Best Food for Hedgehogs – AWESOME Buyer’s Guide

Get the Best Food for your Pet Hedgehog

For many people, hedgehogs are not the average pet. As such, having one requires learning new things about the Erinaceidae family that will allow the animal to live a full life during the entirety of their domestication. They are small creatures that love insects and are heavily dependent on organisms that contain moderate to high levels of protein. The six products below will help your furry friend stay nourished with all the vitamins and fiber their diet requires of them.

Best Food for Hedgehogs 2018

PreviewFood name
WeightServingsRatingPrice
Spikes Ultra Premium Hedgehog Food
(Editor`s choice)
5lb.40+⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price
Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Complete5lb.15-40⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price
Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs3lb.15⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price
Premium Dried Mealworms byTasty Bug Treats 2lb.20+⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price
Spike's Delite Hedgehog Premium Diet Food1.5lb.10+⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price
Wild Things Hedgehog Food4.4lb.15+⭐⭐⭐⭐Check Price

The pet food market has become more and more competitive with each passing year. Thankfully, most hedgehog products remain about the same but do harbor differences in their primary ingredients. Here’s a lowdown on the most notable variances.

Hedgehog eats some food

 

  • Spikes Ultra Premium Hedgehog Food: Weight: 5 lbs; Number of Servings: 40+; Contents: Chicken, Brown Rice, Fish Meal, etc.
  • Hedgehog Complete: Weight: 2-10 lbs; Number of Servings: 15-40; Contents: Grains, Mealworms
  • Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs: Weight: 3 lbs; Number of Servings: 15; Contents: Meat/Soybean Meal, Berries
  • Tasty Bug Treats – Mealworms: Weight: 2lbs; Number of Servings: 20+; Contents: Mealworms
  • Spike’s Delite Hedgehog Premium Diet Food: Weight: 1.5 lbs; Number of Servings: 10+; Contents: Chicken, Soy, Fish Protein
  • Wild Things Hedgehog Food: Weight: 2 kg; Number of Servings: 15+; Contents: Nuts, Berries

The Best Food For Hedgehogs Reviewed

1. Spikes Ultra Premium Hedgehog Food: Best Hedgehog Food For Protein

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Spikes Ultra Premium Food almost looks like something you would find on the cereal aisle of any grocery store (but you won’t want to eat this for yourself!). The brand makes several types of pet food, primarily for the consumption of birds, fish, and hedgehogs. It’s filled with an assorted list of foods that the latter will grow to love quickly.

Absorption that You’ll Notice

If you already have experience feeding a hedgehog, you may have used dog or cat food pellets to give them something to nibble on. Some of these might be hard on their teeth and lead to chewing and digestive issues later down the road. This product is the opposite, having bite-sized pellets that will easily fit into their mouth. As it travels down their stomach and into the digestive tract, the high number of vitamins will absorb into their tiny bodies, resulting in less messy cleanup when they go to relieve themselves. The brown rice and chicken combination, the two primary ingredients, give them a high amount of protein as well.

More about Protein

But the protein could also be a worry for some owners. There’s between 30 to 35% of it included with each serving, something that could go above the limit of their recommended daily intake. Nothing would probably happen, but make sure that you’re rationing off the food to them in the appropriate amounts, especially if they already consume other high-protein foods regularly. The plastic bag that the product comes in could also be improved. It consists of plastic and has the tendency to break apart in sporadic areas of the seams. You can seal it up when you’re don’t feeding your pet but be careful to not handle too roughly, or else you’ll risk having to switch everything to an airtight container.

Anyhow, the Spikes Ultra Premium is a good meal for any hedgehog, including African and European types. Your pet will be filled and retain more than enough energy to keep them full for the rest of the day. Just be sure that you’re closing the bag completely so that it doesn’t spoil too quickly. Other than that, the food is recommended for pet owners that don’t alternate their hedgehog’s meals too often.

