Can Hedgehogs Eat Chocolate?

Since we love to feed our hedgehogs (and I’m pretty sure you love chocolate), you might be wondering whether hedgehogs can eat chocolate or not?

No, you can’t give chocolate to your hedgehog. It is deemed a health hazard for hedgehogs and provides little or no health benefits to a hedgehog.

Why Are Chocolates Bad?

Chocolates contain nutrients such as iron, caffeine, theobromine, zinc, potassium. This goes the same with dark chocolates, they are very rich in nutrients that will keep you healthy and at the same, suffice your cravings.

However, this is only applicable to humans. Hedgehogs do not have any caffeine or theobromine tolerance. Their digestive system can’t absorb these nutrients well.

One of the ingredients that are hazardous to hedgehogs is sugar. It can potentially make them obese. Sugar in large amounts can harm their digestive and immune system, too. Harming the digestive system can lead to your hedgehog being underweight or obese.

Both of these conditions – obesity and weight loss – can make your hedgie at risk of infections.

Fats are another ingredient deemed to be dangerous to hedgies, and chocolates contain a high-fat content.

It is also considered an insufficient nutrient for small pets with small digestive systems. Since hedgehogs have small and susceptible digestive systems, burning extra calories is difficult leading to hedgehogs putting on more weight.

Chocolate and Hedgehogs

The Importance of Your Hedgehog’s Weight

Since hedgehogs are small mammals, their body systems are somewhat weak, unlike other animals. So, when they become obese or too thin, they’ll be prone to different diseases and infections.

Although these can be cured with antibiotics and prescription medicines, these medications can make the hedgies’ lifespan shorter.

This results in them being weak and less active in activities. Therefore, it’s advised to avoid feeding them hazardous food to guarantee their safety and keep them from diseases.

What Else Should Hedgehogs Avoid?

There are a wide array of foods that hedgehogs must not eat. We’ll go over them separately to know why they are not a fit for your hedgie’s diet. It’s also important to consult with your veterinarian if you’re not sure about the food you want to feed. Here are some foods you can’t feed to your hedgie.

Allium Vegetables

Allium vegetables are important in many cuisines around the world. They can make meals more delicious by giving them a nice zing that typical veggies can’t do. Similar to dogs and cats, these aren’t good for hedgehogs.

Consuming them could become dangerously toxic to your spiny pet.

Avocados

You might see YouTube videos saying avocados are fine for your hedgehog but don’t listen to them. There are many sources that state avocados are toxic to hedgies. It’s better to be safe than sorry. So, as much as possible, avoid food that could potentially harm your pets.

Raisins and Grapes

These two are considered to be highly toxic to hedgehogs, so avoid feeding them to your hedgie. The same holds true for wine and grape juice, they are poisonous to these small critters. So, avoid giving even a tiny sip.

Citrus Fruits

Limes, lemons, oranges, and other citrus family members should not be given your hedgehog. They have high acid content, so they’ll definitely upset your pet’s stomach.

Not only that, but you should also avoid giving your hedgie any juice pressed from citrus fruits, whether they are concentrated or fresh.

Fried, Seasoned, Canned, and Raw Meat

When feeding hedgehogs with meat, ensure it is lean and properly cooked. You can feed them lean turkey, chicken, beef, and lamb. Make sure not to use spices, sauces, or any seasoning when cooking the meat.

And, avoid using any oil, too. For your hedgie to consume meat easily, you can use minced meat.

Wild Insects

Although it’s a fact that hedgehogs love insects, you need to avoid the ones bought from fishing shops or the ones you found in your garden. These insects might carry disease-causing bacteria and parasites, as well as other toxins.

On the other hand, freeze-dried or canned insects may be a safer option.

Mushrooms

The majority of hedgehog guides are against feeding your hedgie with mushrooms. Some mushrooms in the wild might be fine. However, there isn’t enough understanding about which types are okay for your hedgehog to eat.

Hedgehogs Wild Mushrooms

Dairy Products

Keep in mind that all hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Therefore, they can’t properly digest the sugar in milk (lactose). Feeding your hedgie with milk and other dairy products lead to diarrhoea or even more fatal.

Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are dangerous to your hedgehog. Apart from not being able to digest nuts and seeds well, the tiny bits and pieces are proven to be a massive choking hazard. So, before anything gets worse, better to sidestep from these things.

Pineapple

Feeding your hedgie pineapples can cause an upset stomach since these are highly acidic. Pineapples also contain high sugar content which contributes to obesity.

While some hedgehog owners feed pineapples in tiny pieces, you can never tell your hedgehog’s potential reaction to pineapples. Better safe than sorry.

Potatoes

Starchy food isn’t a good choice since hedgehogs can’t digest starch well. Therefore, avoid feeding your pet with potatoes since they contain high starch content. Otherwise, your hedgie could get an upset stomach and other digestive problems.

Hedgehogs Potatoes

Summary

While there are lots of foods that hedgies can eat, there are tons as well that need to be avoided. What’s good for us humans may not be necessarily good for animals, especially hedgehogs.

So, it pays to be extra careful when feeding your hedgie with any food, whether as a treat or an entire meal. Hope this guide helps!

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here

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