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Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Grass? Facts & FAQs

Can Hedgehogs Eat Grass? Facts & FAQs

Can Hedgehogs Eat_grass

Hedgehogs can technically eat grass. However, it is not a natural part of their diet, so they should not be consuming much of it. It can potentially cause digestion problems because grass is difficult to digest.

Unlike some other mammals, hedgehogs do not have the enzymes and stomach setup necessary to digest grass. Therefore, it can cause impactions and other issues.

That said, hedgehogs are unlikely to eat grass, even if you do offer it. So, a hedgehog eating too much grass is unlikely to be a serious concern. They simply don’t recognize it as food in most cases.

Also, the grass that you simply outside is likely to contain pesticides and fertilizers, which can cause harm to your hedgehog. While grass that you can grow indoors and is intended for consumption will not contain these things, that still doesn’t make it a good choice for your hedgehog.

To understand why grass is not a suitable snack for your pet, you should understand a hedgehog’s normal diet.

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What Do Pet Hedgehogs Eat?

Typically, hedgehogs eat a wide selection of insects and a bit of plant material. They are omnivores, but much of their calories come from insects. Some large hedgehogs may eat a small amount of meat, usually in the form of baby mammals, like mice. However, this is rare and would only occur if they randomly came across them in the wild.

Domestic hedgehogs should be fed a variety of different insects as their main food source. These insects should preferably be gut-loaded with high-quality veggies to ensure that the hedgehog is consuming enough vitamins. Otherwise, deficiencies can occur, or your hedgehog may need some sort of supplement. Crickets and worms are common options.

A small number of veggies and fruits can also be offered. However, it is essential to choose the right fruits and veggies. Not just any will do.

You should avoid veggies that are high in water and low in nutritional value, like lettuce and celery. Furthermore, some veggies and fruits are also toxic to hedgehogs, like avocadoes. Be sure to choose fruits and veggies that are nutrient-dense and low in water content.

You should get your pet’s insects from pet stores. Wild-caught insects are not suitable because they may contain insecticides and fertilizers that are unhealthy for your hedgehog. Plus, many also contain parasites, which can transfer to your pet.

You can also raise your own insects for your hedgehog, which may help lower the cost. However, if you’re just feeding one hedgehog, the number of insects that they need is not that many. Therefore, the cost savings aren’t likely to be significant.

You should carefully monitor your hedgehog’s food intake because they tend to overeat. Like all animals, this can lead to obesity. If your pet becomes obese, they are likely to become unhealthy and may develop other health problems.

Always give food in measured proportions.

hedgehog eating
Image By: Couleur, Pixabay

What About Grass?

Grass is not part of a hedgehog’s natural diet. It is not particularly nutrient-rich and is difficult for hedgehogs to consume. Therefore, it is unlikely that hedgehogs can get much from eating grass.

Grass can also cause impaction, which is when a hedgehog’s intestinal tract becomes blocked. This can be quite serious. It often requires surgery to remove the blockage. Fortunately, this is only likely to occur if your hedgehog consumes a large amount of grass.

Even if grass doesn’t cause any health problems, your hedgehog is better off filling their stomach with something else. Grass is basically just filler in their diet. It isn’t going to do much nutritionally, and it will prevent the hedgehog from eating anything else. Therefore, it may cause nutritional deficiencies.

hedgehog on the grass outdoor
Image By: byapryl, Pixabay

What Veggies Can Hedgehogs Eat?

While hedgehogs should not consume grass, other veggies are okay for them to eat.

Avoid veggies that are full of water, like lettuce. When you feed fresh foods to your hedgehog, you want to choose things that they will get the most nutrients out of. You don’t want them filling up on water, which is exactly what can happen if they consume too much lettuce.

Fortunately, there are many veggies that hedgehogs can eat. Consider feeding them leafy greens, which are high in nutrients and low in water. Any sort of dark green veggies, like broccoli and cucumbers, is a solid option, though cucumbers do contain a significant amount of water.

Brightly colored veggies are often ideal for hedgehogs, such as bell peppers and carrots. The brighter the veggie, the more nutrients that it usually contains.

Corn and peas are also solid options. Peas are quite high in protein, which is important for hedgehogs. However, peas cannot replace their regular diet of insects. Corn is a bit starchier than some other options, so it should be fed in smaller amounts. Otherwise, it may lead to obesity. Neither of these veggies has the right ratio of calcium vs. phosphorus, which is crucial for hedgehogs.

Potatoes should be avoided as much as possible. They are too starchy, even though they don’t contain much water. However, they can contribute to obesity if they are eaten too often.

Hedgehog Eating
Image By: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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Conclusion

Hedgehogs can consume many different foods, but grass is not one of them. While a small amount won’t hurt them, any more than that, and you may end up with a sick hedgehog.

Grass is also not nutritionally complete, so it doesn’t provide much for your hedgehog, and it may even prevent them from eating more nutritionally appropriate foods. Extended consumption of grass can cause nutritional deficiencies, especially if your hedgehog isn’t eating enough protein in the form of insects.

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