Hedgehogs… we love them, and we want to treat them. It is not easy to control and stop yourself from giving treats to your little companions as pet parents. So first of all, let’s look at what hedgehogs like to eat for treats:
Hedgehogs like to eat many things as treats, including insects, meat, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
When it comes to giving treats to hedgehogs, there are many things you can choose from. Fortunately, hedgehogs are not fussy eaters and will eat anything you give them. Giving treats to hedgehogs is easy. However, if you give treats, do ensure that you feed them moderately and not too much otherwise, it can be bad for the hedgehog’s health.
What Human Food Can Hedgehogs Eat?
Hedgehogs consume hedgehogs food or cat food as their main diet. These small mammals survive on protein. Therefore, it is best to give them their normal diet and give treats along with that – do not replace their normal food with trees.
When we talk about treats, we mean human food that hedgehogs can eat occasionally. There are many human foods you can give your hedgehog, given that you keep the quantity to a minimum and not replace them for its actual meal.
Meat and Fish
The first thing you can provide your hedgehog with is meat. Humans consume meat, and it is an important part of our diet. However, it is important to boil the meat completely and never give it to the hedgehogs raw.
You can give your hedgehog boiled chicken, beef, turkey, and salmon. In addition, you must never season the meat or give it grilled meat. If you give raw meat to your hedgehog, it can contract salmonella that can also be dangerous for you.
A treat that is widely popular among hedgehogs is boiled eggs. You can also give eggs in the form of scrambled eggs too.
Again, like with meat, it is important to cook the eggs completely. Eggs are not only delicious to hedgehogs but are a great source of protein for them. Whether you give boiled or scrambled eggs to your hedgehog, it is important to ensure that you do not give them while they are too hot.
Fruits and Vegetables
Hedgehogs are insectivores in the wild and rely on protein as domesticated animals. Sometimes, hedgehogs consume plants, but their bodies are not equipped to break down plant matter because they do not have a cecum.
However, you can still provide your hedgehog with fruits and vegetables as treats. Fruits are soft, and hedgehogs can digest them better than vegetables.
Hedgehogs have small mouths and, therefore, will have trouble chewing and swallowing bigger pieces of food. It is important to cut the fruits and vegetables into small pieces before giving them to your hedgehog.
It would be best to boil hard vegetables before feeding your hedgehog so they become easier to chew. Any hard foods can make your hedgehog choke.
You can also give baby food to your hedgehog. Baby foods of a lower stage are better as they contain less sugar. Baby food makes good treats as they are soft and easy for hedgehogs to eat.
Which Human Food Can Hedgehogs NOT Eat?
While it is good that hedgehogs are not fussy eaters, it does not mean that you can give them just anything to eat. There are some human foods that can be harmful to hedgehogs, and you should avoid giving them. Hedgehogs will still eat these foods but they can be harmful (and even lethal):
Hedgehogs are prone to gaining weight as they are small animals. It is dangerous for hedgehogs to gain weight as they then become more susceptible to diseases like diabetes. Therefore, you must avoid giving sweet foods to your hedgehog.
One of the foods you must be wary of is chocolate, as it is toxic to hedgehogs.
In addition, you must also avoid giving fried foods to hedgehogs. Fried foods may seem delicious to you, but they can be harmful to your hedgehog’s stomach. Moreover, your hedgehog will also suffer from weight gain as fried foods contain a lot of calories.
It is important to remember that hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk. Many people make the mistake of giving milk to hedgehogs. In addition to milk, you must also avoid dairy products like yoghurt and cheese.
Milk and dairy products will put your hedgehog in pain as they cause diarrhoea and an upset stomach.
Hard or Sticky Foods
As aforementioned, hedgehogs have small mouths, and they are prone to choking on food, especially if they are hard. Hence, you must avoid hard items like nuts and raw vegetables. In addition, sticky foods can also contribute to getting stuck in the hedgehog’s mouth and throat. Therefore, it is important to avoid foods like raisins.
Sometimes the foods can get stuck in the hedgehog’s mouth, and you will need to remove them. Other times, these foods can be left stuck in the hedgehog’s mouth and lead to dental problems. Therefore, it is best to avoid sticky foods altogether as you can never be too sure.
Salmonella is found in raw meat and eggs, which is why it is important to boil these foods before giving them to your hedgehog. Raw eggs and meat can be dangerous for your hedgehog’s health. In addition, you must avoid spicy and salty food. Hedgehogs do not require seasoning on their foods, and it is best not to give them as they can suffer from an upset stomach.
Pet owners love to treat their little companions. There are many treat options you can select from as hedgehogs are low-maintenance and enjoy a varied diet. You can give your hedgehog treats like fruits, vegetables, meat, and baby food.
It is important to boil the meat and dice the fruits and vegetables into small pieces. Moreover, you can also give eggs if they are boiled or scrambles.
On the other hand, you must avoid some foods like raw meat, milk and dairy, sticky foods, and sweet foods like chocolates.