What Happens If a Hedgehog Eats Chocolate?

Aren’t hedgehogs one of the cutest pets? Surely, you’d be tempted to treat it with love, care, and sometimes even some chocolates. If that’s your plan, STOP!

Chocolate can be fatal for hedgehogs and is one of the common dietary restrictions for numerous pets. Why? Read this blog post to find out. 

Can Hedgehogs Eat Chocolate?

Decadent chocolate is one of the common indulgences for humans due to its luxurious softness and rich taste. Whether it’s white, milk, or dark chocolate, each flavor sparks our taste buds to enjoy the pleasure. Yum!

However, the same delightful treat is poison for common pets as all chocolates’ chemical makeup is toxic for tiny creatures. So, can a hedgehog eat chocolate? The simplest answer is no.

How Chocolate Harms Animals, Including Hedgehogs

Chocolates are harmful to hedgehogs and other common pet animals in various ways. Here are the most common problems your hedgehog might face if they nibble on any chocolate treats.

Digestive Problems

Theobromine is one of the most widely used ingredients in chocolates. This ingredient, belonging to the caffeine family, is known for its bitter taste.

Theobromine is also one of the common reasons hedgehogs can’t enjoy chocolate. Due to their small digestive system, the chemical isn’t digestible for most animals, especially hedgehogs.

An upset stomach can make your hedgehogs lousy, as diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms if they eat chocolate.

No Nutritional Value

One of the lesser-known facts about hedgehogs is that they are omnivores and rely on plant and animal-based diets for their nutrition.

Out of all the food groups, hedgehogs mostly need protein for proper health, growth, and nutrition.

If you look at the nutritional table given on the packets of almost all the chocolates, you’ll observe that proteins are quite low in quantity.

In contrast, the quantities of other food groups, such as sugar, fats, and even theobromine, are significantly higher.

Hence, feeding your hedgehogs pieces of chocolate isn’t adding any nutritional benefits to their diet. Instead, the digestive problems might cause weight loss in already tiny hedgehogs making nutritional absorption more challenging.

Enhanced Risk of Seizures

Hedgehogs love to nibble on everything that comes their way. Hence, leaving pieces of chocolate around the house, even accidentally, can cause hedgehogs to develop digestive issues.

The effects may soon intensify if you feed hedgehogs more chocolate.

Large amounts of theobromine in the bloodstream of animals, including hedgehogs, make them susceptible to seizures and internal bleeding.

These effects can manifest within the first 24 hours of chocolate ingestion as theobromine’s effects remain for over 20 hours. Resultantly, the effects can be fatal for these tiny little creatures.

Risk of Heart Attacks

The reasons behind seizures also hold for increasing the chance of heart attacks in hedgehogs.

The effects of theobromine in the bloodstream last for 20 hours which can cause this irreversible harm and can be lethal for your hedgehog.

Therefore, keeping chocolate treats away from hedgehogs is crucial for your pet’s life.

What to Do If Your Hedgehog Accidentally Eats Chocolate

Whether your hedgehogs nibble on the last pieces of chocolate cake or munch on a huge chocolate bar, you must call your veterinarian immediately.

Your vet will ask some basic questions to understand the situation and chocolate dosage well, so answer using all the information you have.

Your vet will ask you to bring your pet if the issue is serious. You must also carry the package for any nutritional information your vet might require.

If your hedgehog has only ingested small amounts of chocolate, your vet will likely ask you to administer your pet for 24 hours.

If you observe any seizures or signs of digestive issues during this time, rush to the vet without further ado.

What Other Foods Should You Avoid Giving to Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are tiny animals that have an even smaller digestive system. Therefore, their metabolism isn’t as great as that of humans. Hence, all foods having high starch content can be hazardous for your hedgehogs.

Here’s a list of some common items you must avoid feeding your hedgehogs:

Chocolate Related Treats

Some pet owners often inquire about feeding their hedgehogs items that may contain chocolate.

Chocolate cake, brownies, and other chocolate-flavored sweet treats may have the same effects on hedgehogs as plain chocolate. Therefore, you must avoid feeding all chocolate treats.

In contrast, you can feed hedgehogs with the cookie part of chocolate chip cookies, but only in minimal amounts.

Potatoes

Potatoes are a common part of the human diet. However, due to their starch-rich makeup, potatoes can be detrimental to your pet.

Hedgehogs are susceptible to obesity due to potato intake, whereas raw potatoes can be even more toxic for your pets.

Therefore, please keep all the fries, mashed potatoes, raw potatoes, etc., away from hedgehogs and lock them safely in your refrigerator.

Dairy Items

Were you wondering why we didn’t mention chocolate ice cream in chocolate-related treats? That’s because we want to cover it in dairy items, as milk products are also dangerous for hedgehogs.

Many people are unaware of the presence of sugar in milk and other dairy items: lactose.

Lactose intolerance is a common issue in humans and pets like hedgehogs, where the body cannot break down and digest lacrosse.

Consequently, humans and hedgehogs can develop an upset stomach which can cause serious issues.

To Sum It Up!

Hedgehogs are susceptible to numerous digestive and health issues if they ingest chocolate.

The chemical makeup of chocolate, especially theobromine, is toxic for most pets, including hedgehogs. Therefore, you must avoid feeding chocolate to your hedgehog.

Additionally, ensure that all the chocolate items are locked securely so your hedgehog doesn’t get to ingest them.

Throw away any chocolate packets with shards of chocolate, so they aren’t lying around in your pet’s way. 

Shower your pet with love and attention. Those are the only sweet treats healthy for your hedgehogs.

Other Related Articles What Hedgehog like to EAT

Related Articles

Leave a Comment