Are you wondering whether your hedgehog can eat human food, such as pumpkin? This article will answer your question and also give you tips on feeding your pet.
You can feed moist, canned pumpkin to your hedgehog. It is even recommended to give it to hedgehogs that suffer from hard stools.
In the case of whole raw pumpkin, we’d suggest you cook it to make it soft before feeding. But can you feed it to hogs on a regular basis? Let’s find out.
Should You Leave Pumpkin Out for Hedgehogs?
There has been a recent rise in people leaving Halloween pumpkins out in their gardens for wild animals to feast on. By doing so, you may risk the health of your garden hedgehogs. These tiny mammals are omnivores who feed on insects and pests such as slugs.
Additionally, they may consume some fruit, plants, and roots while they hunt for insects.
Having a sweet tooth, hedgehogs will eat an easy meal of pumpkin whenever given a chance. However, a large quantity of fiber present in pumpkins will most likely upset their stomachs and lead to diarrhea.
In other words, pumpkins are not necessarily harmful, but if overconsumed by hedgehogs, they can be troublesome. Instead of putting your pumpkins in the garden, you can hang them from trees so that only birds, squirrels, and other such creatures get to eat the fruit.
This way, you can save hedgehogs from the ill effects of consuming pumpkins. Severe diarrhea can even cause dehydration, which may prove fatal to the lives of these tiny mammals.
What Can You Feed Hedgehogs Instead of Pumpkin?
If you are keen on feeding your nearby hedgehogs, you can look for better options out there. In fact, some extra food would help prepare them for hibernation. Hedgehogs tend to hibernate from November to the middle of March. For this, they need to reach a minimum body weight of 500g, to be able to survive the harsh winters.
Traditionally, people left milk and bread to feed the hungry wild hedgehogs. But, now it is common knowledge that hogs are intolerant to lactose and cannot digest bread easily. You can instead feed them with meat-based cat food.
Hedgehogs will still need to forage for some fibrous food, but the dog or cat food acts as a great source of energy and protein. You can further choose turkey or chicken-based food sources since they are easier to digest compared to red-meat sources.
You can even buy special hedgehog food from pet and wildlife stores.
To Sum Up
Ideally, you should not feed pumpkin to hedgehogs. This is because hedgehogs are unable to digest the overly fibrous fruit, which may lead to diarrhea. Further, it can even cause dehydration and prove fatal for their health. We recommend you keep your leftover pumpkin at a place out of reach of garden hedges.
It is better that you feed canned dog or cat food to these omnivores. Also, a limited quantity of pumpkin may help relieve constipation or hard stools in hogs.