Do Hedgehogs Eat Watermelon?

Feeding a hedgehog in captivity is challenging. These spiky critters love munching on anything you plate up.

Since hedgehogs are feeble and get ill quite fast, you need to ensure you are giving them the right food in the right amount.

There are dozens of blogs online educating people on what they can and cannot feed their hedgehogs.

You will often read the words cat food, which is a great option because it is high in protein. However, you should also include a little color in their diet, such as fruits and vegetables.

Hedgehogs are both – insectivorous and omnivorous. Meaning: They eat insects, a few selected animals, and plants, giving you a variety of options to choose from.

This raises the question: Do hedgehogs eat watermelon?

Yes! They love this red treat as it fills them with energy. You will be happy to know that even a small amount of watermelon will fulfill your hedgehog’s hydration needs.

It contains many vitamins that benefit your hedgehog’s heart, kidney, and bone health. You can give your hedgehog a few pieces of watermelon thrice a week.

Now that you know watermelon is good for your hedgehog, let’s take a look at how it benefits them:

Watermelon Nutritional Facts

Water: The best beverage for your hedgehog is water. Watermelon contains 91% water, making it a refreshing treat for any pet.

Vitamin A: It helps improve your hedgehog’s vision, aids the immune system, and boosts kidney and heart function.

Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant that allows the hedgehog’s body to fight cellular damage, assists in tissue maintenance and growth, and boosts wound recovery.

Vitamin B1, B5, and B6: Known as Vitamin B complex, these vitamins improve the metabolic system and enhance nerve functions, allowing your hedgehog to stay calm.

Potassium: It is a vital macronutrient that helps promote bone health. It also optimizes heart and liver function.

Macronutrients: These include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates essential for normal body functioning. However, they present in a small amount, so a watermelon-only diet will not fulfill a hedgehog’s nutritional needs.

Micronutrients: These include calcium and phosphorous, which need to be present in the correct ratio, preferably 1:1 or 2:1. Lack of micronutrients can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Is Watermelon Safe for Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs have somewhat of an obsession with watermelons. The reason it’s a tasty treat, making it irresistible to hedgehogs, is because they have a sweet tooth.

Remember: If you add fruits and vegetables to your hedgehog’s diet, you should not depend on them. They can be a part of your pet’s diet but not the main course.

Watermelon is sweet juice and filling. It keeps your hedgehog hydrated because of the high-water content, making it non-fattening.

Meaning: Your hedgehog can happily munch on watermelon without you worrying about feeding it extra and empty calories.

Watermelon contains a sugar called fructose, found in the remaining 8% of the fruit’s nutritional value.

Since the fructose level is so small, this fruit is also good for diabetic patients and animals. Your prickly pet will be completely fine after eating watermelon, as long as it is in moderation.

Watermelon is also full of fiber, making it good for the tummy. It contains citrulline, which is an amino acid that helps with blood flow in the body.

This is important for proper heart functioning. The fruit also contains lycopene in high amounts, which is an antioxidant that improves heart health and prevents cancer.

One thing to remember is that though watermelon is safe and good for your hedgehog, it can still lead to diarrhea if given more than two tablespoons four times a week.

So, please exercise caution and watch your hedgehog while they eat to ensure they don’t choke on it.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Before serving your hedgehog watermelon, pick out all the black seeds because they can harm your pet.

Watermelon is a tasty treat; you will see your hedgehog munching on it as fast as their small mouth allows. So, there’s a possibility they might choke on the seeds and even die.

What Other Fruits Can Hedgehogs Eat?

Though fruits don’t contain the same amount of minerals as veggies and greens, they deliver a safe amount of sugar to your hedgehogs.

In the wild, hedgehogs eat both, and if you want to replicate their natural diet, their food tray should contain a spoonful of bite-sized veggies and fruits.

Choose fruits that are high in vitamins and antioxidants, such as the following:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Honeydew
  • Cranberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Squash

Is Watermelon Rind Safe for Hedgehogs?

For many pets, watermelon rind is safe to eat. The crunchy texture of the rind helps clean teeth.

When it comes to hedgehogs, the rind presents a problem. Though it’s safe to eat, the rind’s hardness can be a choking hazard.

Watermelon rind contains phytochemicals and vitamins. It has high amounts of zinc and vitamins and is low in calories, making it a desirable snack.

For human beings, the rind is good for the sink, aids in chronic ailments, maintain blood pressure, and helps reduce weight.

However, it does not deliver the same benefits to hedgehogs. While watermelon’s watery, fleshy texture is edible, the rind is not.

It can cause stomach injuries and other diseases, leading to gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea. The same issues also arise when eating watermelon but only in excessive amounts.

Preparing Watermelon for Your Hedgehog

Use Organic Watermelon

No food offers more health benefits than organic food. Hence, you should buy your watermelon from a farmer’s market.

It might be a bit costly, but it is better to treat your pet with pesticide-free food than options sprayed with chemicals.

Wash the Rind

If you plan to give your hedgehog just the red, fleshy part of the watermelon, there is no need to wash it.

However, if you are including the rind in the fruit bowl, scrub it thoroughly under water.

Remove the Seeds

As mentioned earlier, there should be no seeds in the pieces of watermelon you put on your hedgehog’s food tray. Use a knife to chop the watermelon; the seeds will separate themselves.

Treat-Sized Bites

Watermelons come in different sizes but are mostly huge. Instead of placing a crescent-shaped piece in your hedgehog’s cage, chop it into bite-sized pieces and serve them in a bowl.

Final Word

The hydrating properties of watermelon make it a great treat for hedgehogs. However, it’s important to ensure you give your pet the fruit in moderation.

Though it is low in sugar, it should be given only as a treat. The ideal amount is one tablespoon, three to four times weekly.

As for the seeds, remove all the black ones because they can be a choking hazard. The white ones are softer and easily chewable, so you don’t need to worry about them.

Lastly, the fruit’s rind should be avoided. Some pet owners still include it in the fruit bowl because the rind is nutritious.

If you plan to do this, ensure it is finely chopped so your hedgehog digests it quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions people have about fed watermelon to hedgehogs:

Can hedgehogs eat watermelon?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat watermelon. It is a low-calorie fruit that is safe for them to consume in moderation.

Watermelon is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. It also contains fiber, which can aid in digestion.

How often can hedgehogs eat watermelon?

Hedgehogs can eat watermelon several times per week, but it should only be given as an occasional treat and in small amounts. Too much watermelon can upset their stomachs and cause diarrhea.

How should I prepare watermelon for my hedgehog?

It is best to remove the seeds and rind from the watermelon before feeding it to your hedgehog. You can cut the fruit into small pieces or mash it up into a puree.

Make sure to wash the watermelon thoroughly before preparing it for your hedgehog.

Can wild hedgehogs eat watermelon?

Wild hedgehogs may eat watermelon if it is available to them, but it is not a natural part of their diet.

If you want to feed watermelon to wild hedgehogs, it is best to cut it up into small pieces and leave it out for them in a safe location.

What other fruits can hedgehogs eat?

Hedgehogs can eat a variety of fruits in moderation, including apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries.

However, some fruits, such as grapes and citrus fruits, should be avoided as they can be harmful to hedgehogs.

It is important to research each fruit before feeding it to your hedgehog to ensure it is safe for them to consume.

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