Can Hedgehogs Eat Corned Beef?

The short answer to “Can hedgehogs eat corned beef?” is a resounding yes. s. However, feeding your pet such a rich meal can lead to health problems and even death in severe cases.

So knowing the quantity and safe ways to feed your precious little spiny friend is the key to keeping it healthy,

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a type of preserved meat that’s been cured with salt and spices, then packed in barrels.

It comes from the brisket–the bottom part of a cow’s pectoral muscle–and has been used for centuries as an inexpensive source of protein in many countries.

Corned beef can be made using either steaks or the whole cut (known as “picnic” or “brisket”).

The most common types are wet-cured corned beef, which is cured with brine; dry-cured corned beef; and cooked sausages like pastrami or bologna that have been smoked after being cured with salt and spices (though it’s unclear whether these qualify as true corned beef).

Can Hedgehogs Eat Corned Beef?

Yes, they can. However, it is not the ideal food item for them. The reason for this is the high salt content of corned beef.

The salt content of this food can cause health problems for hedgehogs and other small animals prone to dehydration and kidney stones or bladder stones if they consume too much salt in their diet.

Corned beef can be a great treat for your pet if they don’t have any other options.

Still, you should avoid feeding it as an everyday meal option because of how much sodium and other harmful chemicals are in its ingredients list.

Why Is Corned Beef Not An Ideal Food Choice For Hedgehogs?

Corned beef is not recommended as a regular or essential part of a hedgehog’s diet.

While hedgehogs are opportunistic eaters and may show interest in various types of meat, it is important to prioritize their nutritional needs and health.

Here are some reasons why corned beef is not an ideal food choice for hedgehogs:

  • High Fat Content: Corned beef is typically high in fat, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in hedgehogs. Hedgehogs require a moderate-fat diet to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Sodium Content: Corned beef is heavily salted during curing, resulting in high sodium levels. Hedgehogs are sensitive to excessive sodium intake, and it can lead to dehydration and other health complications.
  • Lack of Essential Nutrients: Hedgehogs have specific dietary requirements that should be met to ensure their overall health and well-being. Corned beef alone does not balance the nutrients that hedgehogs need, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Seasonings and Additives: Corned beef is often seasoned with spices and additives, such as garlic and onion, which can be toxic to hedgehogs. These ingredients can cause digestive issues and other adverse reactions in hedgehogs.

What Should Hedgehogs Eat?

As you may know, hedgehogs are omnivores. This means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet should consist of fresh vegetables, fruits, and insects.

A balanced hedgehog diet should also include meaty foods like eggs or chicken (raw).

Hedgehogs need a lot of water to stay healthy, so ensure the bowl isn’t too small or shallow, as this can cause them to drown in it!

The main types of food that you should be feeding your pet hedgehog are:

  • Commercial Hedgehog Food: Hedgehog-specific commercial diets are available in pet stores and online. These foods are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of hedgehogs and often come in the form of pellets or kibbles. Look for high-quality brands that balance proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • Insects: Hedgehogs are insectivores, so they require a good source of protein. Offer a variety of live insects such as mealworms, crickets, and waxworms. These can be purchased from pet stores or bred at home. Insects should be gut-loaded (fed with nutritious food) before being given to your hedgehog.
  • Protein-Rich Foods: Along with insects, you can provide small amounts of cooked lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or low-fat cat food. Ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked and free from seasoning, spices, or bones, which can harm hedgehogs.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Hedgehogs can have small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables as occasional treats. Some safe options include apples, berries, bananas, carrots, peas, and bell peppers. However, hedgehogs have specific dietary requirements, and too much fruit or vegetables can cause digestive issues.
  • Mealworms and Other Treats: Mealworms can be given as treats but in moderation. You can also find hedgehog-specific treats in pet stores, but choose those specifically formulated for hedgehogs and do not contain harmful additives or excessive sugar.

Potential Health Risks of Feeding Hedgehogs Corned Beef

Feeding hedgehogs corned beef regularly can lead to a variety of health problems. The high sodium content in corned beef can cause dehydration and kidney problems in hedgehogs.

Additionally, the high cholesterol content in corned beef can lead to obesity and heart disease in hedgehogs.

Processed meats like corned beef may also contain preservatives and additives that can harm hedgehogs. These ingredients can cause digestive upset and other health problems in hedgehogs.

Feeding Hedgehogs a Balanced Diet

Hedgehogs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Feeding your hedgehog a balanced diet, including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, is important.

A balanced diet also includes vitamins and minerals that help him stay healthy.

A good way to think about what to feed your pet is by looking at what he would eat in the wild: insects (protein), vegetables (carbohydrates), and fruits (fats).

If there were no insects available, then they would eat berries instead of meat; if there were no berries, then they would go after other fruit trees like apples or pears; if all else failed, then they’d turn towards grasses which contain plenty of proteins but not much else besides carbs/fatty acids–this last one isn’t an option though since most hedgehogs don’t enjoy eating grasses!


While hedgehogs are omnivores and can consume various foods, including meat, corned beef is not recommended as a regular part of their diet.

Corned beef’s high sodium and cholesterol content can harm hedgehogs, especially if consumed in large quantities.

A balanced and nutritious diet consisting of high-quality commercial hedgehog food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasional protein sources is essential for the health and well-being of your pet hedgehog.

Providing your hedgehog with a healthy and varied diet can ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We understand that hedgehog owners want to provide their beloved pets with the best possible diet. Here are some frequently asked questions about hedgehogs and their dietary needs.

Can hedgehogs eat corned beef?

No, hedgehogs should not eat corned beef. Corned beef is too salty for hedgehogs and can cause health problems.

Hedgehogs need a balanced diet that includes protein, fiber, and fat. It is best to stick to hedgehog-specific food or offer them lean meats such as chicken or turkey.

What foods should be avoided when feeding hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs should avoid certain foods that can cause health problems. Here are some foods to avoid:

  • Dairy products: Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products.
  • Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits can cause mouth sores in hedgehogs.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to hedgehogs.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to hedgehogs.
  • Raw meat: Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria and parasites.

What kind of food should I feed my hedgehog?

Hedgehogs need a balanced diet that includes protein, fiber, and fat. Commercial hedgehog food is available and can provide the necessary nutrients.

You can also offer lean meats such as chicken or turkey, cooked vegetables, and fruits as treats. It is important to avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar.

How often should I feed my hedgehog?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal and should be fed at night. They should be fed once a day, and their food should be removed after a few hours to prevent spoilage.

It is important to monitor your hedgehog’s weight and adjust their food intake accordingly.

Can hedgehogs eat insects?

Yes, hedgehogs are insectivores and can eat insects such as mealworms, crickets, and waxworms.

Insects should be fed in moderation and should be gut-loaded, meaning they are fed a nutritious diet before being offered to the hedgehog.

Can hedgehogs eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat fruits and vegetables as treats. Some safe options include apples, bananas, carrots, and green beans.

It is important to offer these in moderation and to avoid fruits that are high in sugar.

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