7. Mazuri Insectivore Diet for Hedgehogs
This diet is perfect for a broad variety of insectivores. If you have a pet whose species eats insects when in the wild, chances are that this food is suitable for it. We are talking a broad range, from mammals to birds, reptiles, and amphibians. We are talking hedgehogs, shrews, anteaters, swift swallows, sugar gliders, bearded dragons, and many others.
You can make this sole diet for your hedgehog. With this hedgehog food, you may not need to supplement your hedgie’s diet. It is adequately nutritious for an insect-eater.
As noted earlier, protein is highly important to the diet of hedgehogs. This diet contains fish oil, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also rich in fiber, which helps simulate chitin (an important component in an insectivore’s diet. The diet also contains taurine.
8. Exotic Nutrition Insect-Eater Diet for Hedgehogs
The best thing for a hedgehog is an insect-rich diet. The hedgehog in the wild living on insects is the best model of what a nutritious and healthy diet for a hedgehog should be. However, this is obviously not viable for a domesticated hedgehog. If it lives in a cage, the hedgehog won’t have the opportunity to capture insects for itself.
The next best thing is this exotic diet for hedgehogs. It is highly nutritious. One of the things that makes it stand out in the market is that it is 100% natural. You see, it does not contain any artificial flavors, color, or preservatives.
The food is highly moist and quite easy to feed to your insectivore hedgehog. It also provides the optimum nutrition for your pet.
The hedgehog food is packed with nutritious components that your small animal needs for good development. These include heart-healthy taurin and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Some of the nutritious ingredients include blood meal, whole egg, soybean meal, beet pulp, cane molasses, whole worms, fish oil, tallow, taurine, yeast culture, vitamins, minerals, apples, wheat germ, and others.
The food is suitable not just for hedgehogs, but for other small animals as well. These include opossums, sugar gliders, reptiles, birds, skunks, capuchins, coatmundi, bearded dragons, marmosets, and other insectivores.
9. Hedgehog Spikes Ultra Hedgehog Food
The key ingredient of this hedgehog food is whole chicken meat. This is great for your pet because hedgehogs need a protein-rich diet. Chicken is a protein-packed food that will provide the protein and nutrition your hedgehog requires for a strong, healthy body.
Other ingredients include whole brown rice and other highly digestible protein sources. The food is also packed with vitamins and minerals. The trace minerals are extruded (cooked) using friction as the only heat source.
Hedgehogs love this food. Its bites are nice and small. A notable change you might see in using this formula, compared to other hedgehog foods, is that your hedgehog’s poops will become smaller and firmer, which means your hedgehog’s body is absorbing more of the vitamins and nutrients from the food.
10. Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs
If you are wary of feeding manufactured food to your pet hedgehog for fear of artificial ingredients, this Exotic Nutrition hedgehog food is a great choice for you. You see, it is 100% natural, for it does not contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
The food contains a universal insectivore diet which makes it suitable not just for hedgehogs, but also for most insectivore mammals such as opossums, skunks, sugar gliders, and some bird species as well.
The food comes in a heavy-duty, resealable bag to ensure it retains its freshness. You can feed it to your hedgehog in its pure form, and you can also mix it with other foods, fresh fruits, insects, and so forth. It is best to feed it along with fresh fruits and a supplemental protein source.
Ingredients include wheat flour, soybean meal, meat & bone meal, pork by-products meal, corn gluten meal dextrose, corn oil, adult insects, blueberries, and many others.
What to Look for Before Buying
The following factors should guide you when you are shopping for hedgehog food:
Hedgehogs are insectivores and have specific diet requirements. Check the protein and fat content when buying hedgehog food. Protein content should be at least 20% while fat content should be at 5 to 15%. The food should also contain plenty of fiber.
Look for something that lists L-cartinine as an ingredient. L-cartinine is crucial for a hedgehog’s heart health. If the hedgehog food does not contain L-cartinine, consider consulting a vet about the amount of L-cartinine you need to supplement your hedgehog’s diet.
Check the food sources used in making the formula. Consider the nutritional value or lack thereof of these ingredients. For instance, some proteins are better than others: insect protein sources are better than protein from meat.
What They Can Eat and What They Can't
This is a major debate among hedgehog owners. Some of them believe that cat food is the best food for hedgehogs and look down on hedgehog food, seeing it as “junk food” for hedgehogs because it “contains too much protein” or “too much filler”.
How hedgehogs became consumers of cat food is due to cat food being the most available food for many years. Historically, hedgehog food was not as available as it is today. Furthermore, it was not as nutritious as hedgehog owners would have wanted.
Naturally, cat food became the best option. Cat food is available everywhere, no matter where you live. In addition, it contains protein and is a small kibble that hedgehogs can comfortably feed on. To date, there are hedgehog owners who still insist on feeding cat food to their hedgehogs.
What these hedgehog owners don’t realize is that hedgehog food has significantly improved in quality over the years. Moreover, hedgehog food contains the nutrients that hedgehogs would get from their predominantly insect-based diet in the wild.
Hedgehog foods are made for insectivore critters and are packed with protein, chitin, and other nutrients that hedgehogs require.
You see, hedgehogs are omnivores and insectivores. That means that while their primary food is insect protein (chitin), they also feed on a broad range of vegetables, fruits, cooked meats, and live insects such as mealworms. It is, therefore, crucial that hedgehog owners pay attention to the ingredients of the food they feed to hedgehogs in captivity.
The hedgehog diet should comprise a mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, water, and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Hedgehog food should contain over 20 % protein content, 5 to 15% fat content, and a fair amount of fiber. For that reason, if you feed cat food to your hedgie, ensure you supplement it with more fiber.
While it is best to have a variety of protein sources, the very best options for hedgehogs are insect and poultry protein.
When buying hedgehog food, check if L-carnitine is listed as an ingredient. It is good for hedgehog heart healthy. If it does not, you can consult a vet about supplementing your hedgie’s diet with a small amount of L-carnitine.
In addition, hedgehogs have tiny teeth (42 of them). To maintain them, hedgies need to crunch on hard foods.
Hedgehogs happen to have somewhat sensitive digestive systems and they can easily become obese. Therefore, a hedgehog owner should know which types of foods are harmful to them. For instance, they are lactose intolerant. Do not feed them dairy products.
Though hedgehogs can eat meat, do not give theme excess amounts of red meats and fatty meats. Hedgehogs require a low-fat diet.
Not all fruits are good for hedgehogs. Some, like grapes and raisins, are actually harmful to them. You should also avoid feeding them nuts as hedgehogs do not digest nuts well – they also find them difficult to chew.
In addition, do not feed them bait shop insects as those may contain toxic insecticides.
Hedgehogs are insectivores and omnivores. Out in the wild, they feed on insects, fruits, and vegetables. As such, they require a diet that is protein-rich, low-fat, high in fiber content, fortified with crucial vitamins and minerals. Each of the ten hedgehog foods we have looked at provide that.
However, not all fruits and not all vegetables and not all protein sources are good for hedgehogs. Keep this in mind when feeding your hedgie.
When you go shopping for hedgehog food, keep a keen eye on the ingredients and their nutritional value. After all, you want your pet to eat only what is best for its health and nutrition, don’t you?