Most of us do not know the complete diet of a hedgehog off the top of our head, and as a new hedgehog owner, you would want to be careful introducing any new foods to your pet.
Understanding what you can and can’t feed your hedgehog will help you give them a healthy diet and everything they need to grow and develop properly.
A common food in many homes, can hedgehogs eat apples? Yes, hedgehogs can eat apples since they are not toxic or harmful. It is important to note that apples do not contribute much to a hedgehog’s dietary needs, so they aren’t necessarily beneficial for them. They are a great treat though.
Hedgehogs love to eat and will chomp down on many different foods you offer them. This does not mean that all foods are safe! Apples do happen to be a safe food to feed your hedgehog, but like everything else, it needs to be offered in moderation.
Do Hedgehogs Like Apples?
Hedgehogs are insectivores, so it can often be a struggle feeding them other food items that they aren’t used to. They do not actually have much of a sweet tooth and aren’t always too drawn to sweet items, such as apples.
Whether or not your hedgehog enjoys munching down on an apple will depend on its own tastes. One hedgehog might enjoy a slice of apple now and then when another might just leave it untouched.
You can place some apple slices in their enclosure to test whether or not they like apples or not. If they gobble them up in no time, you can safely assume that they like apples! However, if they aren’t too interested, you might need to offer them another treat.
Are Apples Healthy For Hedgehogs?
In order to determine whether or not apples are healthy for hedgehogs, you need to look at an apple’s nutritional composition.
Here is the nutritional makeup for approx. 100 grams of apple:
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
Apples contain all the right nutrients and vitamins to be healthy but lack one of the most important nutrients which is essential to hedgehogs – protein. Hedgehogs need protein for most of their nutrition, and most of their diet consists of food with low fat and high protein.
Apples are too low in protein for hedgehogs, but they are not necessarily bad for their health. This makes them an ideal treat every now and then, but they should not form part of their everyday diet.
How Often Can You Feed A Hedgehog Apples?
Apples have no real benefit to a hedgehog’s diet, and should not form a large part of the food they eat. Therefore, there is no reason to feed apples to your hedgehogs daily.
If you notice that your hedgehog enjoys apples, you can offer them a few slices now and then.
As apples contain sugar, it is a good idea to not give them apples often. You could place one or two slices of apples into their cage three to four times a week.
Tips To Feed Your Hedgehog Apples
Before feeding some apple to a hedgehog, you need to wash it well. This helps to remove any dirt and chemicals that might be on the surface of the apple. A hedgehog will be more sensitive to these chemicals than we are, and it could cause health problems.
To properly wash the apple, you should leave it to soak in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Throw the water away and wash the fruit under fresh running water.
You can now cut the apple. Remember that hedgehogs need to be able to eat the apple easily. Cut it up small enough so that they cannot choke on bigger bits, or place slices in their cage that they can nibble at easily.
Make sure to remove any apple seeds before feeding apples to your hedgehog, to avoid any toxins, and to avoid a choking hazard that the small seeds might pose.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Applesauce?
Many varieties of apple sauce contain a high amount of sugar and other artificial ingredients. If you are wanting to feed your hedgehog some apple sauce, make sure it is free from added sugar and is organic, not packed with any other harmful ingredients.
Can Hedgehogs Drink Apple Juice?
It is not a good idea to feed your hedgehog apple juice. Sugar is not part of a hedgehog’s usual diet, and apple juice contains quite a bit of sugar. This concentrated sugar can cause problems in a hedgehog’s stomach, and just is not worth it.
While there is apple juice found in an apple, your hedgehog will consume much less apple juice when eating an apple, compared to just drinking the juice on its own.
Apples have additional fibers and enzymes which slow down the absorption of sugar and do not cause a dangerous spike.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Apple Seeds?
Apple seeds are considered toxic to most animals. Hedgehogs are insectivores, and therefore have a higher tolerance to toxic foods. This does not mean that apple seeds are necessarily safe for hedgehogs, but it also does not mean they are toxic.
It is best to just avoid feeding apple seeds to your hedgehog – it is not worth the risk. Not only might they be toxic, but they could pose a choking hazard as well. Remove any seeds from an apple before feeding it to your hedgehog.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Apple Skin?
Yes, it is safe for hedgehogs to eat apple skin. There is no real reason to peel the skin off an apple before feeding it to your hedgehog, it is just a waste of time.
The skin is harmless to your hedgehog and gives the apple more of a crunch as they munch away.
A Healthy Hedgehog Diet
Appels should only be given to a hedgehog on occasion, and should not form a part of their daily diet.
There are specific nutrients that a hedgehog needs to be healthy. Here are some of the foods to include in the regular diet of a hedgehog:
This is a store-bought food that is made specifically for hedgehogs, and which fulfills their nutritional needs. Hedgehog kibble should form 80% of your hedgehog’s diet daily. It contains upwards of 40% protein, and under 20% fat, so it is well suited to their diet (we’d recommend this brand).
Crickets and mealworms
Crickets and mealworms give hedgehogs chitin. They are also a good treat to help make your hedgehog active, chasing down the insects, and it helps with their mental stimulation as well.
If you are open to the idea, you could also catch worms and feed them to your hedgehog as well.
Being rich in protein, cooked chicken is a great food item to give to your hedgehog. If you are cooking chicken at home, you can add a little bit to your hedgehog’s bowl. Make sure it is shredded or cut up small so it is easier for your hedgehog to eat.
You can share your morning scrambled or boiled eggs with your hedgehog. Once again, it is a good source of protein, and in small bits can be a great addition to their diet.
Waxworms are high in fat but low in protein, which is the opposite of what a hedgehog should need, but hedgehogs absolutely love eating waxworms. You can give your hedgehog a waxworm or two on occasion as a very special treat.
What fruits can a hedgehog eat?
Hedgehogs can eat a small amount of fresh fruit as a treat. Apples, berries, bananas, and melons are a good choice to treat your pet with. As for fresh vegetables, you can feed them green beans, tomatoes, and cooked squash.
Avoid dried fruits as these contain a high amount of sugar which is not healthy for your hedgehog.
What foods should hedgehogs not eat?
Hedgehogs should not eat milk, avocado, bread, citrus fruit, raw meat, raisins, onion, nuts and seeds, grapes, junk food, chocolate, raw egg yolk, and spicy foods.
Avocados and grapes are actually toxic to hedgehogs and should never be offered as a meal. Some hedgehog owners feed their pet hedgehogs crushed peanuts, but nuts and raisins can be a choking hazard, as they tend to get stuck on the roof of the mouth.
What type of meat can a hedgehog eat?
Hedgehogs can eat a variety of lean meat, as long as it is cooked. This includes chicken, turkey, pheasant, beef, lamb, liver, and kidney.
Feed the lean meat to your hedgehog without any seasoning or oil, and make sure the pieces are not too big that they will not be able to eat them. Mince, dice or shred the meat, and never feed raw meat to your hedgehog.
Up Next: Can Hedgehogs Eat Popcorn?