Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkin? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkin? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat_pumpkin

Perhaps it’s just after Halloween and you’re looking for an ethical way to get rid of your extra pumpkin. Or maybe you’re simply looking to add a new treat to your hedgehog’s diet. Either way, if you’re thinking of feeding your hedgehog pumpkin — don’t.

Pumpkin can be incredibly toxic to hedgehogs, and as such, you should avoid feeding it to them. However, there are plenty of other healthy treats that you can feed your hedgehog and many ways for you to make use of your old pumpkins. We break it all down for you here.


Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkin?

While some hedgehogs can eat pumpkin in small quantities, it’s a bad idea. Even a tiny amount of pumpkin can act as a laxative, and a large amount can outright kill them.

So, if you’re thinking of feeding pumpkin to either a wild or pet hedgehog, reconsider. Don’t worry, though, there are many other wild animals that can eat your leftover pumpkin and plenty of treats that you can feed your hedgehog!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Is Pumpkin Safe for Wildlife?

Most wildlife can eat and thrive off pumpkins! It’s a big reason that it’s a good idea to dispose of your old Halloween pumpkins in local forests and other areas where wildlife is abundant. Still, before you start dumping pumpkins anywhere, ensure that you have permission from the property owners or that it doesn’t go against any county or local regulations.

Furthermore, ensure that you crack the pumpkin open first; otherwise, a large portion of the local wildlife won’t be able to work their way into it before it rots.

But if you’re thinking of feeding your old pumpkins to animals, you’re on the right track, as this is a much better idea than just tossing them in the garbage and letting them rot at your local landfill!

The Ideal Hedgehog Diet

Before we dive into what you should feed a hedgehog, it’s important to note that wild and pet hedgehogs have drastically different diets. So, what you want to feed a hedgehog is going to change drastically depending on whether it’s a pet!

Wild Hedgehog Diet

Hedgehog running with grass in mouth
Image By: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Wild hedgehogs are opportunistic feeders, and as such, they will eat just about anything that comes their way. That said, the majority of their diet comes from insects that it can find while roaming around.

There are a few select plants that wild hedgehogs will eat to supplement their diet, but they almost always prefer insects. A wild hedgehog will occasionally feast on a smaller mammal, like pinkie mice, but since that can be hard to track down, it’s usually a small portion of their diet.

Pet Hedgehog Diet

Image By: ntrief, Pixabay

If you want or have a pet hedgehog, you need to know what to feed it. The good news is that a pet hedgehog diet is easy to keep up with.

Start with high-quality pet hedgehog food. While you might think that you can formulate a diet on your own that meets all their nutrition requirements, it’s a complex endeavor.

Pet hedgehog food isn’t that expensive, in any case, and it’ll ensure that your hedgehog is getting everything that they need to thrive. From there, you can feed them gut-loaded insects that you pick up from a reputable source and the occasional fruits and vegetables as treats!

But be sure to double-check that your hedgehog can handle any particular fruit or veggie by asking a vet before adding it to your hedgehog’s diet. After all, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for hedgehogs!

Better Hedgehog Treats

Who doesn’t like watching an adorable little hedgehog chow down on its favorite treats? That’s why we decided to highlight a few of the best and safest treats that you can give your pet hedgehog.

Just be sure you don’t overdo it — even if these treats are safe for hedgehogs, they still need their regular food! Also, keep in mind that some pet hedgehogs are picky eaters, so don’t be surprised if yours doesn’t eat everything that you put in front of them.

  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Crickets
  • Silkworms
  • Scrambled or boiled egg
  • Boiled chicken
  • Apples
hedgehog eating apple
Image By: Shironina, Shutterstock

Things to Avoid Feeding Hedgehogs

These are just a few of the most dangerous foods that you could feed your hedgehog (in addition to pumpkin!). If you’re thinking of feeding any of these things to your pet hedgehog, think again:

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Nuts
  • Wild insects

Wild insects might seem like a strange addition because wild hedgehogs can eat them. The truth is that you never know what a wild insect has gotten into. It might be perfectly safe, or it might contain diseases that can get your hedgehog sick or even kill them.


Final Thoughts

With how adorable hedgehogs are, it’s no wonder that we all want to watch them eat. However, we need to be incredibly careful what we feed hedgehogs, as we only want to give them food that is completely safe for them.

Finally, keep in mind that if you’re thinking about getting a pet hedgehog, you need to do your homework and ensure that you can do everything possible to give them a happy and healthy life while caring for them!

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets