Over the years, more and more people have been seen buying hedgehogs as pets, and why not! They are cute and snuggly, albeit; a bit pointy – however, they make a great spiky pet!
Due to the growth of more people buying hedgehogs as pets, it’s important to know how to feed them correctly.
So, if you are a new hedgehog owner or are thinking about keeping a hedgehog, you may wonder what vegetables or fruits they can eat – and can they eat broccoli?
It is a known fact that hedgehogs love to eat. Anything from vegetables, fruit, meat, to even insects, if they can put it in their mouth, they will most likely eat it.
Like all animals, it’s important to have a well-balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals – to keep your pet fit and healthy! This goes the same for hedgehogs.
There is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that hedgehogs can eat safely, this includes apples, chicken, and mealworms, and to answer the question everyone has been wondering about – yes, they can eat broccoli! In fact, broccoli is a great food for hedgehogs.
It’s jam-packed with all the nutrients hedgehogs need to stay healthy such as potassium, iron, vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K.
So, now we know hedgehogs can eat broccoli! However, we need to know how to feed them safely and correctly – so let’s take a deeper look into a hedgehog’s diet.
How To Feed Your Hedgehog Broccoli?
There are many ways hedgehogs can eat broccoli; this ranges from steamed, cooked, and raw broccoli.
So it’s important to introduce these varieties, to see which one your hedgehog likes best!
When you have determined your cooking method for broccoli, hedgehogs can eat any part of it! Although, it is key to cut it up into smaller pieces.
This includes the stem and florets (the top ‘head’ of the broccoli). Hedgehogs have small mouths, so ensuring that there are no choking hazards is important.
Additionally, you could mash the broccoli after boiling it. This will ensure that there are no hard pieces, perfect for hedgehogs’ small and delicate mouths.
This will make chewing, swallowing, and digestion easier for your spiky friend.
How Often Can My Hedgehog Eat Broccoli?
Like any food, too much is bad; however, in small amounts, it can contribute healthfully to a well-balanced diet.
Especially when owning a pet hedgehog, it is important not to overfeed them. This is because of their small size, and any extra food will likely cause them to gain weight.
To avoid this, you should feed hedgehogs broccoli in moderation alongside a balanced diet.
Broccoli should be considered as a treat, and only fed a couple of times a week, so it doesn’t overwhelm your hedgehog’s digestive system.
Broccoli As A Sugary Treat?
Most of the time, sugars should be completely avoided when feeding hedgehogs as sugar can often lead to high blood sugar and obesity in hedgehogs.
That being said, generally, most hedgehogs do not like the taste of sugars and won’t go near sugary treats. On the other hand, some hedgehogs love sugar, and can’t get enough of it.
However, it’s key to remember that most sugars are considered junk food to hedgehogs, and junk food tends to be bad for all types of animals.
So to appease your hedgehog, it’s important to introduce healthy sugars and only in small moderation, as too much can lead to health complications.
Healthy sugars could include anything from fresh berries to watermelon.
However, in broccoli, the sugars are seen to be counteracted by the many healthy nutrients and minerals they provide.
So introducing broccoli into your pet’s diet is perfectly fine, and you shouldn’t be too concerned about the sugar content.
If everything you feed your pet is in moderation, your hedgehog friend should continue to be happy and healthy!
What Foods Should Hedgehogs Avoid?
While hedgehogs are not opposed to eating just about anything, there are certain foods that all hedgehogs should avoid. These include:
Dairy products – All hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so any dairy products such as milk, cheese, and particularly heavy creams should be avoided. Creams and milk are sometimes even poisonous to hedgehogs and can irritate their digestive systems.
Grapes and raisins – These should be avoided at all times as they are highly toxic to hedgehogs and can cause liver failure.
Citrus foods – Any citric fruit such as oranges, lemons, and limes are very acidic which is bad for your hedgehog’s digestive system, and they won’t be able to digest it safely.
Processed meats – A lot of processed meats contain preservatives and additives which are high in fat and can cause obesity in your hedgehog.
Dried fruits – Not only are dried fruits high in sugars, but they are also a choking hazard for hedgehogs. Their hard and sharp texture would make it extremely hard for hedgehogs to chew.
Bait shop insects – While insects such as mealworms can be introduced as a part of a healthy diet for your hedgehog, these should be bought from a reputable pet shop. This is because insects from bait shops tend to contain pesticides and transmit parasites – so it’s best to avoid them.
Broccoli is a perfectly fine vegetable for hedgehogs to eat. Simply put, it contains all the right nutrients for your hedgehog to remain happy and healthy.
Having said that, it is important to feed your spiky friend broccoli in moderation, this way they will get all the nutrients they need, while not overwhelming their digestive systems.
It is also important to remember to cut your broccoli into smaller pieces, or mash it up, to ensure your hedgehog is able to chew and digest the broccoli easily.
Hopefully, this guide will help you understand more about your hedgehog’s diet and needs.
While concluding that hedgehogs can in fact eat broccoli a few times a week; although, it’s best to keep it as a treat!