As delicious as cheese is, and as likely as hedgehogs are to eat it, you shouldn’t give hedgehogs cheese.
As hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, eating cheese can be painful, especially when their bodies digest it. Just like humans, hedgehogs will end up with upset stomachs and painful gas after eating cheese.
If you want to give hedgehogs cheese, it’s best to do so in small portions and as a treat. Monitor their behavior afterward to see if they are suffering from any side effects from it. If you are unsure what to feed your hedgehog, it’s always best to speak to your vet for further advice.
While you might think if the problem is lactose, what about lactose-free or vegan cheese?
We would advise against that. For these vegan or lactose-free cheeses to taste nice and similar to cheese, sodium is sometimes added in large quantities. Sodium is also bad for hedgehogs and can lead to health complications if they ingest too much.
It’s best to avoid cheese altogether, given the health complications, to ensure your hedgehogs are happy and healthy!
Do hedgehogs like cheese?
Despite being lactose intolerant, some hedgehogs will like cheese and want to eat it. They might be drawn to the color or smell and try to eat cheese if there is any left around them.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research done on hedgehog’s reactions to cheese, so we only have owners and carers of hedgehog’s words to go on!
Some hedgehogs instinctively know to avoid cheese (like how you know not to put your hand in a fire) and won’t try to eat cheese even if presented with it. However, others will be curious and try to nibble the cheese or eat the small chunk entirely.
While some hedgehogs might seem to like cheese, it’s important to remember that it can be bad for hedgehogs to eat cheese, especially in large quantities, and you should do your best to ensure that your hedgehog does not eat cheese or any dairy products.
Also, do not leave the cheese out for wild hedgehogs to enjoy, as they too are lactose intolerant and will be poorly off eating the cheese, even if they seem to like it.
Is cheese bad for hedgehogs?
As we mentioned earlier, cheese is bad for hedgehogs. As they are lactose intolerant, cheese can wreak havoc on their digestive systems, leaving them suffering from upset stomachs and gas that can be very painful for them to pass.
Therefore, if your hedgehog has ingested cheese, they might seem sluggish, not themselves, and visibly in pain.
Eating and digesting cheese and dairy can also cause severe sickness in hedgehogs, depending on how much they ingest. The sickness should pass and not last too long.
However, if you are concerned, please seek advice from a vet, as ingesting cheese can be fatal for some hedgehogs if they have ingested too much of it.
Most of the time, these symptoms will pass once the hedgehog has digested the cheese, but not always. If they are still in pain, it’s best to take them to the vet for an examination to ensure there is no underlying health problem here.
What happens if a hedgehog eats cheese?
If a hedgehog eats cheese, as we have seen earlier, they will become unwell. However, it won’t be instantly obvious and might take a few hours for symptoms to develop, as they only suffer when their bodies try to digest the cheese.
As hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, they become unwell when they ingest the cheese.
Depending on how much cheese they eat, a hedgehog can be sick and struggle to pass gas. The gas can be quite painful for them, just like humans that are lactose intolerant. You might also notice that it smells quite bad, just like with people.
Eating cheese might also cause a hedgehog to suffer from diarrhea, which will occur as the cheese breaks down and the hedgehog’s body tries to digest it. Generally speaking, these symptoms will all pass as the cheese is digested or expelled from the hedgehog’s body.
If the symptoms persist for more than a day, you should consult a vet who can examine the hedgehog and ensure that the cheese has caused no long-term damage.
If possible, it’s worth keeping a record of how much cheese has been ingested to help the vet with their examination. Larger quantities of cheese can be worse and sometimes fatal to hedgehogs, so it’s vital they are examined.
In the wild, hedgehogs can sometimes die from ingesting cheese, so it’s important to ensure this does not happen, and your hedgehog is kept away from dairy products where possible.