Hedgehogs love to munch on different kinds of insects. Giving mealworms to hedgehogs is a choice many pet owners make. But can hedgehogs safely eat mealworms? Are mealworms good for hedgehogs? And should you continue to feed them mealworms?
Hedgehogs can eat mealworms; however, they should only consume them occasionally as a treat and not as their main diet.
Mealworms are delicious to hedgehogs, but they can lead to health problems in the long run if you give them a diet of sole mealworms. It would help if you never replaced your hedgehog’s actual diet for mealworms.
It is best only to keep mealworms as an occasional treat. Mealworms come with high phosphorous content. When hedgehogs consume a lot of mealworms, they suck the calcium out of them. If you feed mealworms frequently, hedgehogs can become addicted to them.
Why are Mealworms Bad for Hedgehogs?
It is important not to over-feed your hedgehog as it does more harm than good. This is especially true when feeding them mealworms which, when consumed in excess, can have a detrimental impact on your hedgehog’s health.
While mealworms are a tasty meal for hedgehogs, they are highly addictive. Your hedgehog can get addicted to mealworms which is bad because other food sources are also important.
In addition to being addictive, mealworms are quite fattening.
Hedgehogs are small mammals that tend to gain weight easily. Feeding too many mealworms to your hedgehog can cause it to gain weight. When hedgehogs gain too much weight, they are unable to roll into a ball.
The bad news continues because overweight hedgehogs are likely to develop diseases like diabetes.
Many people feed mealworms to hedgehogs in excessive amounts without worrying about the consequences. Along with being susceptible to diseases like diabetes, hedgehogs can also develop the metabolic bone disease.
As mealworms have a high phosphorus content, they are likely to absorb the calcium out of hedgehogs. A calcium deficient hedgehog will face difficulty as it will suffer from weak bones and teeth.
What Should You Not Feed Hedgehogs?
While hedgehogs are known for their varied diet, there are some food items that you should not feed hedgehogs.
It is not easy to stop yourself from feeding anything and everything to your little companion as pet parents. However, some things are not great for pets, and you should avoid them so your hedgehog does not face any health issues.
The first food item on the list is avocados, as they are toxic to hedgehogs. Some sources on the internet claim avocados are fine for hedgehogs. However, it would help if you never compromised on your pet’s health and experiment.
Next, grapes are also toxic to hedgehogs and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Moreover, raisins are also harmful and toxic to hedgehogs. In addition to being poisonous, raisins are also a choking hazard.
As hedgehogs have small mouths, raisings can easily get stuck in their throat. Also, raisins can get stuck on the roof of the hedgehog’s mouth and in their teeth. If you do not get the raisin out, it will decay and lead to dental problems for the hedgehog.
More food items that you should not be feeding your hedgehog include acidic fruits. Citrus fruits are quite acidic and can cause hedgehogs to be in pain. In addition, citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime, and grapefruits lead to digestive problems due to their high acidity level.
You must also avoid giving dried fruits to hedgehogs. While dried fruits are healthy and make a good snack for humans, they can cause hedgehogs to choke. Moreover, dried fruits include more sugar than their natural state.
Dried fruits can be more harmful to hedgehogs. Along with the extra sugar, dried fruits also contain preservatives that can cause hedgehogs to react to them.
Pineapples are also an example of acidic fruit. If a hedgehog consumes pineapple, it will suffer from digestive problems and damage to its urinary tract. Also, tomatoes can be acidic and therefore cause digestive problems for hedgehogs.
As hedgehogs enjoy consuming insects, you can give it store-bought insects. However, it would help if you never let your hedgehog catch insects from outside and then eat them. These insects feed on plants that have been sprayed with pesticides and insecticides; therefore, they can be harmful to your hedgehog.
Often people buy insects from bait shops for their pets. Unfortunately, these insects are also not safe to give your hedgehog because they contain many parasites. If the insects themselves are infected, they can pass it on to the hedgehog when they eat them.
It can be tempting to share your meal with your hedgehog at the breakfast table. Humans love having bacon for breakfast, but they must never share them with hedgehogs. Bacon is greasy, oily, and comes with a lot of fat.
Therefore, it is best to save bacon for an occasional purpose only.
Sometimes it can be convenient to give canned meat. For example, some people travel or must go because of work. Hence, for working people, it is easier only to give canned meat to their hedgehog. But, sadly, canned meat is a bad choice because it comes with so much fat.
Also, the canned meat has added preservatives in it too.
These are some things that you must never feed your hedgehog. It is important to maintain a balanced diet when it comes to hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs make great pets because they are low-maintenance and have no problems with food. However, not all food is a good choice for hedgehogs. But are mealworms a good choice and can hedgehogs eat mealworms?
You can feed your hedgehog mealworms but only as an occasional treat. Mealworms in big amounts can be bad for hedgehogs because they contain phosphorus. When hedgehogs consume phosphorus is sucks the calcium out of their body.
In addition, mealworms are also fattening. Therefore, hedgehogs are prone to weight gain, and you should avoid giving them too many mealworms. There are also other food items that you should not be feeding your hedgehog.
For example, you should not feed citrus fruits, dried fruits, canned meat, or bait insects to your hedgehog.