Can Hedgehogs Eat Apples? Are Fruits Safe for Hedgies? 

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Can Hedgehogs Eat Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Does this proverb hold true for our quill balls as well? Can hedgehogs eat apples

Apples are totally safe for hedgehogs. In fact, the prickly pigs enjoy this sweet-sour taste. You can serve them apples with or without the skin. But do not forget to remove the seeds from the fruit. 

What other fruits can hedgehogs eat? How much fruit is safe for them? Grab an in-detail answer from the following article. 



Can Hedgehogs Eat Apples

Hedgehogs can safely consume apples. Vets have confirmed that apples are one of the most nutritious foods for hedgies. Apples include the following nutrient and vitamin contents per 100 grams,

Fat 0.5 gram 
Carbohydrate 11.6 grams 
Sugar 11.6 grams 
Sugar 0.6 gram 
Vitamin A2 mcg
Vitamin B60.07 mg
Vitamin C6 mg
Vitamin E0.09 mg
Potassium 100 mg
Calcium 5 mg 

Apples are also a rich source of fiber and antioxidants. There is no toxin element in apples that might put hedgies at risk. Hence, our quill balls can safely enjoy this sweet-sour treat.


Benefits of Feeding Your Hedgehogs Apples 

Benefits of Feeding Your Hedgehogs Apples

Apples are not only yummy but also benefit our tiny, prickly balls in many ways. To highlight some key advantages, 

Vitamin APrevents infectious diseases, e.g., mouth infections, eye infections, ear infections, etc.
Vitamin B6Brings mental relaxation in hedgehogs 
Vitamin CBoosts overall immunity 
Vitamin EEnhances quill shape and health
Calcium Improves bone health and prevents bone diseases, for example, MBD, limping, abnormal jaw, etc.
Fiber Assists in digestion system and breaking up protein
Antioxidant Boost overall immunity system 

How Often and How Much Apples to Feed The Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs can safely consume ½ tablespoon of apple twice or thrice a week. Feeding them apples more than three times a week can cause physical complications. For example, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, etc. 

We offer apples only as an occasional treat or reward for their good behavior. Ideal way to feed apples is to mix them with vegetables. 1 tablespoon of apple and veggie mix is healthy for hedgehogs.


How to Serve Apples to Hedgehogs 

How to Serve Apples to Hedgehogs 

Our tiny quill balls can not bite and nibble on the whole apples. So, we better prepare the meal according to their convenience. 

For starters, wash the apple thoroughly to remove any dirt. The best way to cleanse the apple is to soak it in a baking soda mixed water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 2 cups of cold water and soak the apple for 15 minutes. All the dirt and pesticides will be out automatically. 

Now, deskin the fruit. Otherwise, the skin might get stuck inside the hedgie’s teeth. You can keep the skin if your hedgehogs like it that way. 

Next, remove the seeds from the apple as they contain amygdalin. This element turns into cyanide when ingested, proving apple seed extremely toxic for the hedgies. 

Finally, cut the apple into tiny dice pieces suitable for a hedgehog bite. 


Dangers of Feeding Hedgehogs Apples 

Dangers of Feeding Hedgehogs Apples 

Occasional offerings of apple snacks cause no harm to the hedgehogs. But if you put the hedgies on a strict apple diet, it will pose health hazards. Let us highlight a few dangers, 

1. Protein Deficiency 

Hedgehogs require diets containing 30 to 50% protein and 10 to 20% fat. Though apples include a low percentage of fat, the protein percentage is insignificant. Hence, an apple-based diet will surely lead to protein deficiency, slow growth, and abnormal lifestyle in our prickly balls. 

2. Sugar Spikes 

A 100 gram apple contains 11.6 gram sugar and a whole apple has around 25 grams sugar. Can you imagine what this high sugar content would do to our hedgehogs?

A high sugar diet causes dental diseases and health complications in hedgies. For starters, our quill balls will suffer from gum and tooth decay. 

Common tooth problems in hedgies are tatar, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Tatar build-up often welcomes infections and abscesses. These are not only painful but also hamper the hedgies from chewing hard textured food. 

Secondly, obesity and diabetes are also common in hedgehogs on a high sugar meal. Overweight is never a blessing. The lack of movement and additional fat accumulation in the body can lead to kidney failure, organ damage, and heart diseases. 

3. Metabolic Bone Disease 

When selecting any new item for a hedgehog meal, we consider the calcium:phosphorus ratio. Ideally, a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio is healthy for our quill balls. 

