Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Biscuits? [A Comprehensive Guide]

Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Biscuits?

Hedgehogs are small, adorable creatures that make great pets.

But while having a hedgehog as a pet is great, it’s not always easy. Because they are so uncommon as pets, it can become a little tricky to take care of your pet hedgehog and ensure all their needs are met.

One of the needs you have to fulfill is your diet. Hedgehogs are primarily insectivores, meaning they feed on insects and creepy crawlies.

Unfortunately, unlike with other pets like cats or dogs who can just eat the same meat you have in your fridge, you can’t get your hands on insects for your hedgehog as easily.

You probably don’t want to have a bunch of insects in your home, either.

So how do you feed your hedgehog? Can you feed them other types of pet food? Let’s find out.

A Hedgehog’s Diet

Hedgehogs need a high-protein diet to maintain their health. Like humans, hedgehogs need protein for growth and development and to maintain the body’s tissues.

If they don’t get enough protein, they may have stunted growth and weakened immunity, which can result in them being at a greater risk of infection and diseases.

In adulthood, protein deficiency can also cause weakness and difficulty with moving. If the deficiency continues, the hedgehog’s life may even end.


In the wild, hedgehogs get their protein by eating mostly insects like beetles, caterpillars, and earthworms.

As insectivorous animals, their stomachs and digestive systems are specifically adapted to digest insects, which are very high in protein.

As pets, in a home where insects are much less likely to be found, you must feed them. There are plenty of options on that front.

You can opt for live insects or freeze-dried ones. Mealworms, crickets, and silkworms are easily available for feeding your hedgehog and can provide your pet with the protein they need to stay healthy.

Insects also provide hedgehogs with other essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that they may not get from other food sources.

Fruits & Vegetables

Hedgehogs can also eat some fruits and vegetables. Apples, bananas, carrots, and green beans are all safe for hedgehogs to eat, but only in small amounts.

While you should minimize how much of your pet’s diet consists of these vegetables – since their main requirement is protein – you can add some in sometimes.

You should make sure you chop them up in very small pieces so your hedgehog doesn’t choke on them while eating.

Commercial Hedgehog Food

Commercially available hedgehog food is also an option for feeding your pet hedgehog. These foods are made with a hedgehog’s dietary requirements in mind – just like cat or dog food.

They are made of high-quality protein sources like chicken or fish and other ingredients that provide essential nutrients and fiber.

Finding the right kind of hedgehog food that can meet your hedgehog’s dietary requirements is necessary.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Biscuits?

Unfortunately, while live or frozen insects and commercial hedgehog food is the best option for feeding your pet, these foods aren’t always available – and not as easily as other types of pet food.

With how common cats and dogs are as pets, you are much more likely to find cat and dog food on the market shelves than hedgehog food.

So, what do you do when you can’t find insects or hedgehog food for your pet? Do dog biscuits work?

Plenty of new pet owners consider all pet food to be at least somewhat similar, but this is untrue.

Dog biscuits are, after all, made for dogs, so naturally, they get made keeping the dog’s dietary requirements in mind.

This means that the same food that gives dogs their required protein may actually not be giving hedgehogs the same amount of protein and nutrients.

While hedgehogs can eat dog food for their nutrition, it will not provide them with all the nutrients they need in the right amount.

It can work as an emergency option or as part of a varied diet. However, it should not be a replacement for food made specifically for hedgehogs, like hedgehog biscuits or insects.

But this also depends on the type of dog biscuits you use. Some dog biscuits are much higher in protein than others, which can meet hedgehog’s dietary requirements for some time (still not a replacement or substitute!).

Low-quality dog biscuits, on the other hand, are unsuitable since the bulk of dog biscuits are made of grains and rice, providing fiber.

While hedgehogs also need fiber as part of their diet, their growth and health depend much more on the amount of protein they consume.

Low-quality dog biscuits have a higher fiber-to-protein ratio and cannot provide hedgehogs with the amount of protein they need to stay healthy.

What Kind of Dog Biscuits Can You Feed A Hedgehog?

If the dog biscuits in question are 30-35% protein and 5-15% fat, they can feed your hedgehog as a temporary replacement or as a smaller part of their otherwise hedgehog-centered diet.

Cheaper and low-quality dog food containing additives and preservatives is a no-go and can harm your hedgehog’s health.

You should also make sure not to give dog kibble as it is to your hedgehog. Dog biscuits are large and designed for dogs to eat.

Hedgehogs are much smaller; intact dog biscuits can become a choking hazard. Instead, crush the dog kibble before you give it to your hedgehog.

Don’t give your hedgehog wet dog food, though. While wet dog food won’t harm your pet, it won’t give them all the nutrients and benefits they need, either.

Some dog biscuits have a high fiber content. In contrast, wet dog food is too low in fiber and doesn’t meet the hedgehog’s needs.

Dry dog food and biscuits are also better since they scrape at the teeth and help your hedgehog’s dental health.

The good news is that though dog biscuits don’t always meet the standard for dietary requirements, they are quite palatable to hedgehogs, and the smell will draw your pet to the food.

This means that dog biscuits also make a good treat for your hedgehog, but it’s always recommended to opt for other, healthier options.

Ensure your hedgehog’s diet isn’t composed entirely of dog biscuits.

Since the food isn’t harmful, it’s okay if you only use dog biscuits as a smaller part of their diet for variety or as an emergency, temporary substitute.

How Much Dog Food Can a Hedgehog Eat?

Having been over what kind of dog food your hedgehog can eat, how much of it works?

Again, the amount of dog food you give your hedgehog should be limited, but you can leave some dry crushed kibble out for them to feed on throughout the day.

