A hedgehog’s primary source of nutrients is protein. Since hedgehogs in the wild mostly rely on insects and small animals, a protein-based diet fits them well. In addition to small animals and insects, hedgehogs also consume fruits and nuts.
However, not all fruits are suitable for hedgehogs. But there are still many fruits that your hedgehog can consume with no problem.
Hedgehogs can eat fruits such as bananas, apples, melons, and berries. There is also a range of fruits that hedgehogs cannot eat such as grapes, dried berries and oranges.
As you give fruits to your hedgehog, you must be careful about certain things. First, your hedgehog should only be given fruits as a treat occasionally. Giving too much fruit each day can lead to weight gain and ultimately diabetes as fruits have a lot of natural sugar.
You must always peel the fruit and cut it into small pieces to avoid choking incidents. Hedgehogs have small mouths and have difficulty chewing big pieces.
What Fruit Can Hedgehogs Not Eat?
You can happily give your hedgehog fruits to eat and enjoy. However, with certain fruits, you need to be careful. These fruits can be harmful to your hedgehog’s health, while some of them are completely toxic.
You must always consult a vet if you are unsure about a certain fruit being right for your hedgehog. However, here is a list of fruits we’d avoid:
While hedgehogs can eat berries like raspberries and blueberries, you must ensure that they are organic. Organic berries have fewer pesticides sprayed on them, which makes them a healthy option for your hedgehog.
You must completely avoid giving wild berries to your hedgehog. Wild berries can be poisonous to humans and hedgehogs. If you do not know if a particular wild berry is good or not, it is best to avoid them altogether.
Even if a certain wild berry is not poisonous, it contains insects and bacterial microbes, which are harmful to hedgehogs. Mite infestation in hedgehogs usually occurs from wild berries.
Another form of berry you must avoid is any that is dried.
Dried berry is formed by removing water from berries, and this increases the sugar content in them. Many preservatives are added to dried berry to make it last longer, which is harmful to hedgehogs.
There is another risk. Your hedgehog can likely choke on dried berries. These berries also have a sticky texture and can easily get stuck in your hedgehog’s mouth.
We humans may enjoy eating grapes, but your hedgehog should not. Grapes are highly toxic to hedgehogs and cause renal and liver damage.
It is best to choose other fruits over grapes. Some sources indicate that grapes in moderation are fine, but even a small amount of grapes can negatively affect your hedgehog’s health.
While oranges taste delicious, your hedgehog should not be eating any. Orange is a citrus fruit and is quite acidic. The acidity can cause digestive issues in hedgehogs and put them in a lot of pain.
So, in the long run, eating acidic fruits like oranges can cause damage to your hedgehog’s digestive tract.
Avocado has become a popular food lately, but it is harmful to hedgehogs. There is a lot of misleading information about avocados being safe for hedgehogs. However, avocadoes are harmful to hedgehogs and toxic for them.
Therefore, you should not be giving any avocadoes to your hedgehog, even as a teat.
Another fruit that is bad for hedgehogs is raisins. Raisins are toxic to hedgehogs and can cause damage to their liver and kidney (after all, they’re dried grapes).
Moreover, raisins are sticky and are a choking hazard for hedgehogs, and can get stuck in their mouths. Finally, many added preservatives in raisins can harm your hedgehog.
Pineapples are harmful to hedgehogs. Pineapples are acidic and can cause digestive issues for your hedgehog. Pineapples are sweet and contain a lot of natural sugar. Sugar can cause weight gain in hedgehogs and lead to diabetes.
Lastly, one more fruit that you should avoid giving your hedgehog is dried fruit.
By reducing the water content in dried fruit, the sugar level increases. This makes it harmful to a hedgehog. There are also many preservatives added to dry fruit to make them last longer, which your hedgehog should not be consuming.
In addition, dry fruit is sticky and can get stuck in your hedgehog’s mouth. Dried fruit is also a choking hazard.
Do Wild Hedgehogs Eat Fruit?
While hedgehogs are known to eat insects and creepy crawlies in the wild, many people question if they eat fruit. Hedgehogs follow a varied diet, which consists of insects, small animals, plants, and fruit.
Many studies have shown that wild hedgehogs eat fruit. While foraging through the land, searching for fruit, hedgehogs will eat fallen fruit. The small proportion of fruit that hedgehogs consume completes their diet and gives them complete nourishment.
Fruits contain many antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins that make hedgehogs healthy and prevent them from many diseases.
Since wild hedgehogs eat fruit, you can feed your pet hedgehog some as well. However, be mindful about how much fruit you feed your hedgehog and which kind. You should feed your hedgehog fruit occasionally and never replace it for their actual meal.
Apart from eating a protein-based diet, hedgehogs can also consume fruits.
There are many fruits you can give your hedgehogs, such as melons, apples, bananas, and berries. However, you must be careful about how much fruit you give your hedgehog.
It would help if you were only giving fruit in moderation and peeling and cutting it into small pieces. Certain fruits are harmful or can be toxic to hedgehogs.
You should avoid giving your hedgehog wild berries as some of them can be toxic for it. Fruits such as grapes, raisins, and avocadoes are also toxic to hedgehogs.
Citrus fruits like oranges can lead to digestive issues in hedgehogs and damage their digestive tract. Dry fruits are sticky, contain a lot of preservatives, and are a choking hazard.