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Old 01-03-2011, 01:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default fruits and veggies

Which fruit and veggies are safe for my hedgie to eat?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

I'm new here so don't quote me in a book or anything like that but from what I've seen, combining common sense with the internet is basically all it takes when it comes to this topic. Instead of listing what fruits and veggies are safe, it's best to instead note which ones AREN'T safe first so you can get an idea of what to avoid and stay away from and then anything left is yummy dinner!


If you want to be safe, 4 very important things to keep in mind before you give it to them are...
1. TOXICITY - Can it be toxic? This is where the internet comes in handy because you can get lists of harmful foods for pets because of certain levels of chemicals in them. Examples of some possibly toxic fruits/veggies = grapes, avocados, onions, certain mushrooms.

2. EDIBILITY - does the texture or size of the food make it risky for choking (so small small and hard things which is especially a concern with fruits that have seeds) or for getting stuck to the roofs of their mouths (sticky textured foods)? Examples of some potentially unsafe fruits/veggies = pomegranates (the seeds), raisins (sticky), figs (sticky) and celery (the 'strings' in it).

3. DIGESTIBILITY - Is it easy to digest and/or can it cause diarrhea? Because you are talking about veggies, the part to pay attention to is the cellulose factor. Like most animals, hedgehogs' digestive systems do not have the ability to break down the cellulose found in many plants and this includes many veggies and/or their stems. I'm not saying it's 100% pointless to feed them to your hedgie because they can have other beneficial components in them. Any veggie that is green in color is high in cellulose but other ones contain it as well. Examples of cellulose containing veggies = squash, zucchini, pumpkin, and brussels sprout.

4. QUANTITY - Is it something that needs to be kept to a minimal and therefore only be used a special treats and/or snacks? Because foods have various components that can be an issue in high amounts, certain ones need to be fed in small amounts and only on occasion. Failure to ignore this can lead to digestive issues (which you don't want to mess with because it's vital for life and includes important organs like kidneys) as well as diarrhea (which is uncomfortable and can lead to hydration..etc). This is because if you do research, you will read things about harmful stuff that is found in commonly eaten fruits/veggies you would have never guessed. So these foods need to be used in low quantities...
One obvious thing you don't want to feed too much of are fruits high in sugar because of obvious sugar spikes in the blood. Examples = plums, kiwi, and cherries.
Secondly, fruits high in citrus because of the citrus acid. Exmaples = oranges, grapefruits, and pineapple.
Another one are cruciferous vegitables that contain oxalic acid, which can be irritating to the body in high amounts and has to be excreted through urine and feces. Examples of cruciferous veggies = broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and radishes.
Also legume veggies, which when uncooked can sometimes be toxic in big amounts. Examples of legumes = peas and beans.
And uncooked potatoes (including yams) contain toxins called glycoalkaloids (like solanine and chaconine) which can cause diarrhea, headaches, and abdominal discomfort.


So basically any fruits/veggies that are safe when considering these four things should be okay and then the rest is up to the hedgehogs personal taste preference. Just please try to buy only organically grown snacks and be sure to wash them very well before sharing with the hedgie because of things like fertilizers and preservative sprays!

Some safe fruit examples = Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Mango..etc
Some safe veggie examples = Carrots, Lettuce, Bell peppers, Asparagus, Corn, Cucumber...etc


Hope this helped some! =)
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

Thank you ! It did, I was looking at some mixes for hedgehogs at a local pet store and found one with dried cranberries in it... Because of that I did not buy them because I heard hedge hogs should not eat raisons, so I thought that was the same??? Do you know if this is true about the dried cranberries???
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

I've kind of been going through what you're going through.... I'm getting my hedgie in 2 weeks and I had made this huge bag of food mixture like I do for my rats and put a bunch of different nuts and stuff in it as well as raisins and then saw all the stuff on the internet saying no way.
So i've been doing research on the internet on this subject and to answer your question about the cranberries, from what I've been seeing on the net for the past week I honestly think that the answer is yes and no....
It seems like there are people out there that actually do give their hedgie raisins and sunflower seeds..etc But then there's the type of people (especially the hog enthusiasts like the ones on hedgehogcentral) that have the 'better safe than sorry' mentality because they've heard stories and stay away from anything that has ANY potential to be harmful. Just like there's many people out there that have hedgehogs that did do research so they dont use ANY type of heating besides the main housing unit (which is a risk) then there are others that find them a vital necessity... or dog owners that dont get their dogs vaccinated.
So I'm starting to think that it's more about the amount of risk or caution that you want to use. Like if you give your hedgehog a raisin, it most likely isn't going to drop dead from it, but the thought it enough to keep cautious people from doing it.
I'm known for having bad luck so I personally would stay away from the craisins after reading about the raisins even though a part of me thinks "it can't be THAT dangerous if some company is putting it in their hedgie mix and selling it in mass quantities after all this time!"