Pros
  • Small bites that are easy for hedgehogs to consume quickly
  • Most of the food is absorbed into the hedgehog’s digestive tract; less waste cleanup
  • Chicken and brown rice combination goes easy on the stomach
Cons
  • Contains numerous ingredients that are arguably unnecessary for hedgehogs
  • Plastic bag is cheaply made and may split at the seams if handled roughly


2. Hedgehog Complete: Best Food For Outdoor Hedgehogs

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The Hedgehog Complete resembles a bag of dog food, only this time, the animals in the picture are tow small, spiny Erinaceidae. It’s a great meal that consists of both mealworms and grains, incorporated with the right amounts of protein and vitamins for their daily intake.

Chitin and how It Helps

One key component in a hedgehog’s diet is chitin, a biopolymer that’s commonly found on the exoskeletons of insects. For hedgehogs that live outside and are not domesticated (such as those that live around your home), it’s an essential compound that provides them the fiber they need to strengthen their bones. But chitin can also be of great use to the little friend that you keep inside, giving them the same nourishment as specified, especially if they have not eaten as normal. It’s basically a fiber that’s necessary for wild/outdoor Erinaceidae and a substitute for any that you keep as pets, considering the nutrients they could be missing out on with other food you have provided for them. Hedgehog Complete contains this and much more.

Storing for the Long Haul

Yet is there anything that deserves criticism? Not really. You might come across some batches (or patches inside the package itself) that are stale and hard for them to chew. This is exasperated if you’re not careful with how you close the bag when not in use. It could also make the product spoil very fast.

As a precaution, use a plastic container if you think that your storage space won’t be adequate to help the product last longer, particularly if the humidity in said space is higher than normal. In the end, try out the Hedgehog Complete brand for your outdoor friends and any other hedgehogs that like mealworms mixed into your normal food.
Pros
  • Great mix of mealworms and grains
  • Contains chitin, a natural source of fiber for hedgehogs
  • Although a dry mix, chews and goes down the same as moist foods
Cons
  • Contents are sometimes stale
  • May contain few mealworms in the bag
  • Unless sealed completely, may spoil fast


3. Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs: Best Mixed Hedgehog Food

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Berries and Bugs. The name has a nice alliteration to it. But there’s lots more to this brand than a fancy moniker. The white packaged bag, processed with ingredients from the United States, takes advantage of hedgehog’s favorite desserts while simultaneously giving them a helping of grains, insects, and berries.

Changing Things Up

Going back on the conversation talked about earlier, hedgehogs are sometimes fed a mixed diet of products that are sold for other pets. If yours comes into this category, this food will be right up their alley. The mixture is effective at giving power to most animals that rely on insects, with a little extra candy to keep them coming back for seconds. There are no exotic ingredients to speak of. The company has kept their word on having only natural ingredient in every bag, so if you’re keen on avoiding anything synthetic, Berries and Bugs is the way to go.

Don’t let it Go Bad

As for the negatives, most of them aren’t exclusive to this product alone. If you’ve has your hedgehog for some time, it’s nothing you having seen before. For example, crumbling. Dry pet food often will do this, even while the content is completely safe for the animal to eat. While not a huge problem, you’ll come across loads of crumbs at the bottom of the bag when you’re almost ready to buy another. That’s why it’s so important that you keep the container as sealed as possible. You give the product longevity and keep the little pieces near the lower portion of the bag from getting smaller, saving you money from not having to buy another too early.

Exotic Nutrition Berries & Bugs can be enjoyed by any hedgehog. Remember that it does list soy and corn as some of the ingredients, so if you have a tendency to shy away from these, you might want to look elsewhere. If not, have it this brand, it might just be one of the last hedgehog pet foods you buy for quite some time.

Pros
  • Protein content works well for hedgehogs that are fed a mixed diet
  • Ingredients are completely natural and possess no synthetic compounds
  • The bag is similar to those found with other pet foods (dogs and cats), blocks out moisture, and is tear-resistant
Cons
  • Crumbles very easily
  • Disintegration is increased unless the bag is sealed up thoroughly (no air)


4. Tasty Bug Treats – Mealworms: Best Hedgehog Food For Mealworms

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Mealworms. It’s probably your hedgehog’s favorite meal of all. No pet owner can go wrong with providing them heaps of the tasty beetle in its larval form. With Tasty Bug Treats, your pet will get them partially dried yet intact in form. That means the interior portions of the larva remain, as it’s the most nutritious part for them.

