Definitely an opportunistic eater, Hedgehogs is one of the most interesting pets nowadays. But, how much do you take care of them? And, what do hedgehogs eat?
If you prefer those pets with quills, hedgehog is perfect for you. Hedgehogs belong to a family of mammals that have been existing millions of years ago. They mostly dwell in Africa and southern part of Europe. Primarily, these animals are considered to be insectivores meaning as they love to eat insects. But, there are times they will eat plants and different variety of animals when available. Another, they are nocturnal where they spend most of their sleeping and then become active at night. At night, you will be able to discover what hedgehog eats for you can see their activities clearly during those nights.
Hedgehogs’ quills are their most noticeable and distinct trait. Their quills are usually with white tips together with brown bands acting as camouflage. Also, there are other color variations such as black, brown, cream, gray and albino. Their quills which are the sharp hollow hairs are also used as their protection. When they are being threatened, they have the ability to curl up into ball having quills intended.
Hedgehog as Your New Pet
Aside from becoming familiar with their unique characteristics, you will also learn what they eat. And, one of the most common type of hedgehog sold as pets is the African pygmy. Generally, they can grow around 6 to 9 inches with a normal lifespan of 4 to 6 years. But, a pet hedgehog can live up to 10 years. They are known to be solitary animals and should be living alone.
Hedgehogs are quite active and since they are nocturnal, they are ideal for you if you are at home in the evening. They are very interesting to watch, not aggressive, quiet and easy to take care of. They are fun to be with for they are clean animals and with just a bit of smell. Their food can be easily be attained and affordable. They can be your distinct and entertaining pet. So, what do hedgehog eat?
What Do Hedgehogs Eat?
When you think of having those pet with quills, you may ask first, “What do hedgehogs eat?” You have to ensure that you will be providing them with the proper food and diet for them to stay healthy and active.
Hedgehogs are not peaky eaters, they have been known to eat insects, baby mice, small snakes, worms, slugs, eggs and fruits. In the wild, they feast on different insects offering them fiber and chitin, material primarily found in insect’s exoskeleton. At the same time, they also prefer to munch small animals and plants. So, as you know what do hedgehogs eat, you will be able to provide them a well-balanced diet that can greatly provide them with lots of protein and fiber and with low fat content.
You have to feed hedgehogs a heathy diet which depends to what type of activity they are engaged to and to their metabolism. In case that you notice that your hedgehog is becoming fat, you have to cut back its food portions. Nutritious diet for your pet hedgehog will ensure you that you will be having a healthy and happy companion for years.
Food and Diet for Hedgehogs
Now, you have already the idea of what do hedgehog eat, but with following list of food items that you can feed on your hedgehog, it will be easier for you to keep them healthy and live longer.
It is also ideal to feed your pet hedgehog moist food. Canned dog or cat food can work well as a hedgehog food. But, you have to ensure that these food are rich in protein and fiber and are primarily made of chicken or other meat.
There many available commercial hedgehog food but not quite available to some pet shop. As an alternative, you may opt chicken or meat dry cat food which is high in protein content. Dry food should be a primary part of your hedgehog’s diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Ideally, you may also include a small portion of fruits and vegetables of what do hedgehogs eat. Some of the recommend fruits and vegetables that your pet’s diet are peas, apples, beans, carrots and grapes. You can try a different variety of fruits and vegetables since they are likely to eat few types. Fruits and vegetables should be only in small portion of their diet, so never overfeed them with these foods.
If you think of what do hedgehogs eat, you may usually think of nutritious foods. But, similar to humans who loves junk food, hedgehogs are not exempted. You may add treats on their diet as variation, but need to be in moderation. Some of the great treats you can take advantage of are mealworms and crickets.
Other options will be cooked food like chicken, hamburger and eggs and moist dog or cat treats. Also, by giving them small piece of your food is another simple way of supplying them with treats. You may offer them with fruits and vegetables for about 4 times a week. You can give them soft fruits like melon, berries and bananas while for vegetables, you can feed them with lettuce and other greens and cooked sweet potatoes.
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Your idea for what do hedgehogs eat is already clear to you and now, you have to provide them with fresh drinking water using water bottle or dish since they need a clean source of water.
Food to Avoid in Feeding Hedgehog
Knowing of what do hedgehogs eat can help you maintain their good health condition, but to make it more possible, you also have to avoid unnecessary foods. You have to avoid feeding them with the eyes of potatoes and onions for these are known to be toxins for animals. Also, never feed them with broccoli, cauliflower and peppers for they can cause gastrointestinal stress. Keep them away from dried fruits that are high in sugar content. Lastly, never let your pet munch dead bugs for these contain bacteria.