Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkins? Are They Good Or Toxic?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkins? Is Pumpkin Good Or Toxic For Them?

Hedgehogs are generally gentle creatures but quite cunning and mischievous. They are also omnivores, which makes them quite easy to take care of.

However, when it comes to feeding, you might wonder if pumpkin is good for hedgehogs. More so, can hedgehogs eat pumpkins?

While hedgehogs can eat a few other fruits, they aren’t completely tolerant of pumpkins. You can feed them a very minute quantity of pumpkin, but it’s better not to as this will save the animal from belly upsets. 

You should know that the hedgehog population census is not readily increasing. We must tend to them so they don’t go extinct. 1

Read on to get more in-depth answers and information below.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Pumpkin?

Pumpkin Slice

Hedgehogs can decide to eat pumpkins in an orchard or a food store, especially because they are omnivores.

However, these aren’t necessarily the best fruits for them.

Most people think that since these animals are omnivores, you can feed them right about anything. Unfortunately, this theory is false as several foods harm a hedgehog. 2

With that in mind, you should keep your hedgehog away from pumpkins or a pumpkin orchard.

If you have an orchard filled with pumpkins, you can fence the area to keep them out.

Generally, hedgehogs have a strong smell and can perceive things from a distance.

However, the fence will keep them away when they are drawn to the pumpkin. 

Is Pumpkin Good For Hedgehogs?

Sadly, pumpkins are not good fruits for hedgehogs, even though these fruits might provide benefits to several other animals.

One of the major reasons for this is that pumpkin contains a large amount of fiber and lactose.

These nutrients combined can cause serious digestive problems for the hedgehog.

If a hedgehog takes a pumpkin in large quantity, there is a high chance that its stomach will bloat, and the animal will develop diarrhea.

Over time, the animal will start dehydrating due to excess and constant stooling, leading to more severe complications. 

It could get even worse if it turns out that the animal is in a hibernation period because all hedgehogs must gain a certain amount of weight.

However, achieving this feat will be harder for a hog with diarrhea because it’ll constantly be losing body fluids that would help it gain weight. If the complications continue, the hedgehog can die. 

Several other foods rich in lactose can cause the same laxative effect in hedgehogs. Therefore, you should avoid them in general.

When is it Alright to Feed Hedgehogs Pumpkins?

Even though pumpkins are not ideal for hedgehogs, there are times when it might be necessary to incorporate a few morsels in your hedgehog’s meal.

For instance, when the hog has constipation. These times are best simply because pumpkins are natural laxatives to hedgehogs. It will aid the to poop with ease. 3

However, it’s best not to overdo it. If you feed the animal too much, you can easily reverse the hog’s illness to something much worse.

The amount of pumpkin to feed the hedgehog must be very little quantity. If you are uncertain how to proceed, refer to a veterinarian for aid.

What Can I Feed Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs Eating Dry Food and Nutritious Mealworm at Home

Are there alternatives to pumpkins? Better still, you might be curious if you’ve been feeding your hog right at all.

Hedgehogs in the wild are not picky per se. They consume almost anything they can find, despite the risks it poses to their health.

This might be one of the reasons their population is highly decreasing. 

However, the best food to give a hog is proteins with very low-fat value. Slugs and insects in the wild are substituted for these needs of wild hedgehogs. 4Kim T., Yong H., et al. Edible Insects as a Protein Source: A Review of Public Perception, Processing Technology, and Research Trends. [online] Food Sci Anim Resour 2019;39(4):521-540.5

With that said, the best foods for hedgehogs are dog or cat food, the type that is wet and normally contains meat.

Dry cat food also works fine since it has almost the same protein content as the former. However, if you are willing to get your hands dirty, you can also feed the hog, worms, and insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is toxic to hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are highly intolerant to foods and fruits with high lactose content. Therefore, you must ensure not to feed them any.

A few examples of food you are not supposed to give a hedgehog include raisins, avocado, citrus fruits, bread, milk, and onions, to mention a few.

What foods can kill a pet hedgehog?

Generally, every suitable food for a hedgehog must follow a certain ratio. The food’s calcium content needs to be twice as high as its phosphorus content.

Any food that disobeys this rule is considered bad for hedgehogs; a few foods like peanuts, mealworms, crickets, beetles, etc. Besides that, highly sugary food like raisins are not good for them.

What animals can eat pumpkins?

If you are thinking about what to do with your pumpkin after Halloween and wondering if any animal can eat it, well, there are.

Animals that can eat pumpkin includes cats, dogs, chicken, cattle, goat, pigs, horses, etc. Pumpkin makes for quite a healthy treat for these animals, so there is no need to worry.

Wrap Up

Hedgehogs are peculiar animals one can’t adore due to their fuzziness and funny nature. However, these creatures are endangered.

With that said, if you are adopting one as a pet, keeping them away from pumpkins is crucial to ensure they don’t suffer or die.

After reading this, if you are still uncertain about what to give your hedgehog, it’ll be best to consult a veterinarian for more ideas.

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References & Notes

Facts Sources:
  1. Taucher AL, Gloor S, et al. Decline in Distribution and Abundance: Urban Hedgehogs under Pressure. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1606.
  2. Garden hedgehogs. [online] RSPCA.
  3. Laxative – an overview. [online] ScienceDirect.