Hedgehogs are cute little animals that look like they belong in a children’s book. They live in Europe and Asia and are known for their unique quills or spines. In addition to being adorable, these creatures also have some interesting habits.
In particular, the hedgehog has a very specific diet. If you spot one in your garden and you want to feed it, you’ll need to be equipped with the necessary information to ensure that you aren’t doing the hedgehog more harm than good.
Many people have wondered whether hedgehogs can eat food made specifically for other animals, such as rabbit food. If you are one such person you’re in luck!
Take a look at the info-packed guide below to find out whether hedgehogs can eat rabbit food and learn more about their diets.
Hedgehogs tend to rely solely on insects and other invertebrates as their main food source. A typical diet will include foods such as:
- Fly larvae
It is important to know that there are some foods that hedgehogs should not eat. Specifically, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so they cannot drink or eat anything with dairy in it (including milk). They also shouldn’t eat bread or mealworms.
Hedgehogs And Rabbit Food
So, you’ve spotted a hedgehog in the garden and all you have to give it is your rabbit’s food. You’re likely thinking, it’ll be fine, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, hedgehogs shouldn’t eat rabbit food. This is because rabbits have an entirely different diet from hedgehogs. They are herbivores, so there are very few nutritional benefits in rabbit food that will work for hedgehogs.
Additionally, rabbit food tends to include hay, which hedgehogs cannot digest. The size of rabbit food will also likely be a problem.
Rabbits have very large and strong teeth, whereas hedgehogs have very small teeth. As such, they would struggle to chew rabbit food properly.
Hedgehogs And Other Animal Foods
So, if rabbit food is off the table, are there any other animal foods that you can feed hedgehogs? Take a look below to find out.
Hedgehogs And Cat Food
If you spot a hedgehog and you have some cat food to hand – you’re in luck! Hedgehogs absolutely can eat cat food. However, we do recommend that you use high-quality cat food.
Anything that is too salty, sugary, or has been canned won’t be very good for the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs And Dog Food
Hedgehogs can also generally eat dog food. However, it is important that you break the food up into small pieces before giving it to the hedgehog so that it can properly digest it.
Additionally, don’t give the dog food to the hedgehog if it has been frozen, is salty, or is very sugary. This can cause health problems.
Hedgehogs And Bird Food
As you can probably imagine, hedgehogs are quite different animals from birds. Birds tend to consume a lot of seeds, and unfortunately, seeds are totally off-limits for hedgehogs.
Seeds can cause a lot of digestive problems in hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs And Rat Food
Rat foods tend to be quite low in both protein and fats which hedgehogs would benefit from. Additionally, rat food tends to have corn and grain-based components.
Hedgehogs are generally unable to digest these types of foods.
Hedgehogs And Guinea Pig Foods
Guinea pigs have a very different diet from hedgehogs, because, like rabbits, they are herbivores.
As such, guinea pig food shouldn’t be given to hedgehogs because they will receive very little nutrition from it. Hedgehogs tend to need some meat to sustain themselves.
What To Feed Hedgehogs
So, given their very delicate diets, what exactly should you feed a hedgehog?
Well, as discussed above, you can give a hedgehog cat or dog food. If you do, make sure that it is wet and meat-based.
You can feed them dry cat and dog food, however, you need to make sure that it is crushed up quite small so they can digest it.
If you see hedgehogs quite frequently, you could purchase specialist hedgehog food from a pet or garden store.
If you choose to do this, make sure that you opt for a feed that has a high meat content and one that doesn’t include foods that are harmful to hedgehogs.
To feed the hedgehog, put your food of choice in a shallow dish, and leave it in a shaded area of your garden.
You should do this around sunset. Be sure to leave water bowls too as hedgehogs need to stay hydrated.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to care for a hedgehog. It’s important to remember that hedgehogs are very sensitive creatures – so be sure to remain calm around a hedgehog if you spot one!