In this article, we will be taking a look at the question “how can I get my hedgehog to eat“? Although hedgehogs are usually keen on their food and will devour anything that they are familiar with there are a few things that may cause them to suddenly stop eating.
Due to the size of hedgehogs, the size and texture of the food you offer it is also important. Additionally, hedgehogs require a relatively specific break down of protein and fat that can lead to issues if overlooked. Thankfully, we will do our best to address all of these in this article. The majority of these tips can be done by you at home quickly but some conditions will require the assistance of your local veterinarian.
How Can I Get My Hedgehog To Eat
If your hedgehog hasn’t eaten for a while, it is much more likely that it is due to a problem rather than your hedgehog simply not wanting to eat. Some common foods people feed hedgehogs can actually be the cause of these issues so we advise you check out our ultimate hedgehog food list. We cover a large range of different foods that you can and can’t feed your hedgehog and common issues with feeding your hedgehog the wrong food.
Use A High-Quality Reputable Hedgehog Food
Sometimes the hedgehog food you offer your pet is low-quality and your hog will simply refuse to eat it. We always recommend 8in1 Ultra-Blend Hedgehog Food as your hedgehog’s staple food.
It has been designed from the ground up to provide the best possible nutrition to hedgehogs of all ages. It also contains a complete amino acid profile as well as a high amount of real animal protein rather than cheap substitutes like some of the competition.
In our opinion, it is the market leader when it comes to commercially produced hedgehog foods and has an extremely good reputation with hedgehog owner. Click here to read over 100 independent reviews of this hedgehog food from hedgehog owners.
You Haven’t Diced The Food
The mouth of your hedgehog is small and compact. Due to this, you will usually need to assist them with any treats you try to feed them. Some food types such as starchy vegetables like carrots should be steamed and diced before being fed to a hedgehog.
When dicing food, try to get it no larger than your thumbnail. This ensures that your hog can quickly and easily eat it if it chooses to.
Many owners of smaller animals such as hedgehogs, hamsters, and guinea pig choose to purchase a high-quality vegetable chopper similar to the one pictured to the right.
Rather than having to manually dice the foods with a chopping board and knife you just use the chopper. It only takes a matter of seconds and all of the chopped food is collected in its tray for easy transportation to your hogs habitat.
Although there are many, the Youtube video below is an example of a hedgehog owner offering her hog food that is too big for it. You can see the hedgehog is interested in the strawberry but its simply too large for it to tackle until the hedgehog is larger. If she has just diced the strawberry up it probably would have been eaten.
Food In The Roof Of The Mouth
For example, a relatively common problem causing hedgehogs to stop or reduce eating is trapped food in the roof of their mouth. Foods such as nuts or dried fruits like raisins can easily get stuck in the roof of your hedgehog’s mouth while chewing. If this happens to your hedgehog, it can be painful and have a knock-on effect on their eating as the pain will increase when chewing.
To check if this is the problem, try to get your hedgehog to open its mouth and shine a light on the roof of its jaw. You will easily be able to see any food that could be causing this problem. Removing the food can actually be quiet tricky and is often best done by a vet.
Although not the purpose of the video below, it does display an effective way to control your hedgehog while attempting to give it medication. While giving medication is not your goal, controlling your hedgehog is a priority when trying to dislodge any trapped good.
Trapped Food In The Throat
Due to hedgehogs being so small, they are prone to getting some food types lodged in their throat. Even if nuts are chewed correctly, they can still become lodged in the throat and put your hedgehog off its food. This is why we never recommend feeding your hedgehog nuts!
Another common culprit is seeds. Although to a human, a seed is small, to a hedgehog they are large enough to get stuck in the throat. Many hedgehog owners instantly rule out the seed issue thinking they haven’t fed their hedgehog seeds. Common hedgehog treats such as apples, grapes, and cucumber can all contain seeds that can become lodged in your hogs throat.
Unfortunately, we are unaware of any easy way to treat this issue and recommend that you seek assistance from your local veterinarian.
Hedgehog Not Eating Or Pooping
If your hedgehog is not eating, drinking or pooping it may be suffering from Impaction problems. These can be common if you feed your hedgehog frozen or dried insects such as mealworms. While live mealworms can still cause impaction, it is much less likely than their frozen or dried variants.
Essentially, your hogs digestive system is blocked up and this results in a lack of eating or pooping on your hedgehogs part. Although there are a few tutorials online on dealing with impaction in other animals, we highly recommend you just seek the advice of your local vet.
If you start trying to treat it yourself then you could do more harm than good. The tutorials are designed for much larger animals such as cattle and its impossible for an untrained person to adjust the dosages to what a hedgehog required.
Many veterinarians will treat the issue using medication. If you require assistance giving your hedgehog its medication we recommend that you use a high-quality pet syringe as well as use the method in the video above.
What Can Hedgehogs Eat
Rather than re-list things we have previously gone over we will just link to our main dedicated posts in each of the below sections.