Can A Hedgehog Eat Dog Food? Your Hedgies Will Love Our Food Recommendations 

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Can A Hedgehog Eat Dog Food?

In captivity, the food options for hedgehogs are quite limited. Keepers search for safe and tasty protein sources for their hedgies. We have noticed owners feeding their quill balls dog foods on a regular basis. But can a hedgehog eat dog food? Is it safe for their health? 

Hedgehogs can safely eat low-fat meat-based wet dog foods. Packaged dog foods with at least 30% protein and less than 20% fat are ideal for hedgies. A high-fat and low-protein dog food must be avoided at all costs. 

Which dog foods are safe for hedgehogs? Can we prepare these dog meals for hedgies at home? What are the alternatives to dog food for our prickly pigs? Catch all the answers below. 



Can Hedgehog Eat Dog Food?

Hedgehogs depend on a high-protein diet. What could be a better protein source than the meaty dog food? You are right! Our little prickly pigs love eating wet meat-based homemade or commercial dog meals. 

As per researchers, hedgies require at least 30 to 50% of protein and 10 to 20% of fat content to stay healthy. Therefore, the meaty dog food we are going for must include at least 30% protein and less than 20% fat. You can rely on the commercial dog wet meaty meals that quality this minimum requirements. 


Benefits of Feeding Hedgehogs Dog Foods

Benefits of Feeding Hedgehogs Dog Foods

Hedges require a stable and effective protein source to thrive in life. Dog meaty meals are high in protein and can fulfill the protein requirements of our pocket pets. Researches show that protein is essential in a hedgehog diet to,

  • Carry on their body function properly
  • Improve growth rate 
  • Speed up tissue repair time 
  • Maintain healthy enzyme synthesis 

Generally, baby hedgehogs need protein more than young and adult quill balls. Protein-deficient hedges do not enjoy normal growth and mental stability. As a result, those prickly pigs are prone to more diseases and might die a premature death due to physical complexities. 

With meat-based dog foods, our hedgehogs get access to a rich protein source. As a result, the risk of suffering from protein deficiency or other complications is zero. In fact, the hedgies enjoy healthy growth and solid immunity because of the protein doses. 


Dangers of Dog Foods for Hedgehogs

Dangers of Dog Foods for Hedgehogs

Unfortunately, dog foods have some downsides for hedgies. For starters, hedgehogs are insectivores. They want a meal containing worms and insects. Getting them hooked on animal or processed protein is never wise. 

Secondly, the commercial dog meal packages are extremely unpredictable. Brands want to supply their products at a cheaper rate. So, they are compromising with protein percentage.

Most commercial foods we have gone through are poor in protein. If you feed these meals to your hedgehogs, they might suffer from protein deficiency. 

Next, we found an inconsistency in fat percentage. Some labels say their products include a minimum of 9% fat. As we know, hedgehogs can not process fat very well. Hence, high-fat food makes them obese and leads to organ damage. Offering our prickly balls such unpredictable dog foods will make them suffer in the long run. 


Will Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?

Hedgehogs can eat chicken or meat based commercial or homemade cat foods. Professionals suggest that cats require a higher source of protein compared to dogs. Therefore, their commercial meals contain protein between 28% to 55%

Will Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food

As hedgies also depend on a high-protein diet, cat foods sound like the best meal option for them.

The only problem you might face with cat foods is the kibble size. Honestly, the kibbles are bigger for hedgehogs to nibble on, and there is a risk of choking. We face the same problem with dog kibbles. Well, crushing and breaking the kibbles into hedgehog bites can be a solution. 


Can Hedgehogs Eat Rabbit or Hamster Food?

Hedgehogs can not survive on a rabbit or hamster meal. Remember, unlike hedgies, rabbits, and hamsters are dependent on green and plant matter. No wonder their meals include more vegetables and leafy greens. 

On the other hand, hedgehogs are insectivores and require a high-protein diet. Though they eat vegetables and fruits occasionally, they can not process plant matter well. Hence, feeding them the rodent diet will only lead to mineral deficiency, muscle loss, and abnormal growth. 


The Best Hedgehog Food Recipe 

People have different opinions on how to prepare a nutritious and delicious meal for hedgehogs. Well, we do not want to argue about which recipe is the best. But we can reveal how we make meals for our quill balls. 

To be honest, we do not believe in the total dependency on cat or dog foods. In fact, hedgehogs are insectivores. Right? 

Our trick is to mix hedgehog-formulated food with two or three types of commercial cat and dog meals. We break down the dog and cat kibbles into biteable sizes for hedgies. The mix ensures that the quill balls will get enough protein and nutrition from the diet. 

Then again, we always recommend avoiding commercial packaged meals and going for natural diets. For hedgehogs, you can manage live or dried mealworms, waxworms, hornworms, Dubia roaches, etc. To back up the protein requirement, offer them boiled eggs, chickens, turkeys, lambs, and other lean meats. 


Conclusion

High protein (above 30%) and low fat (below 20%) dog meat-based foods are safe for hedgehogs. Dog kibbles are too large for hedgies to break down. Crushing them into small sizes is always a better idea to avoid choking. Hedgehogs can eat high-protein cat food as well.

We recommend mixing two or three types of cat and dog foods with hedgehog-formulated pellets. These meals are highly nutritious for our quill balls.


FAQs

What should you not feed hedgehogs? 

Avoid feeding your hedgehogs seeds, grains, and high-carb foods. Dairy and bakery products also do not suit them. Besides, processed food, junk items, and high-fat meat are dangerous for the hedgies. 

Can hedgehogs eat eggs?

In the wild, hedgehogs sometimes feast on raw eggs to survive the day. Though eggs are not ideal for hedgies, these are indeed a rich source of protein. You can offer your pet quill balls chopped boiled eggs occasionally. 

What is the best hedgehog food?

Insect-based meals are the best for hedgehogs. You can add mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, hornworms, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, etc.., to their diet chart. Hedgies are mostly dependent on high-protein sources. But they require vegetables and fruits as treats to fulfill mineral requirements. 

Can I give my hedgehog milk?

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. They will suffer from indigestion and diarrhea after drinking milk. Similarly, our quill balls can not process any juice. Making freshwater accessible to them is all they require.

Can hedgehogs eat chicken?

Hedgehogs love low-fat and boneless chicken meat. We mostly offer them unseasoned, boiled chicken breast pieces. Hedgies can eat other meats like turkey, lamb, beef, pork, etc. 

About the author

Susana

Susana

Susana Jean, Pocket Pet Expert and Sugar Glider Aficionado Hi everyone! I’m Susana Jean, your go-to wordsmith and pet enthusiast who has a special place in her heart for the fascinating world of sugar gliders.…Continue reading

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