Hedgehogs have a very sensitive digestive system. With an improper diet, they can easily become sick and suffer from major health problems. There are several kinds of food that are considered harmful and toxic for them. Therefore, we must be very careful regarding the type of food we feed our Hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs have a weak digestive system. Therefore, they cannot handle complex carbohydrates and sugar very well. Certain food items such as avocados, raw eggs, chocolates, allium vegetables, and iceberg lettuce are terrible for Hedgehogs. Besides these, avoid serving them any kind of processed food.
There is a lot of false and conflicting information out there. When researching which foods to give your Hedgehog, you’ll want to take into account their natural diet.
Most of what a Hedgehog eats should be pellets and insects/worms. Anything that deviates from these should be avoided in order to maintain your Hedgehog’s long-term health.
What Food Are Harmful To Hedgehogs?
Not all food items are edible for our Hedgehogs. Therefore, it is important to be careful of what you feed your pets.
Consumption of prohibited food items can lead to serious health problems in our Hedgehogs. In addition, excessive consumption of these toxic items might even cause the immediate death of your pet Hedgehog.
Unhealthy Pellet Mixes
Most of the Hedgehog food mixes available in the local pet stores are not actually safe for our pets.
These mixes appear to be colorful, which makes them look appetizing on the shelf. However, the high sugar content might not good be for your Hedgehogs.
In addition, it is important to avoid any food that is meant for other animals, other than cat food.
There have been cases where I’ve heard stories of people feeding rabbit food to their Hedgeogss, which is not a good idea.
You might also want to avoid food that is made for other small animals. I would advise you to provide your Hedgehog with food that is specifically made for the health of a hedgehog, or even cat food works.
Hedgehogs do not handle lactose well. They do not have the ability to digest any kind of dairy products. This includes any kind of cheese, milk, and even yogurt (including pet-store yogurt treats).
Instead, Hedgehogs should be given water to drink. Daily fresh water is very important for keeping your Hedgehog healthy and hydrated.
Hedgehogs cannot eat avocados at all. Avocados contain certain chemicals that are not suitable for consumption by our little pets.
They are rich in fatty acids and person (a chemical) that can cause digestive problems in our Hedgehogs.
Although avocados have a lot of health benefits for us, they are a terrible choice for our Hedgehogs. Consumption of avocados might even lead to food toxicity in Hedgehogs.
Besides this, Hedgehogs do not have the capability to digest avocado seeds. Avocado pits are huge and hard for our Hedgehog to digest. It can easily lead to choking hazards in them.
If your Hedgehog has consumed a tiny amount of avocado, it might not show any negative reactions. However, it would be best to consult a vet.
Raw Eggs, Raw Meat, Raw Fish
We should never serve our Hedgehogs with raw eggs, meat, or fish. It is not at all safe for consumption by our Hedgehogs.
These raw foods contain certain kinds of bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, that can lead to deadly infections in our Hedgehogs. These infections are extremely tough to treat.
Also, consumption of raw eggs might lead to biotin (a B-vitamin) deficiencies in our Hedgehogs. Therefore, it is best to avoid serving our Hedgehogs with raw eggs, meat, or fish.
Processed Snacks Or Junk Food (Such As Fries, Chips & More)
Processed snacks or junk food of any kind is extremely toxic for our Hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have a sensitive digestive system, therefore, they cannot digest fried and cooked food well.
Consumption of any of this food is terrible for their health. It can lead to several health problems in them such as:
- Urinary Complications: Processed foods are high in calcium and phosphorus. Excess of these two might lead to severe kidney-related problems.
- Digestive Problems: Hedgehogs do not handle spices well. Besides this, most processed foods are packed with excessive salt, carbs, and calories, which are extremely harmful to our Hedgehogs. It will also make our Hedgehogs obese in no time.
We should never feed our Hedgehogs with chocolates. Chocolates are rich in theobromine (a chemical) and caffeine, which should be kept away from our little pets at all costs. Although Hedgehogs can enjoy some human foods, chocolates are not one of them.
Besides this, chocolates contain a high amount of sugar, which might lead to serious digestive complications in our Hedgehogs. It could make them obese. It might also lead to health problems such as diarrhea and diabetes.
If your Hedgehog has consumed even the smallest piece of chocolate, you must monitor them closely. If they show any negative reactions, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sugary/Salty Food Or Drinks
Hedgehogs cannot handle excessive sweet or salty food. Overconsumption of salt or sugar leads to several health problems in our little pets.
Excessive salty is known to make our Hedgehogs seriously thirty. This means, they might end up over-drinking water, which can lead to poisoning in them. Some of the common symptoms of poisoning in Hedgehogs are diarrhea, high temperature, and seizures.
Also, excessive sugar can easily make our Hedgehogs obese and diabetic. Therefore, such food should be avoided altogether.
Allium Vegetables (Onions, Garlic, Shallots & More)
Serving allium vegetables to the Hedgehogs is a terrible idea. Some of the common allium vegetables include onion, garlic, and shallots. These vegetables, in any form, are not suitable for consumption by the Hedgehogs.
Due to the presence of high amounts of antioxidants and Vitamin C, allium vegetables are excellent for humans. However, we should never feed them to our Hedgehogs.
These vegetables are packed with sugar, which can lead to severe health problems such as diabetes and diarrhea in Hedgehogs.
Also, consumption of these vegetables can lead to bleeding disorders and gastrointestinal irritation in the Hedgehogs.
Store-Bough Hedgehog Treats
Hedgehog treats available in the local markets are far from healthy. It includes everything from yogurt treats to sugared dried fruit and mixes that contain a variety of nuts and legumes.
Most treat mixes have colorful pieces with a high amount of added sugar in them. Others contain pieces that are not healthy for Hedgehogs, including pieces of nuts, seeds, corn, and peas, all of which should be avoided for our little pets
Therefore, these treats must be avoided at all costs.
What If My Hedgehog Ate Something Poisonous?
Being a responsible Hedgehog owner, it is your duty to keep your pet safe and happy.
There was this one day when my Hedgehog ingested something poisonous, that day proved to be no less than a nightmare for me.
You must keep a track of what you are feeding your Hedgehog. In addition to this, it is important to keep them away from toxic substances such as household cleaning products (detergent and soap), your food, poisonous plants, etc.
If you feel that your pet has consumed something toxic, even by mistake, then these certain signs will help you identify the truth:
- Your Hedgehog is facing difficulty in breathing
- Your Hedgehog has a sore mouth
- Your Hedgehog ignores his food
- Your Hedgehog has a low body temperature
- Your Hedgehog is lethargic
- Your Hedgehog looks weak
If your little Hedgehog shows any of the above symptoms, then you need to take certain steps to make sure that they are fine. The best option would be to take your little one to a vet.