Because celery is a staple in so many diets, including children’s, you may be wondering if you can feed your hedgehog celery. Although celery is a safe and low-calorie snack for humans, you should not feed it to your hedgehog.
Even though celery is not outright toxic, it can still pose some health risks to your hedgehog. To ensure that your hedgehog stays as happy and healthy as possible, stick to the standard hedgehog foods, such as gut loaded insects, leafy greens, and organic fruits.
To learn why hedgehogs cannot eat celery and what foods to feed your hedgie instead, read on. This article fully details what you can feed your hedgehog, including celery. Read on for more.
Can You Give Hedgehogs Celery?
Unfortunately, you cannot give your hedgehog celery. In terms of nutritional value, celery offers next to nothing. Because hedgehogs are so much smaller than humans, this lack of nutritional value means that your hedgehog will fill up on pointless calories, which may cause them to have nutritional deficiencies down the road.
Not to mention, celery has a high sodium content. Although this nutritional content is not bad for humans, it can be dangerous for hedgehogs who are much smaller than us. High sodium content can lead to numerous illnesses and dehydration. If fed celery over a long period of time, the hedgehog can’t even experience some serious health issues, such as digestive irritation, as a result.
Needless to say, you should not give your hedgehog celery. If you fed your hedgehog celery once, don’t worry. Eating celery once won’t be a major deal for your hedgehog. However, try to avoid feeding your hedgehog celery when possible.
What Do Hedgehogs Eat?
In the wild, hedgehogs eat at night and are primarily carnivores. Most of their diet comes from small baby mammals and insects. Occasionally, hedgehogs eat plant matter, such as vegetables and fruit. Some of their favorite treats include gut loaded insects, earthworms, and the occasional pinky mouse.
It’s important to give your hedgehog a similar diet in captivity. That way, your hedgehog gets all of the nutrition it needs, never more or less. It’s best to feed your hedgehog at night since this is when its circadian rhythm schedules it to eat.
Feed your hedgehog hedgehog-specific foods, such as gut loaded insects and pinky mice. You can also provide your hedgehog with cooked meat, such as chicken. Do not add any oil, butter, or seasoning to the meat, though. Supplement their diet with approved vegetables and fruits, which we detail below.
What Fruits and Veggies Can I Feed My Hedgehog?
Hedgehogs do not need as many fruits and vegetables as other small mammals, but fruits and vegetables are still necessary for their diet. It’s important that the vegetables and fruit are completely fresh and raw. If you must cook the vegetable, do not use any oil, butter, or seasoning to cook it.
Additionally, always make sure to buy organic produce for your hedgehog. Organic produce comes with fewer pesticides and chemicals, which are bad for you, your hedgehog, and most other animals. Even if the produce is organic, make sure to wash it thoroughly before serving.
Here are the best vegetables to feed your hedgehog:
We want to point out that you can only feed your hedgehog romaine lettuce, not other types of lettuce. Most type of lettuce has way too much water content, which can lead to low nutrition and diarrhea. Romaine lettuce is the only lettuce type that comes with the nutrition your hedgehog needs.
Whenever you feed vegetables to your hedgehog, make sure that you clean the produce thoroughly and chop the food into small bits. This is especially important for vegetables with seeds, pods, and strings, such as green beans. Because of the hedgehog’s small frame, the green bean pods and strings can be a choking hazard if not properly chopped before feeding.
You can feed your hedgehog fruit as the occasional treat. Fruit is high in sugar, which can lead to obesity if overserved. If you are cautious about how much fruit you feed your hedgehog, the fruit will be a delicious and healthy treat. Here are some fruits you can feed your hedgie:
Never feed your hedgehog dried, processed, or canned fruit because they will have too many sugars and preservatives. Only feed fresh, organic fruit from the fresh produce section of the store to your hedgie.
What Foods Are Bad for Hedgehogs?
Even though hedgehogs can eat a wide variety of human food, there are certain foods that should be avoided. To help your hedgehog have the best diet possible, avoid feeding it the following foods:
From the list above, some of the foods are outright toxic to your hedgehog, whereas others have high calorie content with no nutritional value, leading to obesity. Either way, avoid feeding your hedgehog these foods.
More so, do not feed your hedgehog overly processed food, such as chips, popcorn, and sweets. The chemicals used to produce these foods are bad for the hedgehog. Plus, the foods can lead to various illnesses, upset stomach, and more. Stick to the above list of approved foods for maximum health.
Do I Need to Give My Hedgehog Vitamins?
Hedgehogs are considered pretty healthy animals. If you feed your hedgehog a well-balanced diet, it should not need any vitamins. Do not feed your hedgehog vitamins unless your vet specifically says you should. Most likely, your vet will not recommend vitamins unless your hedgehog has an illness or nutritional deficiencies.
How Much Water Should I Feed My Hedgehog?
Hedgehogs need a lot of water. Allow your hedgehog access to water 24 hours a day. The easiest way to provide water for your hedgehog is with sipper bottles that are hung inside the cage. Check the water sipper and rinse it out daily. Even though only water is inside the container, it can get slimy.
Do not feed your hedgehog celery. Celery offers dead nutrition and way too much sodium. Don’t sweat it if you’ve accidentally fed your hedgehog celery already, but do not continue feeding celery to your hedgie.
Instead, feed your hedgehog approved foods, such as high protein meat, leafy greens, bell peppers, and some fruit. Although the majority of your hedgehog’s diet should come from protein, fruits and vegetables make great supplements as well if fed in moderation and free from excessive chemicals.
Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay