What Do Hedgehogs Eat Human Food?

Having an exotic pet, such as a hedgehog, comes with many responsibilities, mainly concerning their diet. You need to ensure their meals are nutritious so they don’t develop health problems.

In the wild, hedgehogs eat insects and small animals. However, one in captivity has different choices.

Hedgehogs are insectivores. They get most of their protein from insects. As for vitamins and minerals, certain fruits and vegetables fulfill their needs.

When it comes to human foods, the list is pretty long. While the best food for hedgehogs is dried kitten or cat food, you can experiment with cooked chicken, boiled eggs, and more to learn what your spiky friend’s tastebuds desire.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the most common human foods that hedgehogs can happily enjoy:

Can Hedgehogs Eat Boiled Eggs?

There are certain foods that we automatically give to our pets when we are eating. One of them happens to be boiled eggs.

They are full of minerals and vitamins and safe for your hedgehog. You can cut them into bite-sized pieces and place them inside the veggie bowl.

While boiled eggs are good for hedgehogs, they are not a daily snack. Eggs have cholesterol and can lead to clogged arteries. So, serve your hedgehog a boiled egg once a week.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Bread?

Bread is a food staple that makes its way to your plate in the morning, at lunch, and during dinner. However, it is not safe for your hedgehog. Here are a few reasons:

  • Bread is soft, and hedgehogs eat it pretty fast. This can cause indigestion.
  • Though bread will fill your hedgehog’s stomach, it won’t provide any nutritional value.
  • Some bread contains milk, which is harmful to hedgehogs.
  • Bread contains starch, which hedgehogs are not easily able to digest.
  • Since bread will satiate your hedgehog’s hunger, they won’t be eating anything nutritious, causing malnutrition.
  • Bread can often be a choking hazard because it is dry.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Chocolate?

NO! Not even in small amounts. If your hedgehog somehow manages to get into your sweet stash, you need to take it immediately to a vet.

Most of the ingredients in chocolate are harmful to hedgehogs. These include milk, sugar, theobromine, and caffeine.

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Since they cannot digest the sugar in milk, they often get diarrhea. The same side effects apply to other milky and sugary foods.

As for the latter two ingredients, they are quite toxic. Theobromine is a stimulant that stimulates the mind and relaxes humans.

While it is beneficial to humans, it is bad for all animals. As for caffeine, it raises blood pressure. Combine these side effects, and chocolate becomes a health hazard.

Hedgehogs in captivity do not get the same amount of exercise as wild hedgehogs. Since hedgehogs get fat easily, chocolate can cause obesity.

If you want to give them something nutritious, they can munch on and drop a few nuts and seeds in their food bowl.

It takes time for the signs to appear, so you should monitor your hedgehog for 24 hours.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Baby Food?

Baby food comes in two forms: Organ and non-organic. It is available in different flavors and often combines mashed fruits and vegetables, sometimes even fish.

When buying baby food for your hedgehog, ensure it is unsweetened.

Baby Food Flavors

  • Carrots: No
  • Banana: Yes
  • Apple Sauce: Yes
  • Avocado: No
  • Beans: Yes
  • Peas: Yes
  • Spinach: Yes
  • Sweet Potato: No
  • Rice: Yes
  • Squash: Yes

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cheese?

Cheese contains milk, and we have already established that it is not good for hedgehogs. However, since cheese offers calcium, including it in your pet’s diet can be beneficial to their health.

Dry, aged cheese contains less lactose, and a few crumbs once a week will not harm your hedgehog. Other calcium sources for hedgehogs include:

  • Soybeans (197mg)
  • Kale (150mg)
  • Okra (82mg)
  • Dill (208mg)
  • Sesame Seeds (975mg)

Can Hedgehogs Eat Chips?

Chips are not only junk food for humans but hedgehogs too. Better not give them to your pet because they contain salt, oil, and potatoes, all of which are bad for hedgehogs.

  • Potato contains starch, which is hard for hedgehogs to digest.
  • The oil in chips contains a lot of calories that can increase your hedgehog’s weight fast.
  • Salt in chips can cause dehydration.
  • Chips coated with seasoning contain spices that are bad for your hedgehog’s little stomach.

