Hedgehogs are growing in popularity across the United States, with many new pet owners every day. One of the most common questions we get is what to feed our hedgehogs. Carrots are commonly grown in the garden, and many people consider them healthy food, so it’s normal to wonder if your pet can eat them, too, and the answer is yes. Your hedgehog can eat carrots, but there are several things to consider before you make it a regular part of its diet.
Keep reading while we look at the benefits and possible dangers of feeding your hedgehog carrots so you can be better informed.
The 3 Cons of Feeding Carrots to Hedgehog
Many people might not realize it, but carrots contain a considerable amount of sugar, and if you feed too many of them to pay, it can lead to weight gain. Obese animals run a higher risk of developing health problems like diabetes and can also damage the teeth of your pet, so it’s best to keep the amount of sugar your pet eats to a minimum. One cup of chopped carrots contains a little over 6 grams of sugar.
2. Vitamin A
Too much vitamin A in your pet’s diet can cause vitamin A toxicity, leading to numerous health problems for your pet. If you feed your hedgehog several other foods high in vitamin A or provide your pet with a vitamin A supplement, you may need to reduce the number of times you provide carrots to your pet each week.
While not considered a high-starch food, carrots do contain a lot, leading to weight gain in your pet.
The 3 Pros of Feeding Carrots to Hedgehog
1. Vitamin A
We know we put vitamin A on our con list, but that’s because it’s so important that many people provide vitamin A supplements, which can lead to toxicity when combined with foods high in vitamin A, like carrots. If you don’t provide your hedgehog with a vitamin A supplement, carrots can be a great way to provide this important nutrient to your pet, which will help keep your pet’s eyesight sharp.
2. Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is another important nutrient that you will find in carrots, and it works with vitamin A to help maintain the eyes, among many other functions.
Another important nutrient you can find in carrots is calcium, which will help your hedgehog build strong bones and teeth. You can expect to find more than 40 milligrams of calcium and one cup of chopped carrots.
4. Other Nutrients
There are several other healthy nutrients you can find in smaller amounts, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, manganese, niacin, and more. These extra nutrients can help your pet receive a complete set of vitamins and minerals each week when part of a balanced diet.
Water is another ingredient you find in large quantities in a carrot, so it can help keep your pet hydrated, and it may even reduce the frequency of constipation. Many hedgehogs don’t drink as much as they should. High-quality food containing plenty of moisture, like carrots, can be a great way to keep them from becoming dehydrated, especially during the warmer summer months.
How Can I Feed My Hedgehog Carrots?
We recommend chopping a few ounces of carrots up into small pieces and cooking them soft. The important nutrients in carrots are fat-soluble and will not boil away, so you needn’t worry about making them less nutritious. Once the carrots are cool, you can feel a small amount to your pet once or twice a week as part of a larger, varied diet.
Related Read: 14 Things You Can Feed a Hedgehog (and What to Avoid)
Carrots are safe for hedgehogs to eat, but only in small amounts because there’s too much sugar for them to be healthy in large quantities. We found that they make a great treat as our hedgehog often comes running for them when he knows they are available. Carrots are easy to find and inexpensive to purchase in any grocery store. You can even use canned ones if there are no additional ingredients added.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this short guide and found the answers you need!
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