Home > Hedgehog > Hedgehog Information > Feeding Hedgehogs

Feeding Hedgehogs

Feeding HedgehogsIn the wild, a hedgehog is opportunistic and will eat many things, but the majority of the diet comprises insects.

Our suggestion is to feed Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Complete. Keep this diet available at all times. You may also offer Exotic Nutrition canned Insect-Eater diet in order to offer variety, this food contains 3 types of whole cooked insects.

As insectivores, hedgehogs need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. They also require chitin, which comes from the exoskeleton of insects; fiber in the diet may substitute for the chitin component. There are prepared foods specifically for pet hedgehogs and insectivores, including foods made from insect components. Exotic Nutrition's Hedgehog Complete is one such diet. It was formulated specifically for Hedgehogs, and contains dried mealworms which contain chitin. Also available are alimentary powders to sprinkle on other food which provide chitin and other nutrients, Hedgehog booster is one such product. Hedgehog caretakers should read labels on packaged food to ensure a basis of protein, rather than a basis of carbohydrate.

Pet hedgehogs may eat such table foods as cooked, lean chicken, turkey, beef or pork (in moderation due to fat content). Hedgehogs will often eat small amounts of vegetable and can be given small amounts of fruit as treats . Baby food is a common way to feed treats. Hedgehogs are lactose-intolerant and will have stomach problems after consuming most dairy products, though occasional plain lowfat yogurt (yogurt contains bacteria that naturally process lactose) or cottage cheese seem to be well tolerated. Sugar intake should be restricted to fruits, avoid any treat with added sugar.

Fresh, canned, or freeze-dried mealworms, waxworms, and crickets are appropriate as limited treats though in moderation as many feed insects are high in fat. Hedgehog caretakers should avoid bait-shop or wild caught insects, which may be contaminated with insecticides.

Hedgehogs can easily become obese. If a pet hedgehog appears to be gaining too much weight, it is important that the hedgehog’s caretaker cut back on high fat foods and increase exercise. Hedgehogs vary in size so there is no "goal weight" for a hedgehog, but if they can no longer roll completely into a ball it is a pretty clear sign of obesity. Many people believe that there is a relation between a high-fat diet and fatty-liver disease in hedgehogs.

Due to their mouth shape hedgehogs should not be fed any nuts. Nut butters are acceptable, but are very high in fat so they should probably be avoided. Hedgehogs should never be fed avocados, onions, grapes or raisins, chocolate, any raw meat or egg yolks, or any canned or processed food.


Exotic Nutrition™ supports legitimate scientific research projects with financial donations to help advance the health and well-being of Sugar Gliders and other exotic mammals. A percentage of the profit from sales goes toward funding of these scientific projects. We hope you will join us in our quest to advance research in the exotic mammal health care fields.

The Exotic Nutrition Pet Company specializes in the manufacture and distribution of exotic mammal feeds, supplements, and accessories. Our facility is located in Southeastern Virginia.

We have always prided ourselves in meeting the needs of our exotic mammal friends when they are kept in captivity, and have always strived to bring the finest quality animal diets and accessories to conscience pet owners worldwide. Ensuring the health and well-being of your captive exotic is our main concern.

We are, and will continue to be, a company whose objective is to deliver the best possible products and services at an affordable price. Our company stands behind the products that we manufacture, and continuously monitors quality and freshness to offer you, and your pets, the highest quality foods, supplements, and accessories for exotics available.

Some of the Colleges and Institutions that use our products ....

Bucknell University /PA * University of Louisville Stony Brook University/NY * Peel Zoo / Australia * University of Maryland * UCLA /Lab Animal Research * Jungle Island / Miami Fl. * Kansas City Zoo / MO * National Aquarium Baltimore * United States Center for Disease Control * Heritage Park Zoo / AZ * University of Rhode Island * Missouri State University * PETA / Norfolk VA. * University of Louisiana * Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary /Ky * University of Montreal * Big Cat Habitat & Santuary / FL * University of Kentucky * Port Defiance Zoo & Aquarium / WA * Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary / AL * Americas Teaching Zoo / CA * Harvard University / Cambridge MA * University of British Columbia / Canada * Washington State University * University of Kansas Med Center Lab Animal * University of Pennsylvania * Heritage Park Zoological Association * Sunset Zoo / Manhattan KS. * Baton Rouge Zoo / LA * Humane Animal Welfare Society / WI * Guadeloupe Zoo / West Indies * Utica Zoo of Utica / NY * Liberty Science Center / Animal Husbandry * Roos-N-More Zoo / NV * Shedd Aquarium / Chicago * NC Aquarium / Roanoke Island * Blue Ridge Wildlife Center / VA * Seoul National University / Bio. Science * Thüringer Zoopark / Germany * Guadeloupe Zoo / France * Sea World / San Diego * Pittsburg State University * Native Animal Rescue / CA * Humane Society of Washington County / MD * Arizona State University Animal Care * Foothills Wildlife Research Facility / CO * Zoo Atlanta * UCLA * Indian Creek Zoo / MI * North East Ohio Medical University * University of Rochester * University of Arizona / Department of Entomology * Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge / FL * Charlotte Nature Museum / NC * San Diego Zoo / Safari Park * Veterinary Care Specialists / MI * Highlands Nature Sanctuary / OH * Shearwaters Kauai Humane Society / HI * Virginia Aquarium Virginia Beach Va. * The Wildlife Conservation and Education Center NJ * El Paso Zoo / TX * Atlantic City Aquarium / NJ * LSU School of Veterinary Medicine * Animal Medical Center of Forney / TX * Squirrel Creek Wildlife Rescue / CO * American Museum of Natural History NY * University of California / Qureshely Research Lab * Sea World (Bird Dept.) San Diego, CA * Dakota Zoo / Bismark, ND * Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society / Canada * Black Pine Animal Sanctuary / IN * Eastern Wyoming College * Alexandria Zoological Park / LA * Tanganika Wildlife Park / KS * Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo, MS * Edenton National Fish Hatchery * Penn State University /Biology Dept * University of Western Ontario * Pocono Snake & Animal Farm * Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center * Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University * Yosemite National Park * Pocono Snake & Animal Farm / PA * Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine /St.Kitts * Pittsburg State University(KS)/Biology Dept * University of Missouri / Veterinary * Texas Tech University * Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium * Purdue University / Biology Dept. * El Paso Zoo / El Paso TX * Hutchinson Zoo / KS * Northeastern University * Sandy Bottom Nature Park / Hampton Va. * University of Kansas /Lab Animal Resources *Virginia Zoo / Norfolk Va.



Feeding Hedgehogs