How can I increase my hedgehogs appetite?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

To increase your hedgehog’s appetite, there are a few strategies you can try. It’s important to note that every hedgehog is different, so what works for one may not work for another. However, these are some general tips that can help stimulate their appetite:

1. Offer a variety of high-quality hedgehog food: Hedgehogs have specific dietary needs, so make sure you are feeding them a well-balanced commercial hedgehog food that is high in protein and low in fat. Look for a reputable brand that contains ingredients like chicken, mealworms, and other protein sources. You can also try mixing different brands or flavors to provide some variety.

2. Introduce insects into their diet: Insects can be a great addition to a hedgehog’s diet and can help increase their appetite. Mealworms, bait worms, and crickets are all suitable options. Start by offering them small amounts of insects once a day and observe their reaction. Some hedgehogs may take to insects right away, while others may need some time to adjust.

3. Provide fresh fruits and vegetables occasionally: While fruits and vegetables should only be given in small quantities, they can still be used to entice a hedgehog to eat. Offer small pieces of fruits like banana or berries, and vegetables such as peas or tomatoes. However, be mindful that hedgehogs are primarily insectivores, so these should not make up a significant portion of their diet.

4. Offer food in the evening: Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so they are naturally more active and hungry during the evening and night. Try offering their food in the evening to align with their natural feeding patterns. This may help stimulate their appetite and encourage them to eat.

5. Ensure a comfortable and stress-free environment: Hedgehogs can be sensitive to their surroundings, and stress can contribute to a decreased appetite. Make sure their enclosure is clean, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Provide hiding spots and toys for mental stimulation. Additionally, handle your hedgehog gently and avoid any sudden loud noises or disturbances that may cause stress.

6. Monitor their weight and overall health: If your hedgehog’s appetite continues to be a concern or if you notice any other changes in their behavior or health, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. They can provide a thorough examination and offer specific recommendations tailored to your hedgehog’s needs.

Remember, it’s crucial to introduce any dietary changes gradually to avoid digestive upset. Monitor your hedgehog’s eating habits and make adjustments as needed. Each hedgehog is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the right combination of foods that stimulates their appetite.