Gardeners are being advised to put out a bowl of dog food this summer

Dog looking mystified
-Credit: (Image: Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror)

Garden enthusiasts are being encouraged to put out a bowl of dog food in their gardens for a crucial reason this summer. Our gardens often serve as sanctuaries for wildlife and the broader natural environment, but occasionally, nature requires a bit of assistance.

To aid endangered hedgehogs during the challenging summer period and to help them gain weight before winter, gardeners are being asked to leave out some dog or cat food. Hedgehogs play an essential role in British wildlife, yet their population is facing severe threats due to habitat destruction, climate change, and modern garden barriers like fences and walls that hinder their free movement and access to food.

In addition to creating holes or gaps in fences for hedgehog passage, gardeners are also being urged to provide food for these creatures throughout the summer months, reports the Express. While both cat and dog food are suitable, those with cat-populated neighbourhoods might prefer to offer dog food to avoid inadvertently feeding the local cats instead. For money-saving tips, sign up to our Money newsletter here

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The recommendation is to place the food in a shallow dish and set it in a sheltered spot in the garden around dusk. Adding water bowls is also suggested to further assist the hedgehogs.

According to the hedgehog advice website, St Tiggywinkles: "To help hedgehogs build up their fat reserves in time for winter, please put out a shallow dish of water and some meaty flavoured tinned cat or dog food in the evenings."

And campaign website Hedgehog Street said: "Hedgehogs will relish any combination of meat-based wet dog or cat foods, or dry cat/kitten food. Just remember, they will be getting most of their food from insects and worms in the wild, and this food is only supplementary. Specially made hedgehog food is also widely available. Those resembling pet food with a high meat content are most suitable.

"Place in a shallow dish and put in a sheltered area of your garden, or a feeding station, around sunset. Splitting food over several sites may reduce aggression at food bowls. Don't forget to offer water bowls too!"