Although your hedgehog will readily accept some peanut butter off your finger or spoon, it’s best not to give hedgehogs peanut butter. Not only is it unhealthy (more on this later), but peanut butter is quite sticky and difficult for hedgehogs to eat properly.
Just like how peanut butter gets stuck to the roof of our mouths and is difficult to remove at times, hedgehogs struggle too. It can be a choking hazard for hedgehogs as they struggle to remove the peanut butter from their mouths.
It can also get stuck in their throat, causing further choking issues, especially crunchy peanut butter! So it’s best to avoid crunchy peanut butter at all costs to ensure the safety of your hedgehog and their health.
Peanut butter is rich in protein, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates and often features too many calories for your hedgehog to ingest on top of their other meals and treats. Compared to humans, hedgehogs need far fewer carbs and calories than us to ensure that they have healthy hair and muscle growth.
Therefore, it’s important that you get their calorie intake correct and they are fed the correct amount of carbohydrates and fats so that they don’t develop any health conditions.
Although we would advise against giving your hedgehog peanut butter, it can be done.
Ensure that it is given as a rare treat and that you use the most natural and organic peanut butter you can find. It will still taste great but have fewer additives and fewer calories than other brands of peanut butter.
If you do give your hedgehogs peanut butter as a treat, reduce any other foods that day that have a high-fat content too. Doing this can balance their calorie intake for the day and shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to their health.
Is peanut butter good for hedgehogs?
The short answer is: no, peanut butter is not good for hedgehogs. As we mentioned earlier, peanut butter can pose a choking hazard (especially the crunchy type) and has very high fat and calorie content that can cause weight gain and other health complications in your hedgehog.
There are a few other reasons why peanut butter is not good for your hedgehog. The high-calorie content can cause weight gain and laziness in your hedgehog if they cannot burn off the excess calories.
It’s best to avoid feeding them peanut butter and stick to their usual diet, monitoring their calorie intake as normal.
There is also a risk of aflatoxins with peanut butter that can be serious for hedgehogs. For those unsure, aflatoxins are toxic mutagens and carcinogens that can contaminate peanuts when stored in a moist or warm space. In addition, they infect raw peanuts, which can sometimes make their way into your peanut butter!
While we all need to be wary of these when eating peanut butter, these aflatoxins can cause severe harm to their liver in hedgehogs. The risk is increased if they consume peanut butter regularly and is best to be avoided.
If you are concerned about these toxins and your hedgehog ingesting them, it’s always best to speak to a vet who can examine your hedgehog and provide you with tailored advice and a treatment plan.
The high amount of sugar in peanut butter can also be bad for hedgehogs. Their bodies aren’t used to digesting natural or refined sugar, which can be difficult for them.
Too much sugar in their diet can lead to diarrhea and other digestive problems that will require medical attention. In addition, if they ingest too much sugar over an extended period, not only can it cause weight gain, but it can even make your hedgehog diabetic!
If you choose to give your hedgehog peanut butter, avoid commercial brands that add sugar to peanut butter and opt for natural peanut butter. Be sure to check the sugar content before purchasing though, if it seems too high for you, then it is too high for your hedgehog!
Another risk to be aware of is xylitol. Instead of the high sugar content, companies add xylitol to their products as a replacement. It is a natural alcohol found in plants that can be used to sweeten food without posing the harm sugar does.
While it is safe for us humans to eat, it can be dangerous to other animals. We commonly see health issues in dogs and other canines, but they could also be harmful to your hedgehog.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough data yet to back this up, but we think it’s better to be safe and not feed your hedgehog foods with xylitol in.
Many health risks can come from feeding your hedgehog peanut butter, and we think it’s best to avoid it at all costs.