After failing with my first mix, I'm making my final one this week. It's literally going to just consist of a bunch of different types of cat foods to get some variety in taste and nutrition. I know it's not as good as one of those colorful expensive tropical looking hedgehog mixes from the stores but because I'm going to be supplementing with a lot of snacks, I'm just keeping it simple. I dont know if you came across this yet, but it really helped me when i went to the store to start picking brands;
https://hedgehogcentral.com/CatFoodChart6.html

Either way, good luck!
-Rachel
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

"it can't be THAT dangerous if some company is putting it in their hedgie mix and selling it in mass quantities after all this time!"


Some companies put wood in their "hedgehog" food. Just sayin'.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbr123123
So I'm starting to think that it's more about the amount of risk or caution that you want to use. Like if you give your hedgehog a raisin, it most likely isn't going to drop dead from it, but the thought it enough to keep cautious people from doing it.
I'm known for having bad luck so I personally would stay away from the craisins after reading about the raisins even though a part of me thinks "it can't be THAT dangerous if some company is putting it in their hedgie mix and selling it in mass quantities after all this time!"
No, they wouldn't drop dead from it. They will suffer for days as their kidneys fail and you watch them deteriorate. As grapes and raisins cause renal/kidney failure.

I watched my cat deteriorate when his kidneys failed(reasons unknown), and had him at the vets for 4 days, ferrying him back and forth between our day vet and the emergency vet, so he could be monitored at all hours. So if you think it's not THAT dangerous to have their kidneys fail, feel free to pm me and I will go through all the details of what I went through with my cat.

Yes, I know everything is a learning experience when it comes to animals. Taking care of my new kitten now, I've noticed so much that I never did with my Tobie(RIP). But when you have solid facts of what is and isn't dangerous, I will always chose to err of the side of caution. And if you think about it, how many owners who have done research will actually go and feed unsafe commercial hedgehog foods? And those who do haven't done their research, meaning they wouldn't even know what to look for when their animal starts dying because of renal failure, will just chalk it up to a bad batch of animals, think nothing of it, and move on, because they did everything the pet store told them to do.

And a big thumbs up to the OP for double checking something, no matter how stupid it may seem. ^_^
The dried cranberries are perfectly safe as to our current knowledge.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia
"it can't be THAT dangerous if some company is putting it in their hedgie mix and selling it in mass quantities after all this time!"


Some companies put wood in their "hedgehog" food. Just sayin'.

YOU FOUND HEDGEHOG FOOD WITH **WOOD** IN IT~!???
That should seriously be illegal!
I'm like scared to buy hedgehog mixes personally...and that just made it worse lol
I've had sooo many rats, hamsters, mice, ferrets, cats, dogs, rabbits...etc, so when i first started thinking about setting up my hedgehog cage, I was going to kind of just go by personal experience and I'm so glad I thought about researching everything thoroughly because I found things I wouldnt have thought about. But now after doing all this research and reading about things like raisins, I'm seriously paranoid about every little thing. Every hour I come up with some question that I have to run to the computer or post a thread about. Thank GOD for places like this forum~
(though it has cost me a good extra $500 in supplies!).
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

My breeder said that if you can't smush it with your fingers, your hedgie may choke on it. Nuts and seeds would be choking hazards.

Wasn't there a hddgie that choked and died from eating a mealworm a few months ago?
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

I agree, not all hedgehog foods are safe, but if you know what to look for you can find healthy ones as well. Wood in food thoe? I think that is horrible...

If you can't squish it with your fingers, your hedgie could choke... I guess that could help with searching for foods as well.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: fruits and veggies

Anyone know if they can eat bananas?
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