Human Food Safe for Hedgehogs

  • Carrot: Carrots are safe for hedgehogs but only when boiled. In its raw form, this vegetable is quite hard and can be a choking hazard.
  • Peppers: Peppers contain sugar, but not so much. This is why they can be given to your hedgehog in moderation. Chop them finely before mixing them with other veggies.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini is safe for hedgehogs but only when boiled. In its raw form, the vegetable is hard to digest and can be a choking hazard.
  • Leafy Greens: There are different types of leafy greens, and not all of them are safe for hedgehogs. The ones you can use to make a healthy salad include leafy lettuce, collard greens, kale, and Romaine.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber is a hydrating treat that hedgehogs munch on happily.
  • Apples: An apple a day keeps the vet away. You can you’re your hedgehog small pieces of it and keep an eye on it to ensure it does not choke.
  • Pears: Hedgehogs love pears. Just remember to remove the fruit’s skin before feeding them.
  • Banana: Since bananas are soft, they are easy to eat and digest.
  • Organic Berries: While organic berries are safe for consumption, it’s important to remove their skin, which can be a bit tricky.
  • Melons: Hedgehogs can eat melons all day, every day. Since they are low in sugar, you can give them to your pet thrice weekly.

Human Food Unsafe for Hedgehogs

  • Avocados: Avocado contains the toxin Persin, which causes loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. In large doses, it can be fatal.
  • Citrus Fruits: Orange, lemon, and other citrus fruits are acidic and cause stomach problems in hedgehogs.
  • Grapes: Certain pesticides on grapes make them hard for hedgehogs to metabolize. They also damage their kidneys.
  • Nuts: Nuts are a great alternative to chocolate and salty snacks. Just make sure to crush them because they can be a choking hazard.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes contain starch, which makes them hard to digest.
  • Pineapples: Pineapples are acidic and have high sugar content, which makes your hedgehog obese.

Here’s the final list of common human foods that hedgehogs can and cannot enjoy:

FoodCan Hedgehogs Eat It?
BaconNo
Beef JerkyNo
DipsNo
Dried ChickenYes
EggshellsYes
HoneyNo
Hot DogsNo
JamYes
JellyNo
Fresh JuiceNo
KrispiesYes
NoodlesNo
NuggetsNo
QuinoaYes
Raw MeatNo
RiceYes
YogurtNo
French FriesNo
HamNo
Ice CreamNo
LiverYes
MarshmallowsNo
Peanut ButterNo
PopcornYes
SalmonYes
TurkeyYes
SausageNo
WeetabixYes
Whipped CreamNo
YolkNo

Final Word

There are plenty of human foods that hedgehogs can eat, but you need to ensure they don’t contain milk, starch, caffeine, and other ingredients mentioned in this blog.

They all can cause severe side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiac arrest, eventually leading to death.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We understand that as hedgehog owners, you may have some questions about feeding your hedgehog human food.

Here are some frequently asked questions that may help.

Can hedgehogs eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat some fruits and vegetables, but they should be given in moderation. Some good options include apples, bananas, carrots, and green beans.

However, avoid giving them citrus fruits and grapes as they are toxic to hedgehogs.

Can hedgehogs eat meat?

Yes, hedgehogs are carnivores and require a diet that is high in protein. You can feed them cooked chicken, turkey, and beef.

However, avoid giving them raw meat as it may contain harmful bacteria.

Can hedgehogs eat dairy products?

No, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products. Avoid giving them milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Can hedgehogs eat bread and pasta?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat bread and pasta, but they should be given in moderation. These foods are high in carbohydrates and can cause weight gain if given in excess.

Can hedgehogs eat insects and worms from our garden?

Yes, hedgehogs love to eat insects and worms. However, make sure they are not sprayed with any harmful chemicals before feeding them to your hedgehog.

Can hedgehogs eat chocolate?

No, chocolate is toxic to hedgehogs and can cause serious health problems. Avoid giving them any chocolate or foods that contain chocolate.

In summary, hedgehogs can eat some human foods, but it’s important to do your research and feed them in moderation.

Always consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your hedgehog’s diet.

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