There are plenty of foods that hedgehogs love to eat. These small mammals follow a varied diet; however, this does not mean that you give them everything to eat. There are a number of things that hedgehogs cannot eat.
Hedgehogs cannot eat fatty foods and foods that contain high levels of sugar.
Hedgehogs cannot eat foods such as allium vegetables, chocolates, avocados, and citrus fruits.
Since hedgehogs do not have a cecum, they cannot digest most of these foods. Some of these foods can also cause harm to the hedgehog’s digestive system and lead to diarrhoea and malnutrition. Therefore, you should completely avoid giving such foods to your hedgehog.
What Foods Can Kill Hedgehogs?
While some foods are only harmful to hedgehogs, some can kill them. Even a small amount of these foods can be detrimental for your hedgehog and cause them to die:
You should avoid giving citrus fruits to your hedgehog as they are highly acidic.
The sensitive digestive system of your hedgehog cannot handle the acidity of citrus fruits. If you give citrus fruits to your hedgehog, you can damage their digestive system. Therefore, any hedgehog consuming citrus fruits will be in a lot of pain.
Eating grapes are toxic for hedgehogs. Consuming grapes can cause damage to a hedgehog’s kidney and liver.
You should also refrain from giving raisins to your hedgehog as they are also toxic. Raisins not only cause kidney and liver damage, but they are also a choking hazard for hedgehogs. In addition, the preservatives found in raisins can also have toxic reactions.
Some wild mushrooms can be poisonous to hedgehogs. While hedgehogs eat mushrooms in the wild, we do not know how many die of mushroom poisoning. Therefore, it is best to avoid mushrooms altogether.
You should completely avoid giving milk and other dairy products to your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant which means that they cannot digest lactose. Giving milk, or any form of dairy products, can cause hedgehogs to get diarrhoea. If diarrhoea prolongs, your hedgehog can become malnourished.
A malnourished hedgehog is more likely to develop other life-threatening diseases.
While chocolate makes a delicious treat for humans, it is toxic to hedgehogs. Even a small amount of chocolate can be harmful to hedgehogs.
Chocolate also contains a lot of sugar. Since hedgehogs have small bodies, they are likely to gain a lot of weight and excessive consumption of sugar, in any form, may also lead to diabetes.
Avocadoes are well-liked by humans; however, you cannot give them to your hedgehog. Many stories on the internet claim that hedgehogs can safely eat avocadoes. However, you should be safe rather than sorry and avoid giving avocados to your hedgehog.
What Can Hedgehogs Not Drink?
There are many things that hedgehogs cannot eat. Similarly, it would help if you also were careful about what you give your hedgehog to drink.
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant which means they cannot digest lactose which is found in milk. Therefore, you should avoid giving hedgehogs cow’s milk at all costs as it is rich in lactose.
Hoglets can only have milk until they are three weeks old. If there is no mother hedgehog to feed the hoglets, you should feed them with cat milk. In addition to this, goat milk also makes a good choice because it contains little lactose.
You can give oat milk to adult hedgehogs but ensure it is not flavoured or sweetened. Oat milk contains no lactose and can make an occasional good treat.
It is best to focus on giving your hedgehog a lot of water. Hedgehogs should have fresh and clean water at their disposal, especially if they are on kibble. You should not give any flavoured or vitamin-enriched water to your hedgehog.
You should also avoid giving sparkling water.
As much we love to drink juice, it is harmful to hedgehogs.
Juice contains a lot of preservatives and additives that are harmful to hedgehogs. Juice also has a lot of sugar which can make hedgehogs gain weight. Since hedgehogs have a small body, it is unlikely that they would burn this much sugar and calories.
It would help if you also were careful and did not give your hedgehog any carbonated drinks and sodas. These drinks are bad for hedgehogs and can cause digestive problems and weight gain.
What Can Hedgehogs Eat?
While there is much food that hedgehogs cannot eat, there are also many safe options for hedgehogs.
You can give your hedgehog kibble, whether it is cat kibble or hedgehog kibble. Kibble contains the right amount of protein and nutrients needed for hedgehogs to survive.
Apart from kibble, you can boil lean meats and give them to hedgehogs. The best choice is to give the boiled chicken to your hedgehog. You should boil the chicken completely and give it in small amounts.
You can also give certain vegetables if they are boiled and cut into small pieces. Vegetables such as beans and squash are safe for hedgehogs to eat.
Another great source of protein for your hedgehog is boiled egg. You can give scrambled eggs or cut boiled eggs in small pieces without adding any seasoning.
Hedgehogs cannot eat foods that are acidic or are very starchy. Moreover, hedgehogs cannot digest sugar, so they should be eating any sweet foods.
Some foods can be toxic to hedgehogs, such as avocadoes, citrus fruits, raisins, grapes, and chocolate. Even a small amount of these foods can put your hedgehog in a lot of pain.
You should also avoid giving drinks such as juices and soft drinks as they contain a lot of sugar. Plain water makes the best choice for hedgehogs.
You can give boiled chicken and eggs, live worms, and certain fruits and vegetables to your hedgehog.