If the phosphorus is more, it will reduce the calcium absorption in the hedgehog and lead to poor bone growth. Soon, the pets develop metabolic bone disease which is an umbrella term for several bone conditions. 

An apple has more phosphorus than calcium. As a result, if you put the prickly balls on a strict apple diet, they will develop calcium deficiency and MBD over time. Metabolic bone diseases cause permanent damage in the hedgies. In fact, the condition can paralyze the pets for a lifetime.

Symptoms of metabolic bone diseases in hedgehogs are, 

  • Lethargy 
  • Tremors 
  • Limp walking 
  • Overgrowth of jaw and nails
  • Abnormal growth of bones and spines 
  • Easy bone fracture 

If you notice any of these signs in your hedgehogs, seek immediate help from experts.


What Fruits Are Safe for Hedgies? 

Fruit options are very limited for our hedgehogs. We have researched and found out a safe fruit list for our tiny quill balls, 

  • Banana 
  • Raspberry 
  • Blackberry 
  • Blueberry 
  • Cantaloupe
  • Melon 
  • Honeydew
  • Apricot 
  • Fig 
  • Cranberry 
  • Cherry 
  • Mango 
  • Kiwi 
  • Papaya 
  • Pear 
  • Plum 
  • Peach 
  • Squash 
  • Watermelon 

What fruits can hedgehogs not eat?

Offering the hedgehogs toxic fruits can be life-threatening. Hence, we must have knowledge about the fruits to avoid feeding the hedgehogs. Some toxic fruits for these prickly hogs are, 

  • Coconut 
  • Raisin 
  • Grape
  • Orange 
  • Lemon 
  • Lime 
  • Avocado 
  • Pineapple 
  • Dragon fruit 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Citrus fruit 

What Do Hedgehogs Eat? 

Hedgies are insectivores. They love munching on worms and insects. But occasionally, vegetables and fruits are introduced to their meal to back up mineral requirements. Variety in food is always better as it boosts the appetite of our cute hedgehogs. 

Favorite foods of pet hedgies are, 

  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms 
  • Hornworms 
  • Crickets 
  • Caterpillars 
  • Dubia roaches 
  • Leafy greens 
  • Zucchini 
  • Cucumber 
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Banana 
  • Berries 
  • Apples 

In captivity, owners add hedgehog-formulated pellets to the meals for convenience. 


Conclusion

Apples are one of the most popular fruity treats for hedgehogs. The quill balls love the soury-sweety taste of apple cubes. Apples are completely safe for them as long as offered in moderation (not more than thrice a week and only ½ tablespoon). 

Besides apples, you can experiment with other fruits, such as bananas, figs, berries, melons, etc. However, never put the hedgehog on a strict fruit diet. Instead, offer them a high-protein meal where fruits and vegetables are only treats. 


FAQs

Can hedgehogs eat bananas? 

Bananas are safe for hedgehogs. This fruit is a high source of potassium and keeps the hedgies energetic. However, bananas are also high in sugar. 100 grams of banana includes 12 grams of sugar. Therefore, you better not offer hedgehogs more than ½ tablespoon of banana on a treat.

Can hedgehogs eat avocado? 

Avocados are harmful to hedgehogs. These green fruits contain the toxin persin, which can lead to lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and organ damage in hedgies. You should also avoid garlic and onion, as they contain this toxic element.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Apple Juice? 

Juice of any kind, let it be of healthy apples or berries, is a big no for hedgehogs. It takes more pieces to squeeze out just 10 ml of juice. This means juices contain more sugar. Drinking any juice will make the hedgehog sick. Freshwater is enough to fulfill the liquid requirements of the hedgies.

Can hedgehogs have apples and bananas?

Both apples and bananas are safe for hedgehogs. Instead of offering the pet just one type of fruit, mix two or three kinds. The pets will love the variety in taste and texture. Keep in mind that only 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons of fruit is ideal for the hedgies. 

Can hedgehogs eat apple skin?

Apple sink is indeed a rich source of minerals and vitamins. Hedgies can pierce through the apple skin without any trouble. But the skin might get stuck in their teeth, making them uncomfortable. If the skin rots in the gum, it will cause an infection. So, we suggest deskining apples and most fruits beforehand.

About the author

Susana

Susana

Susana Jean, Pocket Pet Expert and Sugar Glider Aficionado Hi everyone! I’m Susana Jean, your go-to wordsmith and pet enthusiast who has a special place in her heart for the fascinating world of sugar gliders.…Continue reading

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