Mix and Match

Since this is only mealworms and nothing else, that’s the only thing you’re getting with the product. No fancy ingredients, no lengthy additives that are impossible to spell. While they might not be the live packages that some owners feed their hedgehogs, these will do just fine on their own, providing all the essential levels of protein and nutrients your Erinaceidae needs to get by.

Yes It could also be one of the only things they consume, at least on a day-to-day basis. If you wish, blend them with other food products (or try some of the brands mentioned in this review) to go on top of grains or your own concoction of treats. Furthermore, take note that these have more protein content than most live mealworms do. Soak them in water to serve wet, or simply give to them straight from the bag.

Opening a Can of Worms

But before you go out and buy, you should know about some important information regarding the mealworms themselves. There is a risk of getting the occasional pack that has beetles inside, of which could be alive. It won’t be many, but don’t be surprised if you run across them from time to time (if you’re a repeat buyer of the brand). And some of the larvae could be broken off into smaller bits, making it less appetizing for a hedgehog that it’s very hungry but it on their feeding schedule.

Try to check that the bag doesn’t have any small gaps on the ends, as this should be sealed up as tight is necessary. If you do this, the issues just described will happen less likely, if at all. Recommended for any hedgehog owner that likes to feed their pet a simple and expected source of everything that’s nourishing for them.

Pros
  • Only mealworms included, no overkill of ingredients that aren’t needed
  • Can be blended blended or added to lots of other treats easily
  • Long shelf life
  • Has more protein than even live mealworms
  • Can be soaked for use as a wet meal
Cons
  • Reports of some bags containing foreign particles and insects
  • Many of the mealworms are broken and/or close to crumbling


5. Spike’s Delite Hedgehog Premium Diet Food: Best Hedgehog Food For Picky Eaters

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A Cocktail for your Hedgehog

While Spike’s Delite was shown as the first product evaluated, there’s another bag around that’s making the rounds in the world of hedgehog owners. This type, known as the Hedgehog Premium Diet Food, is a lot smaller than the other one, weighing in at only 1.5 pounds.

There still enough to last for a while, so use this one if you want to try it out with the company but need to see how your pet responds when the food is given to them for a treat. There’s not a lot here in the ingredients department, so it doubles as a good mixing food also.

Balancing Things Out

A common problem with hedgehog owners is their pet turning down certain foods, more so when they are accustomed to eating live larva and/or other small insects. This product contains the correct levels of everything they will need, not too much and not too little. Add it with virtually anything you’re already giving your Erinaceidae (make sure those protein levels don’t go too high though) and it’s guaranteed eventually, you’ll have them craving the dried snack more or to the same level is an insect that’s alive.

Worried about corn and soy? They are contained in the Spike’s Delite but not in large quantities. Regardless, feel free to look at the other’s shown when you cannot use it for your hedgehog (discussed in detail in the buyer’s section). Another oddity is the bag having either slightly more or less content than what is specified. If you can forgive these small matters, Spike’s Delite will be well served to your pet to quickly fill their stomach.

Pros
  • Doesn’t included too many ingredients for the sake of branding; just the right amount of contents
  • Helpful as a base for switching hedgehogs over to dried foods
  • Stabilizes weight and energy levels
Cons
  • Contains both corn and soy (for those who disapprove of such ingredients)
  • Bag contents are sometimes off, either slightly above or below 1.5 pounds


6. Wild Things Hedgehog Food: Best Hedgehog Food For Snack Time

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But than Meets the Eye

It’s not something that won’t win the average consumer over, but it goes without saying the Wild Things comes in one of the most attractive packaging containers seen of late on hedgehog products. It’s also very durable and holds up over the time it’s stored in your home, blocking out humidity and air to keep it from going bad too fast.

