Can Hedgehogs Eat Cheese?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cheese?

HEDGEHOGS

Popular cuisines including burgers, pizza, Mexican food, salads, and sandwiches typically come with cheese. It can be an appetizer or a full-fledged snack. It can be included in a variety of meals, including soups, cakes, and sauces. There are countless types of cheese, with tastes ranging from sweet to aged and fat content ranging from low to high. It is prepared from animal milk, including that of cows, sheep, goats, and other species. In the wild, hedgehogs eat insects and other small mammals. Protein makes up a large portion of the diet of hedgehogs, so people often question if dairy products, which have a high protein content are beneficial for hedgehogs. To answer this question, this article discusses the risks of feeding cheese to hedgehogs.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT CHEESE?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat cheese because it is part of the dairy family. It contains lactose and has a very high calcium content. Milk and dairy products naturally contain lactose. Although lactose provides a lot of energy to developing infant mammals, as they get older, the majority of mammal species are unable to digest it. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant thus, giving a hedgehog cheese would make it uncomfortable and have an impact on its digestive system. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid giving your hedgehog any cheese to maintain the health of its digestive system.

Cheese

WHAT NUTRIENTS CAN BE FOUND IN CHEESE?

Although cheese contains lots of nutrients, the amounts of these nutrients make it toxic for hedgehogs. The table below shows the nutrients that 100 grams of cheese contain, and their quantities.


NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Water

36.6 g

Energy

409 kcal

Nitrogen

3.65 g

Protein

23.3 g

Fat

34 g

Carbohydrate

2.44 g

Calcium

707 mg

Iron

0.16 mg

Magnesium

26.8 mg

Phosphorus

458 mg

Potassium

77 mg

Sodium

654 mg

Zinc

3.67 mg

Copper

0.033 mg

Manganese

0.026 mg

Selenium

28.3 µg

Cholesterol

100 mg


RISKS OF FEEDING CHEESE TO HEDGEHOGS.

Lactose intolerance

Cheese contains lactose, a sugar that hedgehogs are unable to digest because they are deficient in the enzyme needed to do so. In these circumstances, lactose consumption can cause digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea

High-fat content

Saturated fats are prevalent in cheese, particularly processed cheese. These fats are bad for hedgehogs. Just the cheese in one slice of cheese provides hedgehogs with too much of their recommended daily fat consumption, which makes cheese too toxic for them to consume.

High sodium content

Sodium is hazardous for a hedgehog’s heart and cheese contains high amounts of sodium. Cheese should therefore be excluded from a hedgehog’s diet. 

Too many calories

 Cheese contains too many calories, which are challenging for hedgehogs to burn off.  If hedgehogs consume cheese, they could become overweight, which might lead to a series of health complications. 

Unhealthy procedures

Many times, cheese manufacturers use unwholesome procedures to make the cheese. To increase milk production, the cows are administered hormones. When hedgehogs ingest the produced cheese, these hormones are transferred to them, which could cause them to suffer health problems. 

It causes diseases

 Eating too much fat, salt, and calories makes a hedgehog gain weight and become obese. Obesity increases a hedgehog’s risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, the equipment used in manufacturing the cheese could contaminate it and cause diseases for hedgehogs.

Low fiber and high cholesterol

 Cheese has a lot of harmful cholesterol and diseases may also result from this. Cheese also has no fiber, therefore consuming it could cause constipation.

cheese

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT VEGAN CHEESE?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat vegan cheese. Sometimes a lot of sodium is added to these vegan or lactose-free cheeses to make them taste good and like cheese. Additionally harmful to hedgehogs, excessive sodium consumption might have negative effects on their health. Given the health risks, it's advisable to completely avoid cheese if you want to keep your hedgehogs happy and healthy.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT CHEDDAR CHEESE?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese might taste particularly good to you, but can be detrimental to your hedgehog because of its high sodium and cholesterol content. Cheddar cheese is also low on fiber which makes it unsafe for hedgehogs. A hedgehog may have unpleasant gas and diarrhea from eating cheddar cheese.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT MOZZARELLA CHEESE?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat mozzarella cheese. Given how well-known and delicious mozzarella is among humans, it makes sense that a hedgehog could be interested in it. Your hedgehog won't turn down cheese if you give it enough to eat, but it can be dangerous for your hedgehog to consume. A small amount of mozzarella may be safe in some circumstances, but it can be difficult to determine how much is too much. Overfeeding hedgehogs with mozzarella can be extremely risky because it can cause serious diarrhea if done too frequently, so it is best to avoid feeding it to hedgehogs at all.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT OTHER DAIRY PRODUCTS?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat other dairy products. Due to their lactose intolerance, hedgehogs are unable to digest cheese and other dairy products. Giving cheese to your hedgehog will only result in diarrhea and an upset stomach. Therefore, it is better to avoid giving any cheese, including mozzarella or cheddar. 

In addition to cheese, there are additional dairy products you ought to stay away from. Giving milk to your hedgehog, for instance, can be lethal due to diarrhea.  Also, you should refrain from offering your hedgehog cream and ice cream because, in addition to being fattening, ice cream can also cause diarrhea. Due to their propensity for acquiring weight, hedgehogs that receive an excessive amount of food may develop diabetes. 

CONCLUSION

Although cheese is a delicacy that we all like to consume, we always want to provide our hedgehogs with the best. Although hedgehogs can eat practically anything, there are particular foods they should never eat, including cheese. Due to their lactose intolerance, hedgehogs lack the enzyme necessary to metabolize and digest the cheese's sugar. Cheese and other dairy products may cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea when consumed. Cheese also contains a lot of sodium and saturated fat, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. To prevent your hedgehog from suffering from a calcium deficit and other health complications, you should work toward providing it with a balanced diet.

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