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YVCipedia SMALL MAMMALS
Veterinarians understand the nutritional requirements of dogs, cats, and several other domesticated animal species, but the nutritional requirements of hedgehogs are relatively unknown. The following recommended home-made diets and the commercial formulated diets are based our understanding of hedgehog anatomy and physiology and on years of observation by veterinarians and other people familiar with hedgehog health and illness. Free-ranging hedgehogs are insectivores and omnivores. Captive diets should be relatively high in protein ( 30 to 50%) and low in fat (10 to 20%).
THE MAIN DIET
If hedgehog food is unavailable, alternatives are premium low fat commercial cat food and insectivore diets. Young or pregnant hedgehogs can be fed kitten or ferret diets.
THE DAILY SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS
AMOUNTS TO FEED
An adult hedgehog will thrive on 3 level teaspoons of the main diet (eg Mazuri), 1 level teaspoon of meat, egg, and/or insects, and 1 level teaspoon vegetables and/or fruits per day.
Fresh water should always be available free-choice in a shallow bowl; most hedgehogs can be trained to drink from a sipper bottle.
To introduce a new main diet gradually mix the new with the old, in increasing amounts of the new and decreasing amounts or the old, without changing the total amount. One to two weeks is a reasonable time frame to switch foods.
Obesity in hedgehogs has the same wide range of negative health consequences in hedgehogs that it does in other animals and people, including diabetes, liver disease, orthopedic problems, digestive tract problems, and cancer.
Obesity in hedgehogs is prevented by converting them to the foods listed above and feeding the recommended amounts.
Obese hedgehogs are treated by converting them to the foods listed above, and feeding about 20% less than the recommended amounts.
Yarmouth Vet Center