Are Peanuts Good for Hedgehogs?

Are Peanuts Good for Hedgehogs?

One of the most important aspects of caring for your hedgehog is feeding them properly. Hedgehogs require a healthy and well-balanced diet, just like humans.

Thus, it would be best to plan meals for your hedgehog well before time.

Moreover, when planning a diet for your hedgehog, you should be aware of foods that are harmful or poisonous to this animal.

If you have had your hedgehog for a while, you probably know they enjoy having cat food. However, we recommend switching up their diet to ensure they get proper nutrition.

Many hedgehog owners also offer treats to their hedgehogs as a reward for playing a game or anything else.

One such treat is peanuts. But the question arises, “are peanuts good for hedgehogs?” This blog post covers the answer to this question in detail.

Are Peanuts Good for Hedgehogs?

The short answer to the question, “can hedgehogs eat peanuts?” is yes.

They enjoy eating them as well. However, this does not mean that you should overfeed them with peanuts.

Since peanuts have a high fat content, they aren’t considered a healthy treat for your hedgehog.

When consumed in moderation, foods that contain fat can be included to create a well-balanced diet. If you want to add peanuts to their diet, you can offer them occasionally as treats.

Another option is to mix peanuts with their regular diet and then offer it to your hedgehog. You can do this if your hedgehog hasn’t been eating properly.

In addition to being an indication of dental issues, your hedgehog may stop eating if they have gotten bored with it.

While humans enjoy eating different meals every day, pets often don’t have that luxury and generally have the same food daily.

Thus they often get bored with it. So, adding peanuts to your hedgehog’s diet will encourage them to eat in case they miss their meals but are otherwise healthy.

Remember to offer this treat in small quantities and avoid seasoned, spiced, or salted peanuts.

Can Hedgehogs Have Peanut Butter?

Now that we have established that hedgehogs can have peanuts in moderation, you might wonder if they can eat peanut butter.

In short, yes, they can have peanut butter.

So, if you offer them, they will likely accept it. However, this isn’t the healthiest food item to add to their diet. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Peanut butter has too many calories for hedgehogs. Since they are small creatures, they only require a minimal number of calories.

Therefore, feeding them peanut butter means the extra calories are converted to fat and stored in their bodies.

As a result, gain weight, feel lethargic, and become prone to certain illnesses.

The high sugar content in peanut butter is another possible risk for hedgehogs.

Since they aren’t used to consuming foods that contain a lot of sugar, it may be difficult for their digestive system to process peanut butter.

While some peanut butter varieties are sugar-free, you should also avoid them as they still contain artificial sweeteners.

Xylitol is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners. While it is safe for humans to consume Xylitol, this substance has been proven harmful to animals, including goats, dogs, baboons, cows, and others.

Thus, we can safely conclude they could also be harmful to hedgehogs.

If peanut butter contains poor-quality peanuts, it may contain aflatoxin. Fungi that develop on properly stored peanuts produce aflatoxin, a carcinogen.

If your hedgehog eats peanut butter that contains aflatoxin, it might develop liver toxicity. 

Another reason hedgehogs shouldn’t have peanut butter is it might lead to choking. Due to its stickiness, it could become lodged in the throat after swallowing.

Additionally, because of the size of their mouths, they are more susceptible to choking after having it.

Take the following safety measures if you still want to offer peanut butter to your hedgehog:

  1. Offer peanut butter in tiny amounts.
  2. Don’t offer crunchy peanuts to your hedgehog as they may get stuck in their teeth, causing dental problems. Moreover, it may also lead to choking. Thus, we recommend using smooth peanut butter.
  3. Choose organic peanut butter instead of regular since it contains little or no additives. Although it could cost more, it is comparatively healthier.
  4. Avoid giving the hedgehog additional high-calorie foods whenever you offer it peanut butter. 

Are Nuts Beneficial for Hedgehogs?

When in the wild, hedgehogs eat a wide variety of nuts. But are nuts healthy for them? If given in excess, nuts can’t be good for hedgehogs.

Nuts have a high fat content, which can make hedgehogs gain weight.

They are prone to weight gain due to their small size. So, if you give your hedgehog a lot of nuts, it might get fat and develop illnesses like diabetes.

You should consider adding protein to their diets compared to fats in nuts. 

Food Items That Are Safe for Hedgehogs to Consume

A hedgehog’s main diet should typically contain fat and protein in a 2:1 ratio. They must eat 12 to 15% fat and 28 to 35% protein.

Here is a list of food items that are safe for hedgehogs to consume:

  1. Canned cat food
  2. Dog food
  3. Baby food
  4. Specialized food for hedgehogs
  5. Apples
  6. Carrots
  7. Kiwi
  8. Broccoli
  9. Watermelon
  10. Bananas
  11. Peas
  12. Berries
  13. Cucumber
  14. Papayas

Final Word

Since hedgehogs like to consume a diverse diet, owners often wonder whether they can eat the same things they do. Hedgehogs in the wild eat nuts and plants in addition to protein.

Since peanuts are high in fat, hedgehogs like to consume them.

However, you should only offer them peanuts in moderation. Small animals like hedgehogs are prone to weight gain. It would be good to feed your hedgehog crushed nuts instead to prevent choking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is peanut butter good for hedgehogs?

No, peanut butter is not recommended as a regular food for hedgehogs as it is high in fat and sugar, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Hedgehogs should primarily be fed a diet of high-quality commercial hedgehog food or a mix of insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Are almonds OK for Hedgehogs?

No, almonds are not recommended for hedgehogs as they are high in fat and can cause gastrointestinal issues.

Hedgehogs should stick to a balanced diet of high-quality commercial hedgehog food supplemented with occasional treats such as mealworms, cooked chicken, and fruits.

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