Chocolates are a product of cocoa pod seeds. Most people in the world love chocolate not because of the nutrients it contains in it but because of its tastiness. Chocolate can be consumed as a beverage, used as an ingredient for baking, or eaten as a snack to satisfy cravings. Different companies use diverse recipes when producing chocolate but, generally, chocolate is extremely high in sugar. This article discusses the possibility of feeding chocolate to hedgehogs.
CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT CHOCOLATE?
RISKS OF FEEDING CHOCOLATE TO HEDGEHOGS
The following are the possible side effects of feeding chocolate to hedgehogs:
It contains toxic elements:Chocolate contains high levels of cadmium and nickel, which are very toxic for hedgehogs to consume. Chocolates also contain bacteria; hedgehogs might fall sick after consuming them, especially those that already suffer an allergy.
It causes obesity:Due to their size and lack of rigorous activities, hedgehogs could become obese. Eating sugar only hastens their journey to obesity, and chocolate contains unreasonable amounts of sugar. Hence it is advisable to keep chocolate away from a hedgehog’s diet
It causes cancer:Chocolates contain high amounts of carbohydrates and calories. The high amounts of carbohydrates in chocolates can put hedgehogs at risk of cancer, so they should not consume chocolates.
It might lead to heart diseases:Chocolates contain lots of saturated fat and sugar, which can cause obesity in hedgehogs. Obesity is a pathway to heart disease, so it is advisable to prevent hedgehogs from eating chocolate to keep them safe from heart disease.
It contains toxic ingredients:Ingredients such as preservatives are essential when manufacturing chocolates. Milk is another vital ingredient in the manufacturing of chocolates. These ingredients are toxic to hedgehogs and can affect their health negatively. They could become sick with diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach problems.
It could cause damage to the respiratory system:Chocolate contains a high amount of caffeine which is very toxic for hedgehogs because it can result in respiratory problems. Chocolates are harmful to hedgehogs as they are harmful to humans. Although humans can take a little serving of chocolate once in a while, what is little for humans is too much for hedgehogs, so they should not consume chocolates at all, even as treats.
It can lead to death:If hedgehogs consume chocolate, they might start showing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. In such cases, they should be taken to see a veterinarian. If they are left unattended, these symptoms might become worse and cause serious health issues, which might eventually kill a hedgehog.
CAN CHOCOLATES BE USED AS TREATS FOR HEDGEHOGS?
No, hedgehogs cannot have chocolate as a treat. Chocolates contain high levels of sugar. Sugar is risky for a hedgehog because of its size. If hedgehogs consume excess sugar, they could fall sick with diarrhea, become obese, and eventually suffer from diabetes. It is advisable to minimize the sugar intake of hedgehogs, and giving them chocolates even as treats does not help, but it puts them in an unhealthy situation.
Apart from caffeine and sugar, chocolates also have a high amount of fat. Fats are very toxic to humans but are even more toxic to hedgehogs. The fat contents in chocolate could make a hedgehog overweight which could lead it to suffer serious health problems. An overweight hedgehog might also not live a happy life as it might not be able to partake in fun activities as much as it wants to.
Another reason why chocolates should not be given to hedgehogs as a treat is that they contain some milk. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so they cannot consume milk in any form. If a hedgehog consumes milk, it could suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and other health problems. Thus, feeding chocolate to hedgehogs as treats puts them at risk of health issues.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY HEDGEHOG EATS CHOCOLATE?
If a hedgehog consumes chocolate, it should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. The symptoms might take a while to show but that does not mean that a hedgehog is in perfect health, so it is advisable to see the vet immediately if it is noticed that a hedgehog has consumed chocolate. Oftentimes, people delay their visit to the vet because the hedgehog isn’t showing any symptoms of illnesses, but postponing the visit could be very risky because they need to be checked for any health issues that might occur.
Hedgehogs might show symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming chocolates. These symptoms might lead to more complicated illnesses if they are not taken to the veterinarian immediately and if hedgehogs are not treated early enough, they could even die from lack of medical care and attention. Hence it is advisable to pay a visit to the vet as soon as these symptoms are noticed.
Chocolate can be eaten by humans but only in small quantities because of its toxicity. However, hedgehogs should not consume chocolates at all because, unlike humans, they cannot handle the toxicity that comes with chocolates. Chocolates are made from cocoa, and cocoa is harmful to hedgehogs. Consuming cocoa can cause respiratory problems in hedgehogs, so they should not consume any cocoa produce.
Also, chocolates are high in sugar and fats, which can cause serious health issues for hedgehogs. Excess fat and sugar in the body of hedgehogs can cause them to become obese, which can lead to diabetes and death eventually. Chocolate also contains milk but hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Considering these factors, it is safe to conclude that hedgehogs should not eat chocolates if they are to remain happy and healthy.