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is it okay to just feed my hedgehog some cat food? or do i need to add mealworms in his diet? also can they have crickets is it safe for them?
 

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They can have worms but not as part as their entire diet give them small amounts like 3 or 4 every other day and if you are going to feed him worms I would suggest live mealworms but not ones from a fishing shop get them from a reputable pet store, crickets can work but live crickets jump away so mealworms are best.
 

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They can have worms but not as part as their entire diet give them small amounts like 3 or 4 every other day and if you are going to feed him worms I would suggest live mealworms but not ones from a fishing shop get them from a reputable pet store, crickets can work but live crickets jump away so mealworms are best.
thanks! are dried crickets good options?
 

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thanks! are dried crickets good options?
Dried insects have zero nutritional value for a hedgehog. Feed them live insects as often as you can, however, because they need chitin in their diet :) It`s true that mealworms are not the healthiest choice, but giving them a few daily is good for the digestion. At the same time, feeding crickets is a particularly good idea, because you can encourage their natural foraging behavior and let your hedgehog hunt. I usually put my hedgehog in a large washbowl with the crickets so he can run around and find them on his own. There are, however, many other types of insects you can give him: waxworms, soldier fly larvae, zophobas (2 per week), locusts etc. It`s very important to offer your hedgehog a variety of foods. I give mine cooked meat too, like of chicken/turkey and minced beef. Under no circumstances should you give him pork, however (at least not in raw form, because of a kind of virus).
 

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Mealworms are the worst bug to give because the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is bad (Calcium is very low, Phosphorus very high) and it will actually take calcium away from the hedgehog's body to digest that higher phosphorus level. I know that sounds weird, but it's true and can become dangerous if fed too many mealworms.

Live bugs are always better, but freeze dried are okay too, just be aware that it could cause constipation (you can try letting them soak in water before being fed to help avoid that) and are less nutritious overall. Hedgehogs need the "chitin" that the exoskeletons of bugs provide to stay healthiest, and most foods do not supply this (exceptions being "Hedgehog Precision" and "Catit Nuna Insect Protein & Chicken Recipe" which are made with Black Soldier Fly Larvae, but additional whole bugs are still highly recommended as supplement treats).

Crickets are perfectly fine, just make sure you buy bugs from a pet store that are meant for feeding to pets. Here's a nice list of bugs with nutritional values (and the rest of website is super helpful too!) Hedgehog Insects: Which Are Best?
 

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Mealworms are the worst bug to give because the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is bad (Calcium is very low, Phosphorus very high) and it will actually take calcium away from the hedgehog's body to digest that higher phosphorus level. I know that sounds weird, but it's true and can become dangerous if fed too many mealworms.
Oh, I didn't know that. I've heard that excess mealworms can cause a metabolical disease, but not exactly what, are the two related or is it a multifaceted problem? Does calcium deficit cause tooth decay in hedgehogs (because I know it's a frequent problem too)?
 

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Oh, I didn't know that. I've heard that excess mealworms can cause a metabolical disease, but not exactly what, are the two related or is it a multifaceted problem? Does calcium deficit cause tooth decay in hedgehogs (because I know it's a frequent problem too)?
Metabolic bone disease is caused by the fact that mealworms can deplate the calcium as described by Jadadeane.

Mealworms should be a treat kept to low amounts, I read somewhere to keep it to around 10 a week, or simply not given at all, my girl never had any in her life.

The teeth side, I'm not sure if its a calcium thing but I do know people think that the cat biscuits clean their teeth - which I have always deemed as not possible, cat biscuits doesn't even clean cats teeth, while the chewing will create the saliva which aids in cleaning teeth 99% the time cat foods do not contain active ingredients that clean teeth and keep the mouth healthy. I always put a small sprinkle of Plaque X for dogs/cats (a mix of kelp seaweed is the main ingrediant that helps clean teeth and keeps mouths healthy, mint and parsley are also great) on my girls biscuit, and she had great teeth right up to death, my vet was actually impressed that being 3 years old she didn't even have any slight teeth issues.


is it okay to just feed my hedgehog some cat food? or do i need to add mealworms in his diet? also can they have crickets is it safe for them?
To be honest, most worms - mealworms, butter worms, wax worms and morio worms are treats because of being so high in fat.

Calci wroms (black soldier fly larve), and silk worms are good as your more staple diet ones.

Your normal earth worms (please ensure these are only brought as reptile food) are also good, but not too many at once because of the moisture in these can cause loose poops - just like snails and slugs!

No worms do not need to be included in the diet at all, a hedgehog can live a healthy life without any type of worms.

However you should not feed just dry cat biscuits, you want a good variety of insects daily, including: black and brown crickets, dubia and other trypes of roaches, lotus and hoppers. All should be brought from pet stores sold as reptile food.

They should be live to give them the best nutrition.
I always brought mine live then put the hopping ones in the fridge for 30 mins to slow down to chuck food in, gut load them for 24 hours to fill them up and provide best nutrition filled insects, then I would freeze them for 48 hours. They last about 2 months in the freezer before they go bscr they deforst at room temp in 15 - 20 mins, and then I always scatter feed them to give enrichment of find the bugs themselves.

You also want to try include in fresh cooked meats where you can i always did 3 times a week.
They love scrambled egg - make sure you dont add milk or cook with butter, I found coconut oil great for scrambed eggs, give about 1/3 to 1/2 a week.

Also for any more information including whats safe and dangerous check out the "beginners guide to nutrtion" pinned thread, is great.
 

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Oh I am curious too. Because as I read in what Jedadeana linked that crickets have an unhealthy ratio of Ca : P, like mealworms. So it seems to make sense. Where do you get calcium dust from, online or from a pet store?
 

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Speaking of MBD - do crickets need to be calcium dusted? We had geckos who needed it bc of MBD but it just occurred to me if this benefits or harms hedgehogs?
Oh I am curious too. Because as I read in what Jedadeana linked that crickets have an unhealthy ratio of Ca : P, like mealworms. So it seems to make sense. Where do you get calcium dust from, online or from a pet store?
Some people do use calcium dust, and by all means go for it, seen people using the same calci dust for hedgehogs as you would your reptiles.
Some put it on/in the insects tubs, others would put it on their biscuits or even mix it in to the added meats/egg/veg. However you want to add it is up to you.

Others just do their best to balance out the calcium in the diet - which is great if you have the time and know how to do.

I always went for brown crickets over black crickets, as I read the calcium is better in brown to black!
Crickets Ca: p ratio is not as poor as mealworms so the risks of MBD from crickets is lower than mealworms, (from what I read in all my research anyway)
 
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