Basic Info about Hedgehogs

It is commonly known that hedgehog numbers have been in decline since the 1950s. However, reliable numbers have only been recorded more recently and are currently only area-specific rather than countrywide.

For more information have a look at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society's website on the link below:

If you find a Hedgehog...

4 simple steps

Step 1:
Grab a high-sided cardboard box (or something similar) - hedgehogs are excellent climbers!
Step 2:
Fill up a hot water bottle, 
plastic bottle or warm up a heat pad (25C max) and place in box.
Step 3:
Grab two light-coloured towels.
Use one to wrap the hot water bottle in it.
Step 4:
Using garden gloves, put the hedgehog in the box and cover up with the second towel.
Bring to nearest rescue asap. 
hog and log
baby hogs and mother
hog in leaves
mother hog

Hedgehog Diet

Unlike the common misconception that hedgehogs are a gardener's best friend and love to eat slugs and sails, they actually only make up 5% of their diet.  

In the wild, hedgehogs mainly eat a variety of insects including beetles (30%), caterpillars (25%), earthworms (11%) etc but also feed on bird eggs (10%) and small mammals (see chart below).

If you have a hedgehog visiting your garden, please make sure that you only feed them wet cat or dog food and biscuits as well as water.
- Milk and bread (can't digest and can lead to death)
- Mealworms, sunflower hearts and peanuts 
(high in phosphorous causing Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD))
For more information on MBD please have a look at Vale Wildlife Hospital's website:

What food should I offer to my hedgehog visitors?
The best things to offer are Hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or complete cat biscuits. The only drink that should be offered is water (especially in dry weather and when offering dry food).

There’s a hedgehog in my garden sunbathing, is that ok?
No, it isn’t. Hedgehogs’ shouldn’t sunbathe and if you see one doing this it is in urgent need of help. Please use gardening gloves or a folded towel to pick it up, pop it into a high sided box with a towel or fleece in the bottom, keep it warm on a covered warm hot water bottle (even in hot weather), offer water until fully hydrate - offering food at this point can lead to organ failure so please only offer water - and then call us on 07747 301 423 or BHPS on 01584 890 801 for further advice as soon as possible.

I’ve seen a hedgehog that is wobberling, is that ok?
Again, no, it isn’t ok. Hedgehogs in this state are actually hypothermic or dehydrated and in urgent need of help. Please offer the first aid described above and call us as soon as possible.

Do all hedgehogs have fleas and do they need them?
Not all hedgehogs have fleas; many of those rescued have none. However, hedgehogs do not NEED their fleas to survive, that’s an old wives tale. Hedgehog fleas are host specific so while they may jump onto a cat or dog, they won’t infest them.

Help! I’ve harmed a hedgehog whilst strimming.
Undoubtedly one of the most worrying calls we receive. PLEASE check areas thoroughly before strimming or mowing. These injuries are usually horrific and the hedgehog often has to be put to sleep, of course many are killed instantly with this kind of accident. Do check for hoglets as the nest you have strimmed could be a nursery nest.

Are Hedgehogs meant to be out in the daylight?
Not usually no. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they shouldn’t really be seen out in daylight hours. Some of the exceptions to this are pregnant females gathering nesting materials just before she gives birth, or a new ‘Mum’ taking a break from the nest to get food and water while her young sleep. Sometimes, when the nights are short, a hungry hedgehog may forage around dusk and dawn. However, these hedgehogs would move quickly with purpose. If a hedgehog is lethargic, lay out, has flies around it, is wobbly, or gives you any other cause for concern, please call us for advice ASAP on 07747 301 423 or BHPS on 01584 890 801.

My dog doesn’t like hedgehogs in the garden, can you move it?
The answer is that unless you are prepared to hedgehog proof the entire garden, there is no point in moving the resident hedgehogs as others from the local population will very likely move into the vacated area. If you are prepared to do this work, the best thing is to contact a local carer to see if they can safely relocate the hedgehog (avoiding baby season). Otherwise, training the dog to leave hedgehogs alone is the ideal solution, taking the dog out for its ‘after dark’ run in the garden on a lead, using a muzzle and making lots of noise before the dog goes out to warn the hedgehog something is happening can help. Hedgehogs often have a routine so if you see a hedgehog about at a certain time it is likely to be around near that time the next night – avoid letting the dog out at those times.

I want a hedgehog for my garden; can I just take one from the wild?
No! Please don’t do this. It’s great that you want to encourage hedgehogs into your garden, but taking one from an area where it knows food and water sources to an unknown area isn’t fair. More worryingly, it could have dependent young in a nest, without its return, the nest will fail and the young won’t survive. Finally, if hedgehogs aren’t already in your garden, there might be a good reason for this. If you would like more information click on the following link:

© 2018 Pawprints Wildlife Rescue

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@wirralpaws | 0151 317 8880

40b Carsthorne Road, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 4FB

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