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Can Hedgehogs Eat Oranges? What You Need to Know!

asian hedgehog

Between their unique appearance and fun personalities, it’s no wonder why so many more people are trying to bring home a pet hedgehog. Welcoming home any new pet is a lot of responsibility, though. It takes hours of research to get a good understanding of a hedgehog’s primary care needs. One of the most important things that you’re going to have to pay attention to is the food they eat. You would think most fruits and veggies would be safe, but that isn’t always the case.

Even though hedgehogs love a tasty snack from time to time, there are some that should be avoided. For example, while oranges are not toxic to hedgehogs, you shouldn’t feed oranges to them because of the high acid content. Too much acid could cause a range of issues, including digestive problems and mouth sores.divider-hedgehog

Can Hedgehogs Eat Oranges?

Oranges may be healthy for us, but they don’t offer the same benefits to hedgehogs. Oranges are not toxic to them yet do cause discomfort. Besides, there are much better things for you to feed them that they’ll still love.

A Typical Hedgehog Diet

Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Hedgehogs are natural hunters and spend most of the night searching for food. They rely on their hearing and sense of smell to make up for their poor vision. Their favorite and most common foods that they eat are small invertebrates. This includes species like slugs, beetles, earwigs, millipedes, caterpillars, and worms. Although they won’t say no to the occasional egg every once in a while, either.

Replicating the natural diet of a hedgehog can be a little tricky. They need to be fed multiple foods for a well-rounded diet. The main portion of food should come from high-quality hedgehog food from the pet store. In addition, they benefit from gut-loaded insects and small servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Types of Fruits that are Safe for Hedgehogs

hedgehog eating apple
Image Credit: Shironina, Shutterstock

Not every individual hedgehog is going to have the same taste for food. What one likes, another could hate. Experiments with a few safe fruit options until you can figure out what they prefer.

Apples – While hedgehogs do love apples, you should only give it to them in moderation because it is high in sugar. Try to stick to organic fruits when looking for potential treats. Remember to remove the skin and seeds and cut the fruit into very small pieces for them.

Pears – Pears are another safe snack option for hedgehogs as long as you remove the skin. Pears are another fruit that should be given in moderation and cut into small pieces for them.

Bananas – Most hedgehogs love bananas. Break off a small piece with your breakfast and keep a close eye on him to ensure that he won’t choke or eat too much at once.

Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are the perfect lunch for a hedgehog. Only give them one berry at a time and cut it into even smaller pieces to reduce the risk of choking.

Cherries – Cherries are safe for you hedgehog as long as you take the time to remove the pit and stem. Give it to your pet in small amounts first to ensure that there are no negative reactions.

Other Safe Fruits for Hedgehogs

  • Figs
  • Melon
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin
  • Kiwi
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Mango
  • Squash
  • Cranberry
hedgehog eating fruit
Image Credit: Luciano de la Rosa, Shurttertock

Foods that are unsafe for Hedgehogs

  • Limes
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Applesauce
  • Watermelon rind
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Pineapple
  • Dried fruits
  • Avocado

Avoiding High Pesticide Produce

In today’s world, it’s not easy finding fruits and veggies that are completely free from pesticides. Buy organic produce whenever possible and rinse all foods before serving them to anyone. High pesticide fruits include strawberries, cherries, peaches, pears, and nectarines. Make sure to spend extra time washing these under cold water before serving them to your hedgehog.divider-hedgehog

Final Words: Can I Feed Oranges to Hedgehogs?

The best thing you can do for any pet, regardless of species, is to provide it with a healthy and well-balanced diet. In the wild, hedgehogs spend their time hunting for invertebrates and insects and only supplement their diet with the occasional treat. Too much of a good thing might create health problems that could’ve been avoided in the first place.

Remember, just because a fruit is healthy for us doesn’t mean that it will be suitable for your pet. Even though oranges are beneficial fruits for many animals across the world, they are too high in citric acid and could really upset your hog’s digestive tract. The best thing you can do for them is keeping a good stock of healthy choices on hand so that you can meet whatever craving they have.


Featured Image Credit: supakrit tirayasupasin, Shutterstock

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