Hedgehogs, as omnivores, can eat diverse food. But that doesn’t mean they can eat anything.
You need to be careful while feeding your hedgehog. The amount of feed and what you feed depends on your hedgehog’s size and age.
However, a general rule is to offer them as much food as he will finish in one night. Today, our concern is to discuss whether your hedge can eat watermelon or not.
Can a hedgehog eat watermelon? Yes, a hedgehog can eat watermelon. Every bite of the juicy watermelon comes with a lot of nutrients for your pet.
These nutrients are vitamins A, C, and B6, amino acids, and antioxidants. However, you need to be careful.
Never feed too much watermelon to your hedgie. Only use a moderate amount of watermelon to treat your hedgehog.
Nutritional Facts of Watermelon:
Watermelon contains many healthy nutrients such as:
- Water: watermelon contains about 91% water. So, it can meet the water requirements of your hedgehog.
- Vitamin A: it can improve the vision and functioning of the heart and kidney. Moreover, vitamin A also aids the immune system of the hedgehog.
- Vitamin C: is an antioxidant that helps the hedgehog body to fight cellular damage. It also helps in tissue growth and maintenance, assisting in the fast recovery of wounds.
- Vitamin B1, B5, and B6: These vitamins are collectively known as vitamin B complex. They will improve the metabolic system of your hedgehog. Vitamin B complex also enhances nerve functions. As a result, your hedgehog will stay calmer.
- Potassium: a vital macronutrient that helps to promote bone health. Moreover, it also optimizes the functioning of the liver and heart.
- Macronutrients: such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are essential for the hedgehog’s normal body functioning. However, these nutrients are present in a significantly lower percentage, not sufficient to meet the hedgehog’s nutritional requirements.
- Micronutrients: like phosphorus, and calcium are essential to maintain bone health. If these two micronutrients are not present in the right balance, it can cause metabolic bone diseases in hedgehog.
Is watermelon a healthy treat for your hedgehog?
Watermelon is not only a treat for the hedgehog but also provides nutrition to him. For instance, it’s full of vitamins that are beneficial for hedgehog. However, some of the nutrients are also present at an unbalanced level in watermelons.
As discussed earlier, the high water content of watermelon fulfills the water intake requirement of the hedgehog.
Other macro and micronutrients besides water make the digestive, immune, and skeletal systems of your pet hedgie strong.
How to prepare the watermelon for the hedgehog
Preparing a treat for your pet hedgie can be the best part of your day. That’s why we’ve designed an informative guide to help you quickly prepare the watermelon for your hedgie. Let’s have a look at the guide.
Use organic watermelon:
Organic food has no alternative when it comes to health benefits. So, it’s advisable to grab organic food for your hedgie too.
Buying organic watermelons might be heavy on your pocket. But you should always treat your hedgie with pesticide-free watermelon whenever you get the chance.
No Need to Wash:
Your main concern is to serve your hedgie with watermelon flesh. So, you don’t need to wash it. However, if you’re serving any other fruit to your hedgie, you should thoroughly wash it.
Remove the seeds:
Never forget to remove the seeds from the watermelon piece that you’re going to offer your pet hedgehog.
As you know very well, watermelon has a huge size. But, it doesn’t mean you have to serve the whole watermelon to your hedgie. Never do so; otherwise, you will experience harmful consequences.
You should feed only a small portion of watermelon to your pet. It’s advisable to provide just one tablespoon of vegetables or fruits per day. When it comes to watermelon, only ½ tablespoon is enough for your hedge.
However, if any wild hedgehog enters your garden, the treat size would be different. You should serve one tablespoon of watermelon to him. But do remember, don’t serve any other fruit or veggie in this case.
How often should you serve watermelon to your hedgehog?
Despite having many nutritional minerals, it’s recommended to serve the watermelon to your hedgie in moderation. The reason is unbalanced phosphorous and calcium amounts in watermelon that can be problematic.
Many vets suggest feeding fruits 2-3 times a week to hedgehogs. So please serve watermelons only once a week.
To give your hedgie diverse nutrients, you can offer different fruits, alternatively. However, you should not serve sweet fruits, including watermelons, to your hedgehog daily.
The reason is the high sugar content in these fruits. Daily feeding of fruits with high sugar content leads to obesity. That’s what you don’t want for your hedgehog.
Does eating watermelon have side effects for hedgehogs?
The watermelons’ nutritional facts might convince you to believe that feeding watermelons regularly to your hedgehog is the right choice. Unfortunately, it’s not so. Actually, watermelon also has some downsides.
The first downside is the unbalanced phosphorous and calcium ratio. The higher phosphorus than calcium content means phosphorous will bind to calcium, preventing it from being absorbed in the body.
You can also say that if the hedgehog keeps eating food with higher phosphorus than calcium, the risk of metabolic bone disease will be higher. So, food with balanced phosphorus to calcium ratio is essential.
Many experts recommend that this ratio should be 1:2 or 1:1. But, in the case of watermelon, the ratio doesn’t meet the recommended criteria.
Unbalanced calcium: phosphorus ratio doesn’t mean you should not treat your pet hedgie with watermelon.
But, this ratio suggests we feed watermelon in moderation to your hedgehog. You can also offer some high calcium foods with watermelon to avoid this issue.
What fruits can a hedgehog eat?
No doubt, there is no alternative to watermelon if you want to treat your hedgehog with juicy and refreshing fruit.
However, other fruits are also safe to feed as they are not toxic to hedgehogs. These fruits include:
- pumpkin & squash
Watermelon is a treat that can make your hedgehog go crazy. However, you need to be careful while offering watermelon to your pet hedgie.
For instance, moderation is essential for the safe feeding of watermelon. Moreover, make sure you’re offering the flesh of a pesticide-free watermelon to your hedgehog.