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

Can Hedgehogs Eat Watermelon? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat_watermelon

There is nothing more satisfying on a hot summer’s day than eating a slice of cool watermelon! It’s packed with moisture and tastes delicious, so it’s natural to wonder whether this delicious fruit is safe to give your pet too. While watermelon is perfectly safe and healthy for humans, can hedgehogs eat it? Is watermelon safe for hedgehogs?

Thankfully, the answer is yes! Watermelon is a great low-calorie treat for hedgehogs, and most of them will adore it! You can safely feed your hedgehog some watermelon several times per week, and this watery fruit can help keep them hydrated too.

Read on to learn more about feeding watermelon to your hedgehog.


The Natural Diet of Hedgehogs

Cute Hedgehog
Image Credit: amayaeguizabal, Pixabay
In the wild, hedgehogs feed mainly on invertebrates and need a high-protein diet to thrive. This includes insects like:
  • Beetles
  • Worms
  • Caterpillars
  • Earwigs
  • Millipedes

Hedgehogs dig through soft soil to find their prey, using their powerful sense of smell to find food. While their preferred diet is insects of all kinds, they are opportunistic feeders that will feed on eggs and fruit if they get the chance to.

In captivity, you can keep your hedgehogs on a diet of high-protein dog food, cat food, or specially-made hedgehog food. It’s important to note that specially-made hedgehog foods are not regulated or approved, so cat food is likely the best option because it’s the highest in protein.


Are There Any Benefits of Hedgehogs Eating Watermelons?

Image By: kps7942, Pixabay

Many hedgehog owners will tell you how much these little animals love watermelon, and most do find the fruit irresistible. While there are a few benefits to feeding watermelon to your hedgehog, it’s important to remember that any type of fruit should be offered as a treat only and not as a staple diet.

A watermelon is roughly 92% water, so it can be a great source of hydration for your hedgehog. It’s also low in calories and won’t make your pet pick up any extra pounds! That said, watermelons do contain fructose, a natural sugar, but the quantity is so low, it shouldn’t cause any problems. Watermelons are also high in vitamins A, B6, and C and healthy antioxidants like lycopene, of which watermelon has one of the highest concentrations of all fruit.

It also contains the amino acid L-citrulline, which helps with blood flow regulation, and it contains a moderate amount of fiber that combined with its high water content, can aid your hedgehog’s digestion.

Is There Any Potential Danger in Feeding Watermelon to Hedgehogs?

As with feeding any type of fruit to hedgehogs, moderation is key. While watermelon is perfectly safe to feed to your hedgehog, feeding them too much can cause issues. Watermelon is not that high in fructose, but large amounts of watermelon given frequently may cause issues after a while. Also, the high water content, moderate fiber content, and vitamin C content can potentially cause diarrhea or digestive issues when given in excess.

Lastly, watermelon does have an unbalanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which can prevent calcium from being absorbed properly in the hedgehog’s body and potentially cause bone issues like metabolic bone disease. However, this is highly unlikely to be an issue with moderate feeding.


How Often Should Hedgehogs Eat Watermelon?

Hedgehogs Closeup
Image By: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Moderation is key when it comes to feeding any fruit to your hedgehog, and watermelon is the same. A small piece (roughly 1 or 2 teaspoons) of watermelon two or three times per week is perfectly safe to feed hedgehogs, although you should reduce this amount slightly should you feed them any other fruits that week. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually a substantial amount for your tiny hedgehog!

Remove all the seeds before serving to prevent any digestion issues or choking hazards.

What Other Fruits Are Safe for Hedgehogs?

Watermelon is not the only fruit that you can safely feed your hedgehog (even though it’ll likely become their favorite!). Other safe fruits to give hedgehogs include:

hedgehog on the grass
Image By: Piqsels


Final Thoughts

Watermelon is not only safe for hedgehogs to eat, but it can also provide great hydration on hot days and even beneficial nutrients. Of course, moderation is key, and the relatively high fiber and moisture content of watermelon can cause digestive issues and even diarrhea when given in excess. We recommend giving your hedgehog no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons of watermelon two or three times per week.

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