Hedgehogs can eat a range of fruit but are oranges one fruit that hedgehogs can eat or should it be avoided?
Unfortunately, hedgehogs cannot eat oranges. The high acidity of oranges can cause hedgehogs to have an upset stomach. Furthermore, excessive consumption of oranges can lead to long term damage to a hedgehog’s digestive system.
Unlike some fruit such as grapes, oranges are not toxic to hedgehogs. Oranges are unlikely to kill hedgehogs. However, the high levels of acid can cause discomfort in the mouth, gums and stomach. Have you ever eaten too much pineapple and find yourself left with a tingly sensation in the mouth? This is the human equivalent to what a hedgehog is likely to feel but on a greater scale.
Remember that hedgehogs will struggle to break the flesh of some fruits down in their stomach so, if you’re going to feed them any fruit, try to cut them up into small pieces and remove any tough skins or outer layer so they’re soft and easy to digest.
Can Oranges Kill Hedgehogs?
Although hedgehogs shouldn’t eat oranges, it is unlikely that oranges would lead to death. The problem with oranges is that they are highly acidic which can aggravate the gums and digestive tract of a hedgehog.
Have you ever eaten too much citrus fruit or pineapple and find your tongue tingling or gums are slightly saw. This is a similar effect to what hedgehogs experience except, as they are far smaller creatures, the discomfort is multiplied significantly.
Even though oranges are highly unlikely to kill hedgehogs, they should be avoided if you don’t want to cause them any unnecessary pain.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Citrus Fruits?
Unfortunately, when it comes to citrus fruits, the same can be said. Because most citrus fruits are highly acidic, they should all be avoided for hedgehogs. This includes, but is not limited to, lemons, limes, pineapple, grapefruit and oranges.
As is the case with oranges alone, high consumption of acidic fruit can cause mouth sores and/or upset a hedgehogs stomach. It is, therefore, not worth the risk. We would recommend sticking with safe fruit such as bananas.
Do Hedgehogs Like the Smell of Orange?
Hedgehogs are inquisitive animals and if they pick up a smell they do not recognise then they will show some interest in it. If you sit with a pet hedgehog and start to eat oranges, you may find they show interest in the smell.
If they like the smell, you may even find they try to lick the area you’re eating or may even try to eat a piece of orange if you drop it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they like it but that they are nosey and want to know what they’re missing out on.
A small piece of dropped orange is unlikely to cause them any long term damage so do not panic if they do manage to consume a small piece or lick some juice.
What Fruits Can Hedgehogs Eat?
Fortunately, there are a number of fruits that hedgehogs can comfortably each in small portions without any risk of causing them harm or pain. As a rule of thumb, only feed hedgehogs small pieces of prepared fruit and make sure you consider the sugar content.
Although natural, the sugar in fruit can still cause weight gain and even diabetes in hedgehogs so make sure you give them fruit as a treat and not as part of their main diet.
Hedgehogs can eat apples (and pears). The sugar content can be an issue so do be careful not to overindulge a hedgehog will excessive amounts of apple and ensure you give them apple in moderation.
The skin can also be tough for a hedgehog to chew through so we would recommend peeling, coring and then curring the apple into small cubes before feeding to a hedgehog.
Hedgehogs can comfortably eat most berries. This includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. If the berry has a tough outer skin then hedgehogs may struggle to break through it and there is a risk of choking.
As with all fruit, it is worth ensuring you only feed hedgehogs berries in moderation. Excessive quantities can lead to some weight gain as all fruits contain natural sugars.
Where possible, we would also recommend buying and feeding hedgehogs organic berries to prevent giving them chemicals and pesticides which may be safe for humans but unsafe for hedgehogs. This can be applied to all fruits and not just berries.
Kiwi is packed full of goodness and not too much sugar. It contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium and copper. As the flesh is soft, it is easy to digest. However, the skin can be tough to chew and break down in the stomach of hedgehogs so, even though it is full of goodness, it is advised that you remove this.
As always, make sure you cut your kiwi into bite-sized pieces for any hedgehog to make it easier for them to consume.
Hedgehogs cannot eat oranges because it can give them sore gums, mouths and stomachs. Having said that, oranges are not toxic to hedgehogs and in most cases will cause a minor level of discomfort in, and around, the gum area.
There are, however, plenty of fruits that are safe for hedgehogs to consume so would instead recommend sticking to these. Safe fruits include apples, pears, bananas and a variety of berries.