Many new hedgie parents find themselves clueless about their beloved pets’ dietary needs.
It makes sense for them to be bewildered; after all, hedgehogs are not the most common pet. You may have grown up feeding a cat or dog, but probably not a hedgehog! Still, loving a hedgie is a trend that is picking up.
Most exotic vets recommend that you stick to feeding your hedgie dry cat food as their primary source of nutrients. Most vets will also advise you against feeding generic hedgehog food brands as they are not up to par when it comes to quality.
However, vets will also ask you to add to their meal some variety with healthy alternatives such as fruits and vegetables. But which ones should you give your hedgie?
Can hedgehogs eat watermelons? Yes, hedgehogs can eat watermelons. In fact, many hedgehogs really like watermelon and it is a good treat to keep your hedgehog hydrated. You can give your hedgehog a little bit of seedless watermelon up to 2-3 times a week.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to feed your hedgie watermelon – and other foods – and why the big juicy fruit is likely be one of your hedgie’s favorite snacks. Read on for more informative hedgie food care!
Is It Safe For Hedgehogs To Eat Watermelon?
Many hedgie parents note something of an obsession with eating watermelons. It’s a tasty treat that most hedgehogs find irresistible. Yet, you have to remember that fruits and vegetables ought to serve as part of a full diet, not as meals by themselves.
Now, watermelon is juicy, sweet, and filling, but it’s also a treat that will keep your pet hydrated. Watermelons are filling but not fattening. So, your hedgehog can enjoy a burst of energy, not from excessive calories.
You see, watermelons do contain fruit sugar, fructose. Yet, it is 92% water. And, the fructose level is so minimal that even diabetic patients can safely eat watermelons. It’s no surprise your prickly friend will be just fine after having a treat of watermelon, as long as it’s done in reasonable moderation.
Watermelon has fiber, too. Hence, it’s gentle on the tummy and good to include in your hedgehog’s diet.
Moreover, watermelons are known to contain the beneficial amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline helps the flow of blood in the body and, it’s quite vital for proper heart functioning. Watermelons also have high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant that aids in heart health and the prevention of cancer.
All in all, watermelons will only improve your hedgies overall healthfulness. But, you have to remember that too much of a good thing can sometimes be harmful. So, go right ahead and feed your hedgehog watermelons. But, do take caution in terms of how much watermelon you feed your hedgie.
How Should You Feed Your Hedgehog Watermelon?
Watermelons are great to include as part of your hedgehog’s diet – the operative word here being ‘part.’
There are many fruits and vegetables that hedgehogs can eat without fear of any ill-effects, like watermelons, but that doesn’t mean these should be given as a meal by themselves. Like us, hedgehogs need a variety to get all that they need.
Your hedgie should have its regular dry cat food as a meal to get its fill of the necessary nutrition. Now, when it comes to treats or a “side” for dinner, watermelons are a wholesome choice. But, you can’t just cut a huge slice of watermelon and allow your hedgie to feast upon one.
You have to remove the seeds from the piece that you plan to offer your pet. And, you have to make tiny pieces of the watermelon so as to avoid any choking hazards. Also, it is essential to give no more than 2 spoonfuls only at a time, 2 or 3 times a week.
You don’t need to be concerned about having limited choices of treats to offer your beloved hedgie, as there are literally dozens of fruits and vegetables that hedgehogs can eat without fear of toxicity. Let’s go through some of the questions asked by most hedgie lovers.
What Fruits Are Safe for Hedgehogs?
Luckily for you (and your hedgie) there are many fruits you can feed your prickly pet.
Here is a list of fruits that are safe to eat for your hedgehog:
- Melons – honeydew and cantaloupe
- Berries – blueberries and raspberries
- Kiwi fruit
What Vegetables Are Safe For Hedgehogs To Eat?
Once again, we’ve got a list of veggies that you can feed your hedgehogs without fear of any side-effects.
Here are some veggies that are safe for hedgies to eat:
- Sweet potato
- Dandelion greens
What’s The Best Way To Introduce New Food Items To Hedgehogs?
There are many other healthy options open to hedgehog parents that they can include in their pet’s dietary regime. But, the best way to incorporate something new into the diet is to start by consulting the vet.
Once you get the go-ahead, it’s a good idea to start with just a tiny mouthful to evaluate your hedgehog’s reaction to the new food item. Plus, you want to see how your pet’s body reacts to the fresh food after some time. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Up Next: Can Hedgehogs Eat Popcorn?