Are hedgehogs lactose intolerant?

Yes, hedgehogs are naturally lactose-intolerant. They will eat most dairy products, but will experience stomach problems afterwards. Cottage cheese and plain yoghurt cause fewer problems to hedgehogs than milk and regular cheese.

In Britain, people traditionally fed the hedgehogs that visited their garden bread and cow’s milk. However, this is not recommended.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society advises that hedgehogs can be fed with any of the following foods: white meat-based dog food (without gravy), cooked minced beef or lamb, bran, unsweetened muesli, small amounts of raisins or banana, dry cat food, or hedgehog biscuits. Water should be offered instead of milk.

In the wild, British hedgehogs’ diet is mainly made up of insects and other mini beasts. More than half of their food intake comes from earthworms, beetles and caterpillars, but they will also eat slugs and snails, millipedes, earwigs, and larvae. Hedgehogs will also, from time to time, eat small mammals and birds’ eggs.

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