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Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Mango? Facts & FAQ

Can Hedgehogs Eat Mango? Facts & FAQ

Can Hedgehogs Eat_mango

While a certain famous video game hedgehog might spend his time zooming around imaginary worlds, not worrying about eating, real-life pet hedgehogs have no such luck. To keep any pet healthy, including a hedgehog, you need to know how to feed them properly and that includes knowing what foods they can and can’t eat. Take the sweet and juicy mango fruit, for example, can hedgehogs enjoy it?

Yes, mango is a safe food for hedgehogs but it should only be fed in small amounts due to the high sugar content. We’ll talk about how mango fits into a balanced diet for your hedgehog as well as the health concerns that come along with feeding your pet the wrong food.

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Mango And The Hedgehog Diet

In the wild, hedgehogs stick to an omnivore diet. Their primary food source is insects and other small invertebrates like millipedes and earthworms. They also occasionally eat plant material, including fruits and vegetables scavenged from gardens and fields.

Looking at what wild hedgehogs eat, we see that fruit such as mangoes makes up only a small part of the natural diet of these spiky animals. To keep pet hedgehogs healthy, they should be fed a similar diet to what they would find in the wild. Mangoes are just one of several different fruits that your hedgehog may enjoy occasionally, but stick with fresh rather than dried.

a close up of a western hedgehog
Image By: krzysztofniewolny, Pixabay

Moderation Only: The Trouble With Too Much Mango

All fruits, not just mango, are naturally high in sugar, which is what makes them taste so sweet and delicious. Too much sugar is unhealthy for hedgehogs, just like it is for humans, leading to health concerns including obesity.

Even hedgehogs who are fed all the right foods are prone to becoming overweight if the number of calories consumed is not carefully controlled.  High-sugar foods like fruit have a lot of calories which, in the hedgehog’s case, don’t provide a lot of nutritional benefits compared to their main food source, insects.

When calories are precious, you want your hedgehog to get the most nutrition possible from each one, which is why mango–and other fruits, should be fed in moderation only.

sliced mango on a white saucer
Image By: toodlingstudio, Pixabay

Hedgehog Feeding: The Basics

Now that we know how mango fits into a hedgehog’s meal plan, let’s learn a little more about what their overall diet should look like.

Pet hedgehogs should eat primarily a commercial hedgehog diet, formulated to their specific nutritional needs as a species. They can also be offered small amounts of earthworms or gut-loaded insects for added protein. For safety, get your insects from a pet store or raise your own rather than hunting bugs from your yard, which could contain chemical residues dangerous to your hedgehog.

Safe fruits and vegetables should make up the last portion of your hedgehog’s diet.

We know that mango is safe to eat but here are some other fruits and vegetables that your hedgehog might enjoy:
  • Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
  • Peas
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries

Every hedgehog is an individual but a good estimate for food amounts to offer are 3 teaspoons of the commercial diet, 1 teaspoon of insects, and 1 teaspoon of fruits or vegetables daily. Pregnant, lactating, or young hedgehogs may need to eat more, so check with your veterinarian.

If their diet is properly balanced, hedgehogs shouldn’t need additional vitamin or mineral supplements. Your veterinarian can help you make sure all is well with your hedgehog’s diet, plus tell you what to do if you’re worried they might be gaining too much weight.

In the wild, hedgehogs eat mainly at night. Feeding your pet hedgehog in the evening will allow them to follow their natural eating behavior. Make sure your hedgehog has fresh water available at all times, either in a shallow bowl or a bottle.

a side view of a hedgehog sniffing the floor
Image By: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Foods Your Hedgehog Shouldn’t Eat

Mango may be safe to offer your hedgehog, but there are some foods you should avoid. First, never feed your hedgehog any processed human food without asking your veterinarian first.

Avocado is toxic to hedgehogs and should not be fed. When feeding fruit, make sure to remove the pits and seeds, which are often toxic. Other potentially poisonous foods include garlic, chocolate, and raisins.

Try to avoid vegetables with poor nutritional value, like celery and lettuce, keeping in mind you want the most nutrition per calorie ideally.

Hard foods like nuts or seeds shouldn’t be fed because they might get stuck to the top of your hedgehog’s mouth. Also, don’t feed raw meat or eggs, and don’t let your hedgehog drink milk, which they can’t digest.

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Conclusion

Hedgehogs are adorable, low-maintenance, and unique pets. They may not be the easiest to cuddle, but hedgehogs are friendly and easy to handle with the right socialization. Feeding your hedgehog is pretty simple and you can rest assured that mango is one of the foods that are safe to feed. Just remember to feed it fresh and in small amounts to help make sure your prickly pet stays at a healthy weight.

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