In this post, we offer a concise guide addressing the query ‘Can hedgehogs eat chocolate?’ Let’s explore the potential risks associated with it. We also provide alternative treatment options for hedgehog owners to consider, ensuring the well-being of these delightful pets.
Understanding Hedgehog Diets: Can Hedgehogs Eat Chocolate?
Being a pet owner it’s important to know what is good and bad for your pet’s health. generally, pet owners know chocolate is not a healthy diet for cats, dogs, or almost all pets. Because there are chances that someone who started his pet-keeping journey may think of giving chocolate to his hedgehog as a treat. He may consider it a harmless food by giving him a small piece of chocolate. Here, a big question arises: Can hedgehogs eat chocolate?
Unfortunately, the answer is a confirmed ‘No’. One major reason is hedgies are intolerant of lactose and so they can face health issues.
What Harmful Composition Does a Chocolate Contain?
There are a great number of types of chocolates but surprisingly all sorts are harmful to hedgehogs. Notably, chocolate contains a few nutrients but even the result of intake can be very hazardous for your hedgie. Mainly, there are two major types of chocolates. First, the milky chocolate, and the second is dark.
One ounce of milky chocolate bar carries nutrients 7 grams of sugar, 2.23 grams of protein, 8.0 grams of fats, 153.0 calories, 17.1 grams of carbs, and 228 mg of theobromine.
Whereas, one ounce of the dark chocolate bar includes 12 grams of fats, 2.1 grams of protein, 7.1 grams of sugar, 171 calories, and 58.6 mg of theobromine.
List Of Health Hazards That Chocolate Can Cause:
Chocolate carries cocoa, milk, and a great amount of sugar. It can end up with the following health issues in your hedgehog.
- Heart problems
- Respiratory problems
- Digestive problems
However, instead of giving chocolate to your hedgie as a treat you can provide strawberries, mangoes, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, and all sorts of other pip fruit to your hedgehog as they are good for their health.
How Chocolate Can Become a Health Hazard for Hedgehogs?
Mainly, Theobromine is one of the great quantity ingredients of chocolate. Moreover, its belongings are related to caffeine and it contains a bitter taste. Unfortunately, it’s a real ingredient that does not let a hedgehog take a bite of chocolate.
Hedgehogs hold a small and weak digestive system this chemical is not digestible for these tiny creatures as well as for many other animals.
Taking this chemical can quickly upset the digestive system and so it can cause vomiting, and diarrhea, making hedgehogs lousy.
Lack Of Nutritional Value:
A little-known actuality is that this little pet is an omnivore animal and counts plants as food. Among all food, sources protein is necessary for growth, proper health, and nutrition.
Notably, the nutritional tables of all chocolate packets contain a small quantity of protein in their ingredients. In contrast, chocolate contains other harmful ingredients such as theobromine, fats, and sugar in high amounts. Therefore, feeding a hedgie with a piece of chocolate can not add any beneficial nutrition to his diet. It can cause digestive problems and weight loss and put this little creature in danger by causing nutritional absorption ultimatums.
Increase The Probability Of Seizures:
It’s the habit of hedgehogs to nibble with all the things that come their way. And so hedgehog owners must be careful to check the home to confirm there is no piece of chocolate.
A great quantity of chocolate can cause intense health issues because a large aggregate of theobromine in the blood flow of animals can cause permitting to internal bleeding and seizures. And it can lead the little hedgehog to sudden death.
The Threat Of Heart Attack:
The chemical that causes seizures can cause a heart attack in animals like hedgehogs. Ultimately, the effects of theobromine last for 20 hours in the hedgehog’s body. Consequently, it can be the riskiest food for your hero’s life. So, pet owners must take crucial caution to avoid chocolate in animals’ surroundings.
If your Hedgehog Accidentally Eats a Piece of Chocolate…!
If you see your hedgie nibbling with the last remaining piece of chocolate and he ate a small piece of leftover then it can be an alarming situation for his health. Here you have to call your family veterinarian on an immediate basis.
