Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Guinea Pig Food? Facts & FAQ

Can Hedgehogs Eat Guinea Pig Food? Facts & FAQ

Can Hedgehogs Eat_guinea pig food

Guinea pigs and hedgehogs might both be small pets, but they cannot eat each other’s food. Guinea pigs are herbivores, eating a wide variety of plant material in the wild. Hedgehogs are mostly carnivorous, consuming insects and some small mammals. So, the answer to the question is: no, hedgehogs can’t eat guinea pig food.

For a full understanding of how these animals differ, it is vital to have a basic understanding of each of their dietary needs.divider-hedgehog

What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Hedgehogs are almost exclusively carnivores, but also known for being opportunistic. They may eat a small number of fruits and veggies in captivity, but much of their diet should be made up of protein and animal products. In the wild, they will mostly consume insects. They do not hunt for a particular type of insect, but simply eat anything that moves and can fit into their mouth, such as baby mice.

In captivity, hedgehogs should be given a specially formulated hedgehog food. While you can also feed them insects that you purchase from your local pet store, they need a varied diet to thrive. Often, this is difficult to do in captivity, where you only have access to a few different insects.

Therefore, feeding them specially formulated food is the best option. Otherwise, they will not get everything that they need.

To help them stay stimulated, though, you can feed them a small number of insects. They love chasing crickets, for instance, and this helps them stay happy and healthy.

You can also give them a small number of fruits and veggies, though this should not make up more than 10% of their diet. Some veggies are toxic, though, including avocados. Avoid veggies that are high in water, like lettuce, as these don’t provide much nutrition.

Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay
Image by: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs are true herbivores, similar to rabbits. They only eat veggies and fruits, though grass typically makes up the most of their diet. These small pets should be provided an unlimited amount of Timothy hay or something similar.

You can supplement this with a small number of hay-based pellets that are specifically designed for guinea pigs. You’ll also need to supplement with vitamin C, which is the main nutritional concern for these animals.

On top of a steady stream of hay, you’ll also need to provide a diet rich in various veggies. Choose ones high in vitamin C, preferably (though not citrus). Bell peppers, tomatoes, and asparagus are great options.

There are many vegetables that are appropriate for guinea pigs. You should avoid high-water veggies, though, as these do not contain much nutritional value. Select veggies that are high in vitamins and minerals for maximum nutritional value.

Fruit can be provided too, but in a smaller amount than veggies. Fruits are quite high in sugar, and you don’t want your pet filling up on that.

You should avoid seeds, nuts, and similar foods because they are too high in fat to be appropriate.

guinea pig eating basil
Image Credit: TJ Images, Shutterstock

What’s in Guinea Pig Food?

There are varying types of guinea pig foods out there. Most pellets are made with a hay base, which is inappropriate for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs should not be given grass or hay at all. They cannot digest it, and it would likely damage their digestive system. It may even cause impaction, which can be deadly.

Guinea pig food will often contain more than pellets, though this isn’t necessarily good for guinea pigs (or hedgehogs).

We looked at several guinea pig foods currently on the market and found quite a few that weren’t suitable for guinea pigs or hedgehogs. Some included oats, for instance, which are too high in carbohydrates for either of these small pets. There were also ingredients like corn, which is also carb-heavy and an inappropriate choice.

Sunflower seeds and similar foods are often included in Guinea pig food. But these are high in fat and carbohydrates, which are inappropriate for either species.

Put simply, guinea pig food is not appropriate for hedgehogs. It is crafted for herbivores and hedgehogs are carnivores. However, many of these foods aren’t good for guinea pigs either. You’ll need to read the ingredient lists carefully, as many of them contain ingredients that aren’t good for these animals.


Hedgehogs should not be provided with guinea pig food at all. Hedgehogs may eat a small number of veggies and other plant materials, but these should not make up a large amount of their diet.

Food for guinea pigs contains mostly hay and similar foodstuffs. These are not suitable for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs will be unable to digest this hay properly and get any nutrients out of it. Therefore, nutritional deficiencies will develop, and issues like impaction may also occur, which can be deadly. Therefore, we do not recommend letting your hedgehog eat guinea pig food.

These small animals may seem similar, but that does not mean that their dietary needs are the same. Feeding one species the diet of another may result in the death of your pet.

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets