You probably know that tomorrow, February 2nd, is Groundhog Day. But did you know that it’s also Hedgehog Day? These adorable little animals are becoming quite popular pets. Of course, just like the rest of our animal companions, hedgehogs need a proper diet to thrive. A local Tumwater, WA veterinarian offers some tips on feeding Hedgie below.
Treats are one of Hedgie’s favorite things, and they are actually quite beneficial for him. They help him bond to you, brighten his day, and add some variety to his diet. Insects are a favorite for hedgehogs. You can offer live bugs, which will also give your tiny buddy the chance to ‘hunt’ his dinner. Frozen ones are fine as well. Mealworms, wax worms, silk worms and crickets are all good options. Stick with store-bought ones, though: wild insects may carry parasites or disease.
Always cut fruits and veggies into small portions, as otherwise your pet could choke. For fruits, you can offer bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple, and watermelon. Some safe veggies include asparagus, bell pepper, cucumber, green beans, zucchini, and radishes. You can also offer small amounts of corn and peas on occasion.
Most types of meats are fine for your little buddy, as long as they are cooked, cut into small pieces, and not covered in spices, oil, cheese, or butter. Salmon, chicken, and turkey are very popular with our prickly pals! Beef and pork are okay on occasion, but shouldn’t be fed too often.
Hedgie may also enjoy the occasional bit of cooked eggs. We recommend scrambling or hard boiling them. Small amounts of tofu and rice are fine as well.
One thing you can do to give your hedgehog some enrichment is to scatter dry treats around, for him to look for. You’ll need to be sure to pick up anything he doesn’t eat, though. We also recommend only introducing one new type of food at a time. If your pet doesn’t like it, or if it doesn’t agree with him, you’ll know right away. (Tip: you may want to write down his likes and dislikes.) Just don’t go overboard with his favorites. Give Hedgie his treats by hand when you can. This will help him bond to you.
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