Can Hedgehogs Eat Oranges? [A Good or Bad Idea?]


If you’re wondering, “Can hedgehogs eat oranges,” you’ve come to the right place.

Pet owners grapple with this common question regarding providing a balanced diet for their little spiked friends. Let’s delve into this prickly topic, and you’ll soon know whether to include that juicy orange in your hedgehog’s next meal.

Quick Answer

In short, it’s best to avoid feeding your hedgehog oranges. Citrus fruits like oranges can be too acidic for hedgehogs, which might lead to upset stomachs.

While these fruits won’t cause immediate harm, sticking to safer options is always better. Not all fruits that are healthy for humans are good for our prickly friends.

Understanding Hedgehog’s Dietary Needs

What Do Hedgehogs Normally Eat in the Wild?

In the wild, hedgehogs are primarily insectivores. This means their diet mainly consists of insects like beetles, caterpillars, and worms. They have a particular penchant for mealworms and waxworms.

But their diet isn’t just restricted to creepy crawlies. Hedgehogs occasionally snack on small vertebrates, eggs, and even some fruits and vegetables.

Key Nutritional Requirements for a Healthy Hedgehog

A balanced diet for a pet hedgehog should be rich in protein and low in fat. That’s because their diet, rich in insects, provides them with the necessary protein in the wild.

At the same time, it’s important to maintain a low-fat diet to prevent obesity, a common health issue among pet hedgehogs.

The ideal hedgehog diet also includes a good mix of fiber. It helps maintain their digestive health.

Certain fruits and vegetables can provide this dietary fiber, but they should only form a small portion of the hedgehog’s diet. The primary food source should still be protein.

Delving Deeper: Can Hedgehogs Eat Oranges Safely?

Nutritional Value of Oranges

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and fiber for us humans. They’re hydrating and beneficial for our immune system. But when it comes to our hedgehog buddies, the rules change.

Are Oranges Safe for Hedgehogs?

As we mentioned earlier, avoiding feeding your hedgehog oranges is best. The main issue is the acidity of the oranges.

Hedgehogs have sensitive stomachs and the high citric acid content in oranges can cause digestive discomfort or upset stomachs.

Possible Health Implications of Feeding Oranges to Hedgehogs

Regular consumption of oranges or other citrus fruits may lead to problems such as diarrhea or dehydration. It’s critical to recognize the signs of dehydration in hedgehogs early to ensure they get the necessary treatment promptly.

Long-term exposure to a high-acid diet could potentially cause damage to their teeth as well. The sugar content, albeit natural, in oranges is also higher than recommended for hedgehogs, increasing the risk of obesity and related health problems.

Alternatives to Oranges for Hedgehogs

Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Hedgehogs

If you’re eager to add a bit of fruity flavor to your hedgehog’s diet, there are plenty of safe alternatives to oranges.

Apples, pears, and bananas can be given in moderation, but remove any seeds or pips first, as these can be a choking hazard. Berries like strawberries and blueberries are also a hit with many hedgehogs.

For vegetables, consider options like carrots, peas, and bell peppers. Always thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides, and chop them into small, manageable pieces for your hedgehog.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Hedgehog

Knowing what you should never feed your hedgehog is equally important now that we’ve covered safe options. Foods that are toxic to hedgehogs include grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, and foods containing caffeine.

Yes, your hedgie can’t share your morning coffee or chocolate bar!

How to Properly Feed Your Hedgehog

Ideal Hedgehog Feeding Schedule

Contrary to what you might think, hedgehogs aren’t constantly nibbling throughout the day like some other small pets. They are nocturnal creatures, meaning they’re most active at night.

Therefore, the best time to feed your hedgehog is in the evening, providing them with fresh food as they wake up for their night activities.

Portion Sizes and Preparation Tips

When it comes to portion sizes, a tablespoon or two of the main diet (ideally a high-quality cat food or specialized hedgehog food) should be enough for your hedgehog.

Fruits and vegetables should be given as treats and not make up more than 10% of their diet. Remember always to chop these into small, bite-sized pieces.

Mealworms and other insects can also be offered as treats. However, be mindful not to overdo it with these high-fat snacks. Treats should make up no more than 20% of their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What fruit can hedgehogs eat?

Hedgehogs can eat a variety of fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and berries such as strawberries and blueberries. Remember to wash these thoroughly to remove any pesticides and chop them into small, bite-sized pieces.

Q2. What is toxic to hedgehogs?

Foods that are toxic to hedgehogs include grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, and foods containing caffeine. It’s best to stick to their natural diet of insects, supplemented with fruits and vegetables in moderation.

Q3. Can hedgehogs eat pineapple?

Pineapple, like oranges, is a citrus fruit and can be too acidic for hedgehogs. While a small piece won’t harm your hedgehog, regular consumption may lead to digestive discomfort or other health issues.

Q4. What should you never feed a hedgehog?

Apart from the toxic foods mentioned earlier, avoid feeding your hedgehog dairy products as they are lactose intolerant. Also, avoid raw meat, junk food, and anything with high salt or sugar content.

For more information on specific foods, check out our blog post on what hedgehogs can and can’t eat.


When it comes to feeding your hedgehog, it’s important to remember that while they can eat a variety of foods, not all human food is safe for them.

Oranges, along with other citrus fruits, are best avoided due to their high acidity and sugar content.

Instead, aim for a balanced diet rich in protein (through insects or high-quality cat food), supplemented with safe fruits and vegetables in moderation.

This includes apples, pears, bananas, and a variety of berries. Remember, treats should make up no more than 20% of their diet.

Avoid feeding your hedgehog toxic foods like grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, and caffeinated products. Also, steer clear of raw meat, junk food, and anything with high salt or sugar content.

Feed your hedgehog during their active hours in the evening and keep portion sizes in check to prevent overfeeding. A well-fed hedgehog is more likely to be a healthy and happy hedgehog!

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