With so many possible fruit and vegetables to feed your hedgehog it can be hard to know which ones are both safe and healthy.
Lettuce is commonly found in most family kitchens but can your hedgehog safely eat lettuce?
Let’s take a look at 3 common types of lettuce and see if vets and experts recommend you add these to your hedgies food bowl or if you should be replacing them with healthier options.
So can hedgehogs eat lettuce? Romaine lettuce and leafy lettuce can be safely added to a hedgehogs diet. Iceberg lettuce isn’t recommended for hedgehogs due to the fact it offers little to no nutritional value and may even cause diarrhoea.
Read on to learn…
Nutritional Data | Romaine, Leafy & Iceberg Lettuce
To better understand why it’s recommended that hedgehogs can eat romaine and leafy lettuce but not iceberg lettuce, we have put them all side by side in a handy table.
This way you can take a look at the key nutrients and also decide if romaine and leafy lettuce are something you would like to add to your hedgehog’s diet.
Check out the table below that contains the nutritional data courtesy of the USDA…
Nutritional Information (Lettuce)
|Water||94.64 g||94.61 g||94.98 g|
|Energy||14 kcal||17 kcal||15 kcal|
|Protein||0.9 g||1.23 g||1.36 g|
|Fat||0.14 g||0.3 g||0.15 g|
|Carbohydrate||2.97 g||3.29 g||2.87 g|
|Fibre||1.2 g||2.1 g||1.3 g|
|Sugar||1.97 g||1.19 g||0.78 g|
|Calcium||18 mg||33 mg||36 mg|
|Phosphorus||20 mg||30 mg||29mg|
|Iron||0.41 mg||0.97 mg||0.86 mg|
|Potassium||141 mg||247 mg||194 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.042 mg||0.072 mg||0.09 mg|
|vitamin A||25 µg||436 µg||3.70 µg|
|vitamin A UI||502 UI||8710 µg||7405 µg|
|BETA Carotene||299 µg||5226 µg||4443 µg|
|Vitamin C||2.8 mg||35.3 mg||9.2 mg|
|Vitamin K||24.1 µg||102.5 µg||126.3 µg|
Can Hedgehogs Eat Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is safe for hedgehogs to eat and also contains some key nutrients.
It’s a good source of vitamin A which supports optimal eye health as well as a good immune system and strong bones.
Romaine lettuce also contains high amounts of beta carotene which is a precursor for vitamin A.
Healthline state that romaine lettuce also contains good quantities of vitamin K.
This is a food that you can add to your hedgies diet whenever you feel like it without having to worry about the sugar content or a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio.
This doesn’t mean that romaine lettuce should be the main green or veggie in the food bowl as all in all there are far better options out there but it can be added into your hedgies diet without concerns.
Later in this post, we will give you 5 highly nutritious greens that you can feed your hedgehog on a regular basis.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Leafy Lettuce?
Greens leafy lettuce is another type of lettuce that’s safe for your hedgehog to eat.
This is backed up by Veteriankey, who added green leaf lettuce to their list of foods hedgehogs can eat in a report for hedgehog care.
The nutrient profile of leafy and romaine lettuce are very similar and leafy also offers decent amounts of Vitamins A and K.
Again, this is a food that you can safely add to your hedgies diet but you should consider offering more nutritious greens such as dandelion greens for the majority of your hedgehog’s plant-based diet.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Iceberg Lettuce?
Iceberg lettuce is probably the most common of the 3 lettuce varieties on our list but it’s also the one that many experts recommend you don’t feed to your hedgehog.
This is mainly due to the lack of nutrients it offers across the board.
Both romaine and green leaf lettuce are relatively high in vitamins A and K which makes them viable options to add to the food bowl.
Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, is much lower in both these vitamins and for this reason, doesn’t offer any nutrients in a high enough volume that warrants adding it to your hedgehog’s diet.
Considering that your hedgie only has a small stomach, every mouth full of food should be as nutritious as possible (even though hedgehogs can actually consume ⅓ of their body weight in food in one day)
Some owners that have fed their hedgie on iceberg lettuce have also reported that it has caused bouts of diarrhoea. This is possibly due to high water content and low nutritional value.
It’s really not worth feeding your hedgehog iceberg lettuce when there are so many other safe and highly nutritious greens and veggies out there.
If you want to know the foods that your hedgehog can eat as well as the ones they should stay away from then check out our complete hedgehog diet guide here…
Is It Important to Feed Lettuce & Other Vegetables?
Even though the main part of your hedgehog’s diet is likely to be made up of either cat food or actually hedgehog food, it’s still important to offer fruit, veg and greens.
It’s widely documented by sites such as Vetmed that In the wild, as well as eating a variety of invertebrates, frogs, small mammals and even small snakes, hedgehogs still naturally consume fruit and vegetables.
We strongly believe that you should always try and replicate the natural feeding habits and behaviours of an animal as close as you can even in captivity.
The nutrients from the fruit and especially the veg and leafy greens are important to growth, bone health and much more.
Even highly respected authorities such as Pet-MD recommend that you feed your hedgehog on a diet consisting of…
- Specifically designed hedgehog food
- Small number of insects/worms
- Small number of fruit & veg
We also agree with this style of diet as we think it best suits their nutritional needs.
We recently created a post where we found what we believe is the best hedgehog food and where you can find it for the lowest price.
5 Top Greens to Feed Your Hedgehog
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what foods are the best options to feed your hedgehog.
So many foods that we ate ourselves aren’t always considered good options for a hedgie.
We’ve created a list of 5 top greens that are highly nutritious and great foods to add to your hedgehog’s food bowl on a regular basis.
Here are the 5 top greens we recommend…
- Dandelion Greens
- Collard Greens
We’ve also put these 5 greens in a table so you can see the nutrients they offer and hopefully, this will also help you to lick out which greens you want to add to your hedgies diet.
Check out the table below…
Nutritional Information (5 Healthy Hedgehog Foods)
|Name||Kale||Collard Greens||Dandelion Greens||Arugula||Carrots|
|Water||89.63 g||89.62 g||85.6 g||91.71 g||88.29 g|
|Energy||35 kcal||32 kcal||45 kcal||25 kcal||41 kcal|
|Protein||2.92 g||3.02 g||2.7 g||2.58 g||0.93 g|
|Fat||1.49 g||0.61 g||0.7 g||0.66 g||0.24 g|
|Carbohydrate||4.42 g||5.42 g||9.2 g||3.65 g||9.58 g|
|Fibre||4.1 g||4 g||3.5 g||1.6 g||2.8 g|
|Sugar||0.99 g||0.46 g||0.71 g||2.05 g||4.74 g|
|Calcium||254 mg||232 mg||187 mg||160 mg||33 mg|
|Iron||1.6 mg||0.47 mg||3.1 mg||1.46 mg||0.3 mg|
|Phosphorus||55 mg||25 mg||66 mg||52 mg||35 mg|
|Sodium||53 mg||17 mg||76 mg||27 mg||69 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.147 mg||0.165 mg||0.251 mg||0.073 mg||0.138 mg|
|vitamin B-12||0 µg||0 µg||0 µg||0 µg||0 µg|
|vitamin A||241 µg||251 µg||508 µg||119 µg||835 µg|
|Vitamin C||83.4 mg||35.3 mg||35 mg||15 mg||5.9 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.66 mg||2.26 mg||3.44 mg||0.43 mg||0.66 mg|
|Vitamin K||389.6 µg||437.1 µg||778.4 µg||108.6 µg||13.2 µg|