Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Food?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Food

Hedgehogs may be small and adorable, but they have very specific dietary needs. While many pet owners are familiar with the types of food that cats and dogs can eat, what about hedgehogs? Is it safe for them to consume dog food?

In this article, we will explore whether or not hedgehogs can safely eat dog food as part of their diet. We will look at the nutritional content of different brands of dog food and how it compares to a healthy hedgehog diet as well as any potential risks that could come from feeding your hedgie dog food. Read on for more information!

Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Food?

The short answer is no, hedgehogs cannot eat dog food. While some of the ingredients in dog food may be harmless for hedgehogs to consume, it does not provide them with the necessary nutrition they need for a balanced diet. Dog food is formulated with higher levels of fat and protein than what a hedgehog needs, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Nutritional Content Of Different Brands Of Dog Food

Dog food typically contains high levels of proteins such as beef, poultry or fish. It also often includes grains like corn and wheat as well as vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Some brands may also include by-products from animal sources or artificial flavors and preservatives. These ingredients are not necessary for a healthy hedgie diet.

Comparing To A Healthy Hedgehog Diet

In comparison to a healthy diet for hedgehogs, dog food falls short on providing them with the nutrients they need to thrive. Most importantly, it lacks calcium which is essential for optimal bone growth and development in these small animals. Additionally, hedgehog diets should include insects such as mealworms or crickets instead of processed meats found in many brands of dog food.

Potential Risks

Feeding your hedgie too much dog food can result in serious health issues including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, liver damage, pancreatitis, and even death. Additionally, certain types of dog foods contain artificial colors that could be toxic to your pet. Finally, if you feed your pet too much protein without enough fiber it can cause digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation.

The Best Dog Food for a Healthy Hedgehog Diet

Hedgehogs are unique animals that require special dietary needs. Many people don’t realize that hedgehogs can benefit from eating certain types of dog food, if it is chosen properly.

When choosing the best type of dog food for your pet hedgehog, look for one that has high-quality ingredients and meets the following criteria:

  • High levels of protein: Protein is essential for any animal’s diet, including hedgehogs. Look for a dog food with at least 25% protein content.
  • Low levels of fat: Too much fat in the diet can lead to obesity and other health problems in hedgehogs. Aim for a dogfood with less than 10% fat content.
  • No artificial additives or preservatives: Artificial additives and preservatives should be avoided when feeding any animal, as they can have negative effects on their health.

Additionally, you may want to look for a type of dog food specifically designed as “hedgehog food” which will provide all the necessary nutrients needed by this species.

Tips For Feeding Your Hedgehog Dog Food

  • Start gradually: If you’re switching from regular cat or ferret foods to a new brand of dog food, start by mixing small amounts with your pet’s current diet until he gets used to it.
  • Rotate flavors: Keep things interesting by rotating different flavors so your hedgehog doesn’t get bored with his meals. Rotating also ensures he gets all the nutrients he needs since each flavor contains different ingredients.
  • Monitor weight gain/loss: Be sure to keep an eye on your pet’s weight while switching over to a new diet; too much weight gain or loss could indicate an imbalance in nutrition.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure about something related to feeding your hedgie—your vet or local pet store should be able to help!

Types of Food Suitable for Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are omnivores, so they can eat both plant-based and animal-based foods. Many commercially available dry food mixes contain a variety of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins that hedgehogs need to stay healthy. In addition to these commercial foods, it is possible to provide hedgehogs with a variety of fresh foods as well.


Insects such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms and earthworms make up an important part of the hedgehog diet. Insects provide essential proteins and fats and should be offered in moderation. Insects can be purchased from pet stores or found outdoors.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals for hedgehogs. Offer small amounts of fruits such as apples, bananas, blueberries or strawberries along with dark green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach. Other suitable vegetables include carrots, sweet potatoes or squash.

Meat & Fish

Cooked lean meats such as chicken breast, turkey, beef, fish or eggs can also be fed to hedgehogs. Avoid fatty cuts of meat as they may lead to obesity in these animals.

Other Foods

  • Dry dog food.
  • Cooked grains like oatmeal.
  • Yogurt drops.

These items should only be offered occasionally (no more than once per week).

Do Not Feed Hedgehogs These Foods

Hedgehogs are small, insect-eating animals native to Europe, Asia and Africa. They have become popular as pets in recent years due to their relatively low maintenance requirements.

Despite this, there are some foods that hedgehogs should not eat. While some foods may not be harmful in moderation, it is best to avoid them altogether if possible.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Milk – Milk products can cause digestive upset or diarrhea in hedgehogs.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Some fruits and vegetables can be given as treats but they should not make up a large portion of the diet. Fruits should always be peeled before feeding.
  • Meat – Meat products like beef, pork or poultry are too high in fat for hedgehogs and could lead to obesity. Insects such as mealworms or crickets may be offered occasionally but should never replace regular meals.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of fat which can lead to weight gain. Additionally, some nuts (such as macadamia) can be toxic for hedgehogs so these should always be avoided.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which is toxic for many animals including hedgehogs. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death if consumed by a hedgehog.

In addition to avoiding these types of food items, owners must also ensure that their pet has access to fresh water at all times. This will help keep them hydrated during hot weather and prevent dehydration which can cause serious health problems down the line.


The answer to the question of whether hedgehogs can eat dog food is a qualified yes. Dog food is not an ideal diet for hedgehogs, but it can be used in moderation as a supplemental treat or when no other options are available. However, feeders should make sure that the dog food they choose does not contain any ingredients that could harm their pet.

Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables should always be made available to ensure a balanced diet. In conclusion, while hedgehogs may occasionally snack on some dog food, it is important to understand its potential risks before doing so and always provide your pet with diverse sources of nutrition.


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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