Hedgehogs do much better with the free-feeding schedule than other pets like cats or dogs, so as long as they have access to the food, you can leave it out for them and go about your day.

Also, ensure no other pets or animals have access to the same food. Larger pets would undoubtedly eat up a small portion quickly, leaving nothing for your hedgehog.

The amount of food your hedgehog eats will also depend on their age, activity level, and health.

For example, young hedgehogs still growing need more food than older ones, while less-active hedgehogs need less food than those more active.

Sick hedgehogs have more specific dietary requirements, so while they do need more food, it is best to ask your vet if dog food is safe for them to eat, given their health.

Ideally, your hedgie’s diet should be as close to what they are likely to find in the wild, so if you offer your hedgehog dog biscuits, try giving them other items that are part of their native diet alongside the dog food.

Be careful, though – leaving fruits or vegetables out for too long may result in them going bad, and you don’t want to risk your pet eating these and getting sick.

What’s best for your hedgehog is the food they are designed to eat: insects. You should always aim to give your pet the type of food made with their nutritional requirements in mind.

Still, high-quality dog biscuits can be a decent option in an emergency where nothing else is available.

Always check the ingredients of the dog food before you feed it to your hedgehog, though. High amounts of fiber aren’t good for your hedgie, but neither is absurdly high protein.

The food you feed them should remain between the recommended ranges of required nutrients for your pet to stay healthy and happy.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Dog Biscuits?

As hedgehog owners, it’s important to ensure that our pets are getting the right nutrition.

While it’s tempting to feed them whatever we have on hand, it’s important to make sure that their diet is balanced and appropriate for their needs.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at whether hedgehogs can eat dog biscuits.

Nutritional Comparison

Dog biscuits are typically made with a combination of meat, grains, and vegetables.

They are designed to provide a balanced diet for dogs, but can hedgehogs eat them too?

In terms of nutritional content, dog biscuits are similar to hedgehog food, which is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of hedgehogs.

However, it’s important to note that hedgehogs have different nutritional requirements than dogs.

They require a higher protein and fat content, as well as a lower carbohydrate content.

While dog biscuits may be a good source of protein and fat, they may not provide enough of the other nutrients that hedgehogs need.

Potential Issues

Feeding your hedgehog dog biscuits on a regular basis could lead to a number of potential issues.

For example, the high carbohydrate content of dog biscuits could lead to obesity and other health problems.

Additionally, some dog biscuits may contain ingredients that are harmful to hedgehogs, such as chocolate or raisins.

Moderation and Alternatives

While dog biscuits may not be the best choice for your hedgehog’s regular diet, they can be given as an occasional treat.

It’s important to choose a high-quality, low-carbohydrate dog biscuit that does not contain any harmful ingredients.

If you’re looking for a more suitable alternative to dog biscuits, there are a number of options available.

Hedgehog food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of hedgehogs and is a good choice for their regular diet.

Additionally, cooked lean meats, such as chicken or turkey, can be given as a treat.

In conclusion, while dog biscuits may not be the best choice for your hedgehog’s regular diet, they can be given as an occasional treat.

It’s important to choose a high-quality, low-carbohydrate dog biscuit that does not contain any harmful ingredients.

However, hedgehog food and cooked lean meats are a more suitable alternative for their regular diet.


In conclusion, dog biscuits can be a good option for hedgehogs as an occasional treat or supplement to their regular diet.

However, they should not be the primary source of food for hedgehogs, as they do not provide all the necessary nutrients that hedgehogs need to stay healthy.

When choosing dog biscuits for hedgehogs, it’s important to look for high-quality, meat-based options that are low in salt and sugar.

It’s also essential to ensure that the biscuits are fresh and have not expired, as stale or spoiled food can make hedgehogs sick.

While dog biscuits can be a convenient and tasty option for hedgehogs, it’s important to remember that they should not replace a varied and balanced diet that includes a range of foods such as insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Providing a diverse diet will help ensure that hedgehogs get all the nutrients they need to thrive.

In summary, while dog biscuits can be a good occasional treat for hedgehogs, they should not be the mainstay of their diet.

A varied and balanced diet that includes a range of foods will help hedgehogs stay healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about feeding dog biscuits to hedgehogs:

Can hedgehogs eat dog biscuits?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat dog biscuits. However, it is important to choose good quality biscuits that are high in protein and low in fat. Avoid biscuits that contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.

What are the benefits of feeding dog biscuits to hedgehogs?

Dog biscuits are a good source of protein and other essential nutrients that hedgehogs need to stay healthy. They are also convenient and easy to store, making them a popular choice for hedgehog owners.

How often should I feed my hedgehog dog biscuits?

You should feed your hedgehog dog biscuits as a treat, not as a staple food. A few biscuits per week is sufficient.

Make sure to provide your hedgehog with a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods, such as insects, fruits, and vegetables.

What are some other foods that hedgehogs can eat?

Hedgehogs can eat a variety of foods, including insects (such as mealworms and crickets), fruits (such as apples and bananas), vegetables (such as carrots and green beans), and cooked meats (such as chicken and beef).

It is important to offer your hedgehog a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to ensure that they get all the nutrients they need.

Are there any foods that hedgehogs should avoid?

Yes, there are some foods that hedgehogs should avoid. These include dairy products, sugary foods, salty foods, and foods that are high in fat.

It is also important to avoid feeding your hedgehog any foods that are toxic to them, such as chocolate, caffeine, and avocado.

In summary, hedgehogs can eat dog biscuits as a treat, but it is important to choose good quality biscuits and offer them in moderation.

A balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods is essential for hedgehog health.

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