The dried fruits available in this are numerous. There’s probably more fruit and grain in the container than what many people will consume for several days. They will really love the bananas, something they might go for above everything else. If you wish, feel free to soak the food in water for a moment to give them a fresh and moist meal. It’s something to bait their interest when they shy away from the other meals you provide to them. It’s safe to say that they won’t turn down this.

Pick Up the Pieces

However, there’s one catch. Some of the contents might be better if they were broken prior to the hedgehog eating them. For instance, break the bananas into smaller sections, or risk your pet turning them away. Most of the other pieces should be okay for them to quickly get down. Are Wild Things right for you? Sure, but you’ll probably find yourself using it more as a snack item than a full replacement of your hedgehog’s other meals.

Pros
  • Has a diverse blend of different dried fruits
  • Packaging consists of a thick paper bag that is tough and durable
  • If hedgehogs do not show interest, soaking is possible
Cons
  • Some of the fruits might require breaking for hedgehogs to eat them, especially the bananas


Buyer’s Guide

Hedgehogs have unique dietary needs that a new pet owner may come across as strange (or even icky). This should not be cause for concern, however. Getting them the food they need is just as simple as it is for any other pet. Still, there are some things that you should know about you make the final choice official.

What shouldn’t a Hedgehog Eat?

Foods such as celery, chocolate, and eggs should be wholly avoided in their diet. The celery is hard for them to chew, and the raw meat might risk them acquiring salmonella. While avoiding chocolate should be stating the obvious, it bears repeating since it’s very easy for those that are domesticated to get their hands on something when left outside of their housing unit. Safe but controversial foods include soy and corn. Companies will sometimes include these ingredients with their hedgehog meals. They both provide good fiber to their diet, giving their bodies strength to grow over time.

Yet too much could pose some risks as well, mostly by giving them too much sugar and simply a surplus of “add-ons” they don’t need. Some pet food companies add these ingredients as filler to make their ingredients look better. Although it okay for you to buy hedgehog food that contains corn and soy, avoid purchasing products that list them more than once on the nutritional label. For example, a brand might specify it’s food as contains both cornmeal and maize, which is essentially the same thing but helps them to create a cheaper meal for your pet.

What about Larva?

Freshly farmed mealworms are completely safe for your hedgehog. They will enjoy eating them and get lots of energy from their protein and fiber-rich exoskeleton and insides. If you choose not to go the live route, canned and prepackaged types are also suitable, as are other insects like crickets. Do not attempt to feed your hedgehog any insects or larvae caught from outside. Some of them could contain high levels of insecticides and/or other harmful bacteria, so keep their diet exclusive to store-bought items, be it farmed or dried.

Keeping your Pet Food from Spoiling

Pet food for hedgehogs has a reputation for going bad really fast when it’s not properly stored. Leave even a little portion of a zip bag to contain open for a day or two, and you might open it up again to find moldy contents that need to be discarded. You won’t want to give yourself food that’s been opened for days; treat your hedgehog with the same courtesy. Seal up the bag, taking care to allow as much air to escape as possible before closing it shut. If the bag is torn or has a damaged seal, a hardened plastic container will suffice.

Getting to Know Your Hedgehog (on an individual level)

Not every hedgehog is the same. They’re just like dogs, cats, and many other household pets. They attitudes can change, along with their liking for certain foods that you have given to them before. One day, after feeding them live mealworms for a while, they could suddenly grow tired of the food and prefer them packaged and dried. And even while abrupt changes to their diet should be a concern for their health, simply alternating their food intake could be what’s missing. And if they don’t particularly like something the first day you buy it, you could gradually get them to enjoy by incorporating it into an existing meal that’s more familiar.

Conclusion

Erinaceidae are marvelous little creatures that live to eat many of the foods that are sold by the companies listed above. All of them will have some benefit to your pet, so long as they’re used in tune with what you know your hedgehog will eat. The Spikes Ultra Premium and Tasty Bug Treats happen to be the best but not necessarily the best for your hedgehog. Give all the products a chance by evaluating their advantages to your pet’s eating habits. You’re bound to narrow your search down to one (or two) that will make your Erinaceidae happy to have a pet owner like you.

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