Pet hedgehogs have very specific diets and if you want to be a good owner then you need to make sure they follow this. But what about fruit like apples, can hedgehogs eat apples? That’s what we will try and find out.
The following information applies mainly to pet hedgehogs, but you can also keep this information in mind when feeding wild hedgehogs.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Apples?
Apples are great for most pets and we have covered that topic extensively on this site. We have told you how dogs respond to apples and have also discussed rabbits and apples. These animals aren’t averse to the occasional sweet and fruity food, but hedgehogs most definitely are.
Simply put, hedgehogs can eat apples in the sense that they won’t kill them. However, they should not be eating a lot of them because it just isn’t a major part of their natural diet. They like dry food, including meal worms and insects, with the occasional lean meat thrown in. Their diets should be rich in protein as discussed on our Hedgehog Diet page.
In other words, apples don’t tick any of the boxes for hedgehogs, which means they are not a good fit. However, they can be fed in very small amounts on occasion, just as a treat. Some hedgehog owners use fruits like apples to hide medicine as many hedgehogs love them and will gobble them straight down. But because it’s not a natural part of their diet and they are not as drawn to sweetness as other animals, your hedgehog might take some tempting before it will take a bite.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Apple Seeds?
This is often a big no-no because apple seeds contain cyanide. A single seed isn’t usually toxic to a small animals, but multiple seeds are. The question is, does that apply to hedgehogs? After all, they are known to eat some insects that are poisonous and tend to have a strong resistance for it, certainly more than many other small animals.
This is a hotly debated topic with owners of pet hedgehogs. The general consensus is that they don’t know, but don’t want to take the chance just incase. All we can advise is that while a seed or two that has been eating mistakenly will probably not cause harm, but they should still be avoided just in case. Not only is there a chance of poisoning, but they are also a choking hazard, being the right shape to cause your little prickly friend serious problems.
Can Hedgehogs Drink Apple Juice?
Hedgehogs do not have a lot of sugar in their diet naturally and because apple juice is basically all sugar, it should not be given to them. Really, any fruit juice is not good for small animals because all that concentrated sugar, even though it is natural, can wreck havoc on their bodies.
The juice is in the fruit, of course, but they will consume much smaller amounts eating a little apple than they would drinking a little juice. What’s more, the apple has additional enzymes and fiber that slow the absorption of the sugar and don’t cause such a potentially dangerous spike.
So, to clarify: can hedgehogs eat apples? Yes, but only small amounts on rare occasions and only if they really enjoy them or you want to slip medicine in them. However, keep them away from apple juice and seeds.