Can Hedgehogs Eat Apples? [A Healthy Treat or Not]


If you’ve found your way here, you’re probably curious about one thing: can hedgehogs eat apples?

Well, you’re in the right place! Like us, our prickly little pals enjoy a tasty treat occasionally, and apples might be on their menu. But before we feed them this sweet delight, we must understand a few things.

Firstly, hedgehogs have specific dietary needs, so it’s not as simple as sharing whatever is on our plate. Secondly, not all fruits and veggies that we enjoy are safe for our hedgie friends.

Quick Answer

So, to answer the burning question: Yes, hedgehogs can eat apples. Apples are safe and can be a nutritious addition to your hedgehog’s diet. However, they should be given in moderation and properly prepared like anything.

Removing the apple seeds and core is essential, as they can harm your hedgie. Also, always ensure the apples are fresh and washed thoroughly to remove pesticide residue.

Whether adding apples to your hedgehog’s food for the first time or trying to enrich their diet, it’s always best to start slow and observe how your hedgehog reacts to the new food item.

It’s crucial to monitor your hedgehog for any adverse reactions or changes in behavior.

Understanding Hedgehogs’ Dietary Needs

Okay, so we’ve established that hedgehogs can nibble on apples. But to serve up the best meals for your spiky companion, it’s crucial to understand their overall dietary needs.

Hedgehogs are, by nature, insectivores. This means a significant part of their diet in the wild is made up of insects, which provide them with necessary proteins and fats.

But hedgehogs are also known for being opportunistic eaters – they eat what they can find! This includes an array of fruits, veggies, and even small animals.

A well-balanced diet is key when it comes to feeding your pet hedgehog.

High-quality cat or hedgehog food can serve as a base, supplemented with insects like mealworms or crickets, and fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, for added variety and nutritional benefits.

But remember, all fruits and vegetables should be considered treats and should make up only a small portion of their overall diet. It’s also essential to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your hedgehog for any changes in behavior or health.

Need more insights on what other fruits are safe for hedgehogs? Take a look at our informative guide on can hedgehogs eat tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Apples for Hedgehogs

Now that we’ve nailed the basics of hedgehog nutrition, let’s zoom in on apples and their potential benefits for our little quill-covered friends.

  • High in Fiber: Apples are rich in dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting healthy bowel movements. But remember, too much of anything can lead to an upset tummy, so moderation is key.
  • Packed with Vitamins: Apples contain essential vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, which can contribute to a healthy immune system and overall well-being of your hedgehog.
  • Hydrating Treat: Apples have a high water content, making them a refreshing and hydrating treat, especially during warmer months.

As with all treats, apples should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, a balanced, nutritious diet. Before you introduce your hedgehog to apples, ensure they’re washed thoroughly to remove any pesticides, and remember to take out the seeds and core.

With these insights, you’ll not only know how to properly serve apples to hedgehogs, but you’ll also be more aware of how they contribute to your pet’s nutrition.

But what about other vegetables? Ever wondered if your hedgehog can enjoy a bite of celery? Find out in our article: Can Hedgehogs Eat Celery?

Potential Risks and Precautions When Feeding Apples

While apples can be a nutritious treat for hedgehogs, there are some potential risks and precautions to be aware of.

  • Choking Hazard: Large chunks of apple can pose a choking risk. Always cut the apple into small, manageable pieces before offering it to your hedgehog.
  • Harmful Seeds and Core: Apple seeds contain a substance called amygdalin, which can release cyanide when ingested. Although the small amount of seeds may not be harmful to larger pets or humans, it can be toxic to smaller pets like hedgehogs. Always remove the seeds and core before feeding apples to your hedgehog.
  • Digestive Upsets: Like humans, hedgehogs can have individual food sensitivities or allergies. If you notice any changes in your hedgehog’s behavior or digestive health after feeding them apples, stop and consult with a vet.

Remember, while apples can be a healthy treat, they should not replace a balanced diet of high-quality cat or hedgehog food and insects.

How to Properly Serve Apples to Hedgehogs

So, you’re ready to treat your hedgie to their first apple snack? Here are some easy steps to make sure you’re serving it up the right way.

  • Choose a Fresh Apple: A ripe, fresh apple is the best choice for your hedgehog. Avoid any apples that are overripe, bruised, or showing signs of mold.
  • Wash Thoroughly: Apples can carry pesticide residues on their skin. Always wash them thoroughly under running water before feeding them to your hedgehog.
  • Remove the Core and Seeds: Remember, apple seeds can be harmful to hedgehogs, and the hard core can pose a choking risk. Always core the apple and make sure all seeds are removed.
  • Cut into Small Pieces: To make it easy for your hedgehog to eat and to prevent choking, cut the apple into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Serve in Moderation: Too much of any fruit can lead to digestive issues. Start by giving your hedgehog a small piece and gradually increase the quantity if they enjoy it and show no signs of distress.
  • Monitor Your Hedgehog: Always observe your hedgehog after introducing a new food. Look for any changes in behavior, appetite, or digestive health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve covered a lot about feeding apples to hedgehogs, but let’s address some more questions that pet owners often ask.

Q1. Can hedgehogs eat apple peel?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat apple peel. The peel is actually a great source of fiber. Just make sure it’s thoroughly washed to remove any pesticide residue, and cut into small pieces to prevent choking.

Q2. How often can I feed my hedgehog apples?

Apples should be served as a treat and not a staple food. Therefore, offering your hedgehog a few small pieces of apple once or twice a week should be sufficient.

Q3. Are there any fruits that hedgehogs can’t eat?

Yes, avoid feeding your hedgehog citrus fruits, as they can be too acidic and cause stomach upset. Also, keep them away from grapes and raisins as they’ve been known to cause kidney damage in some pets.

Q4. Can I feed my hedgehog other parts of the apple, like the leaves or stem?

No, only the flesh of the apple is safe for hedgehogs. The leaves and stem should not be fed to your hedgehog as they can be a choking hazard and aren’t nutritionally beneficial.


Well, there you have it! Feeding apples to hedgehogs isn’t just possible, it can also contribute to a varied and balanced diet for your spiky friend.

Remember to serve apples in moderation and always monitor your hedgehog for any changes in behavior or digestive health.

As pet owners, we must understand and cater to the dietary needs of our pets while providing a diet that is as close to their natural one as possible.

Apples can make for a healthy, hydrating treat for your hedgehog, especially during those warmer months. However, it’s important to remember that hedgehogs are primarily insectivores and need a diet rich in proteins and fats.

Fruits like apples should supplement, not replace, a well-balanced diet of high-quality cat or hedgehog food and insects.

Remember, every hedgehog is different, and what works for one may not work for another. The key is introducing new foods slowly, monitoring your hedgehog’s reaction, and prioritizing their health and well-being.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top