There is some debate about whether hedgehogs can eat oranges or not, with most owners saying no, hedgehogs cannot eat oranges. Just like other citrus fruits, they too cannot be given to hedgehogs due to the high citrus levels in these fruits.
The citrus in these fruits can cause digestive problems for hedgehogs and sometimes leaves them with long-term health complications as a result. Therefore, oranges, along with lemons and limes, should be avoided to ensure hedgehogs don’t have too much citrus in their diets.
However, some hedgehog owners claim that oranges aren’t that toxic to hedgehogs. Instead of causing digestive problems, your hedgehog might experience a sore throat or even burns and sores on their mouth or throat. Just like how too much citrus can harm humans, it harms hedgehogs too!
How severely your hedgehog reacts to ingesting oranges will vary depending on the amount of citrus ingested and the size of your hedgehog.
For example, if your hedgehog is quite large and only has a small amount of an orange slice, then the chances are it will pass through their system easily, but it could be more serious and even fatal for smaller hedgehogs.
Of course, we cannot be sure that your hedgehog will be fine, and it’s best to avoid feeding them oranges to prevent any problems from occurring. However, if they do ingest oranges, you must monitor their behavior.
If they act differently to normal or show any signs of sickness or burns in their throat and mount, contact a vet immediately.
It’s best to have your hedgehog examined to ensure there are no health complications, then leave it to chance. If there are no symptoms during the day or night after your hedgehog ate the orange, then the likelihood is that they will be fine.
Some hedgehogs might try to eat oranges, so you must keep them away from your hedgehog and ensure that hedgehogs cannot access your compost or household food waste, too, if there are any oranges in there.
Some owners have cited that their hedgehogs actively avoid oranges and, when offered a slice, won’t take it or eat it!
Perhaps some instinctive behavior is going on here, ensuring that the hedgehog doesn’t eat anything harmful, but this isn’t always the case. For example, other owners have noted that their hedgehog seems to like and want orange slices as part of their diet.
While some hedgehogs might be fine after eating a small slice of an orange segment or seem to enjoy it, we think that the health risks greatly outweigh their enjoyment, and it is best not to feed hedgehog oranges.
Can hedgehogs eat orange peels?
Just like with the orange itself, it’s best to keep the orange peels away from your hedgehog too. Although orange peels will have lower levels of citrus than the orange itself, there is no guarantee that they are free from citrus and safe for your hedgehog to enjoy.
Some juice might have spilled onto the peel as you peeled the orange, which the hedgehog could ingest and cause them to be unwell, just like if they ingested a slice or segment of an orange.
There might also be part of the orange left on the peel that your hedgehog would ingest and become unwell. It’s best to avoid feeding them the peel than endure these risks.
Also, orange peels might not be the most appetizing thing to feed your hedgehog. The waxy texture outside an orange peel and the roughness inside could damage your hedgehog’s mouth, causing little cuts or irritating it.
There hasn’t been too much research done about this, but we can’t imagine it would be a pleasant experience for your hedgehog to eat this!
In large quantities, too, it could cause the same digestive problems that oranges cause hedgehogs, leaving them uncomfortable and possibly in pain. Not what you want for your prickly baby! Too much orange peel could even leave your hedgehog with long-term health complications and you with hefty vet bills, which is far from ideal.
As the orange and all its citrus content have been wrapped in the peel, there is a good chance the peel will also contain the citrus and nutrients too. These nutrients, and particularly the high citrus and sugar content, can leave your hedgehog with an upset tummy and potentially a painful night ahead for them.
While some people give other small animals (such as guinea pigs) oranges and their peels, it’s best to avoid this with hedgehogs and instead provide them with fruit that is safe for them to consume.