In this article, we will be taking a look at the question “how to make a hedgehog gain weight“? Hedgehogs can be prone to relatively rapid weight fluctuations depending on their diet. Sometimes this can be down to the owner overreacting to an initial weight fluctuation and swinging their hedgehog’s weight from one side of the pendulum to the other.
To help prevent this, work slowly towards gradual weight gain until your hedgehog is at a regular weight. Once back to its regular weight revert your hog back to its regular daily diet. These tips and tricks can be used by any hedgehog owner to help their hedgehog gain weight at a decent pace.
How To Make My Hedgehog Gain Weight
If your hedgehog needs to gain weight then there are two main angles of attack. These include:-
- Increasing your hedgehogs daily calorie intake via additional food or treats.
- Reducing your hedgehog’s daily calorie expenditure via restricting exercise.
Although either route can result in your hedgehog gaining weight, using both together work synergistically and give quicker results. The following sections will cover various ways you can tackle each of the above routes.
Using A Hedgehog Food For Weight Gain
The easiest way to get your hedgehog to start gaining weight is to increase its regular food. There are two main strategies when it comes to increasing your hedgehog’s meal count. Both have proven successful but different hedgehogs seem to respond better to one of the two methods so try both.
No matter the following method you choose to use, a high-quality hedgehog food is recommended. You can click here to read independent reviews from hedgehog owners on this particular hog food if you wish.
The first is to increase the amount of food you offer at each meal time. If your hedgehog’s bowl is too small to add more food mix to it then purchase a larger bowl.
Some hedgehogs cope well with this method and can gain weight at a steady pace. Other hedgehogs tend to struggle to consume the additional food before losing interest in it and tend to do better with the second method.
The second method is to slightly reduce the amount of food you give your hedgehog each meal but add an additional meal to each day. The strategy is to not fill your hedgehog with its meals throughout the day and then offer it one more to fill its stomach with more overall food to increase its daily calorie intake.
For example, and for ease of math, let’s pretend you give your hedgehog 100g of food today split between two meals of 50g of food each. You would drop these initial two meals to 40g of food and then add in an additional third meal of 40g. This means that over the course of the day your hedgehog is getting 120g of food rather than 100g.
Like we said, try both methods with your hedgehog as different hogs respond better to different methods.
Treats To Help Your Hedgehog Gain Weight
Another way you are able to increase the weight of your hedgehog is to increase the number of treats it has each day. Our ultimate hedgehog food list covers a large number of suitable treats that you can use for this.
One of the most common threats for used for this is high-quality live mealworm. We always recommend live over frozen or dried as they have a much lower chance of causing impaction problems in your hedgehog.
One problem some hedgehog owners come across is that their hogs won’t eat their mealworms. Our article on how to get your hedgehog to eat mealworms may help you with this.
The regularly recommended count of mealworms per day is between two and five. Increase this up to ten when trying to get your hog to gain weight. This can be a relatively quick way to get your hog to gain weight with minimal effort.
Our recommended mealworm supplier has proven very popular with pet owners and they have over fifty years in the business. Click here to read independent reviews from pet owners on our mealworm supplier.
High-quality living waxworm treats are another popular treat used to help fatten your hedgehog up. They have a higher fat content than mealworm and thus, contain more calories.
That said, accidental overfeeding can be common when using waxworms. If you do choose to take this route then monitor your hedgehog’s weight gaining progress closely.
Click here to read independent reviews for our recomended waxworm supplier.
Using A Cat Food To Help Your Hedgehog Gain Weight
Some people choose to use a cat food rather than a hedgehog food to get their hedgehog to gain weight. If you want to take this path then our article on the best cat food for hedgehogs may help you make your choice.
Kitten kibble is usually a higher calorie content by volume food mix than regular cat food. This is because kittens usually require additional energy to help them grow. You can also mix kitten kibble in with your hedgehog’s regular meals as a way to help increase its calorie intake for the day.
Checking For Eating Problems With Your Hedgehog
An often overlooked potential problem with your hedgehog’s weight can be one of a number of various eating problems. They can end up putting your hedgehog off its food and result in it rapidly losing weight and struggling to put it back on.
Our article on getting your hedgehog to eat and common eating issues will help you if you suspect this may be the case.
Controlling Your Hedgehogs Exercise
As weight gain is based on calories in vs calories out, reducing the number of calories your hedgehog burns each day will help it gain weight.
During your hedgehog’s weight gaining stage look to either removing the hedgehog wheel altogether or locking it for half the day.