African Pygmy Hedgehogs are omnivores and eat a lot of things. They can consume some meats, some vegetables, and some fruits. A main part of their diet include fibers (in the wild, they get this from insects). This is why domesticated pet hedgehogs need a high protein, high fiber, low fat diet for them to remain healthy.
Any dry cat food generally provides the basic nutrition they need, and can be used as their staple diet. But remember to pay attention to the fat content of the cat food – light formulations are preferable. Hedgehogs are prone to obesity, which can lead to heart attacks!
Most wet cat foods have higher protein content than dry ones, but they can be used as an occasional treat for your hog. Some owners have reported that feeding them wet cat food can affect their feces.
An African Pygmy Hedgehog can also be given baby food as an occasional treat.
Owners can feed their pygmy hedgehog cooked chicken or turkey. Avoid feeding them other meats as may contain more fat than is preferable. Feed hedgies lean chicken parts, and avoid giving them chicken skin!
Feed your pygmy hedgehog carrots, peas, squash, sweet potato, corn, turnip among other vegetables. Do this in moderate amounts and in small portions. Avoid feeding your hedgie onions, garlic, and herbs.
Chopped fruits are good for the pygmy hedgehog’s diet. Pet hedgehogs can be fed some berries, bananas and watermelon. But take note that these are high in sugar, and hedgies may gain more weight when these are consumed frequently.
Some stores offer hedgehog complete diet packs made from grains and insect feeds. These are good sources of fiber and protein. Lace your pets meals with the occasional insect treats available in stores, the most common of which are mealworms and cricket.
It may be wiser to know which types of food you should avoid giving your pet. The Pygmy Hedgehog is lactose-intolerant; do avoid feeding the hedgie dairy products as they could develop stomach problems. Avoid giving your pygmy hedgehog nuts and seeds as these may cause choking. Raisins and chocolate should also be avoided as they are toxic to animals. Never feed your pet junk food or candy!
A hedgehog is generally perceived as a finicky eater. With this whole range of options, owners can try experimenting on their hedgie’s meals. It is important to be patient with them – choosing the right meal is a great way to form a lasting bond with your pet.