First, the veterinarian will ask some questions about the situation, the location, and the quantity that your hedgehog probably had eaten. Therefore, you should answer according to your experience information.
Secondly, the veterinarian will ask you to bring your pet if he has taken a large quantity of chocolate. He would check whether there is any serious issue or not. Thirdly, he may ask you to bring the diet plan or any nutritional package that you are giving to your pet. Or he might give you a new diet plan to follow next.
And if fortunately, your pet took a tiny piece of chocolate then your vet may ask you to keep an eye on the activities of your pet. And if you see any serious signs like a seizure or digestive issue then just rush to the vet without any stir.
What Other Food Hedgehog Cant Eat?
As hedgehogs are tiny animals they have a tiny digestive system and they hold a weak metabolism system. We can’t compare their metabolism with humans. Following are some items that pet owners should avoid.
Potatoes are an essential part of our food as human diet. Notably, potatoes are starch-rick formulate so they are harmful to hedgehogs. The reason behind this is hedgehogs are susceptible to obesity by taking potatoes, whereas these can be more toxic and detrimental in raw form for your hedgie.
Accordingly, just keep away the potato and potato-made products like fries and mashed potatoes. Hence, try to keep them in a place far away from your pet like in a refrigerator or any locked box.
All dairy products including ice cream and milk. Many people do not know about the presence of sugar in milk termed lactose. The fanaticism of lactose is common in pets as well as in humans. Because of the weak metabolism, some pets and humans can not digest lacrosse.
Chocolate Related All Products:
A hedgehog owner must consider the chocolate products harmful. For instance, chocolate-made items like brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate-flavored sweets, and all sorts of plane chocolates are detrimental for hedgies.
If you want to add some chocolate to your pet’s diet then you can give chocolate-chip cookies and that must be in small quantities.
Oranges, limes, lemons, and all types of citrus fruits are not good for hedgehogs. This food contains high-acid ingredients so it will disturb the stomach. Additionally, also avoid giving concentrated juice or even fresh juice of these citrus fruits to your pet.
Almost all hedgehog guides oppose the use of mushrooms but some of them might be not harmful. But it would be equal to take a big risk to give a mushroom without knowing its content because it is not identified yet which mushroom is good or which is prohibited for hedgehogs.
Nuts And Seeds:
Nuts and seeds are also deleterious for hedgehogs because they can’t digest them. These can be choking hazards for this tiny creature so better to avoid them instead of facing any serious health hazards.
As pineapples are acidic they are also harmful to the digestive system and heart of hedgie. Secondly, pineapple also contains sugar content and it directly adds its contributes to causing obesity.
Freeze-canned insects or live insects like mealworms are the better option to give to your hedgehog. The mealworm contains chitin which is a great source of protein. Also, some of them include protein and fiber. Live worms can also be a mental stimulation for a hedgie that is a positive content for hedgehogs’ good health.
You can allow your hedge live or frozen crickets to eat because it lets the hedgehog do good exercise while catching live cricket and it also gives mind stimulation. Moreover, crickets contain chitin content that adds high protein to hedgehogs’ diets.
All sorts of dried fruits are prohibited. Whereas some fruits like apples, bananas, strawberries, berries melons and so many more fruits that do not carry citric or toxic content can be given to hedgehogs but in small quantities.
You can add some vegetables to your hedgehog’s diet plan such as green beans, cooked squash, and fresh tomatoes are some options to avail. Starchy vegetables like corn, carrots, and potatoes should be avoided.
Low-fat cat or dog food and high-protein cooked chicken can be offered to hedgehogs but in a small amount.
Wrapping it up!
Undoubtedly, there are a lot of food options for hedgehogs, but there is also harmful food for hedgehogs. Due to the weak and tiny digestive systems of hedgehogs, the owners of these pets should take information about all allowed and prohibited food for their hedgies. Hedgehogs eat chocolate, making it crucial for owners to be well-informed about the potential risks associated with certain foods.
I hope this brief guide will help you take care of your hedgehog!