It’s important to feed your hedgehog a small amount of fruit and vet but can you include blueberries to the list of fruit that your hedgehog can eat?
In this post, we have researched the opinions of nutritionists and vets to bring you the facts you need so you can make an educated choice before offering your hedgehog blueberries.
So can hedgehogs eat blueberries? Hedgehogs can safely eat blueberries. It’s important to offer blueberries in moderation as part of a balanced diet due to high sugar content and being minerally poor compared to other available options. You will also need to remove the skin before offering the blueberries to your hedgehog.
Read on to find out…
Blueberries | Nutritional Information
It’s important to look at the nutritional information of the foods you feed to your hedgehog.
Usually, this will quickly help you to determine if a food is a good choice to add to their food bowl or not and also how often you should be feeding it to your hedgie as well.
We have added the nutritional data for blueberries from the USDA in a handy table. We will refer back to this table throughout the post so feel free to come back and take a look whenever you need to.
Check out the table below…
Nutritional Information (Blueberries)
Can Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries (A Closer Look)
Blueberries are actually safe for hedgehogs to eat and many vets and animal nutritionists have put them on their safe foods for hedgehogs list including Veteriankey.
Before you feed blueberries to your hedgehog, there’s something very important that you need to do and that removes the skin from the blueberries.
This isn’t optional, hedgehogs can’t eat the skin of the blueberries so you must remove the skin and only feed them the internal blueberry.
This can make feeding blueberries to your hedgie quite time consuming and it puts some owners off.
As well as knowing if blueberries are safe for your hedgehog to eat, it’s also important to know if there are actually any nutritional benefits to them eating blueberries and even if there are any risks and concerns too.
Let’s take a look at both the benefits and risks of hedgehogs eating blueberries now…
What Are The Benefits Of Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries?
Even though your hedgehog will likely be eating a diet that’s primarily either cat food or specifically designed hedgehog food, it’s still important that they get fruit and veg in their diet too.
With this being said, it’s important that you choose the fruit and veg you feed them carefully and opt for foods that contain high amounts of nutrients.
Blueberries do offer a decent amount of dietary fibre. Source:
Fibre is highly important to digest food properly and efficiently and can be often overlooked in its importance for hedgehog health.
Blueberries do offer small amounts of vitamins C and B6 as well but the main benefit of blueberries is its high levels of antioxidants which can’t be seen on the nutritional table.
Antioxidants are measured in something called an ORAC score, the higher the score, the more antioxidants they offer.
According to Science American, wild blueberries have an ORAC score of 9,621, while regular blueberries score 4,669.
The lower score is still good but it’s obviously better to source wild blueberries if you can.
Are There Any Risks For Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries?
Even though blueberries do offer some beneficial nutrients such as high levels of antioxidants, this does come with a potential downside too.
Blueberries, like most fruits, are abundant in sugar and there are 3 main reasons why this can be a problem…
The first problem with this is that hedgehogs are well known for becoming obese in captivity. Source:
As an owner, you really need to keep a close eye on your hedgies fat and sugar intake to ensure they don’t become obese.
As you can see from the table above, blueberries contain 9.96g of sugar per 100g.
This amount of sugar can become a problem if you feed blueberries too often.
Strawberries actually have half the sugar of blueberries with some good nutritional benefits too.
But can your hedgehog eat strawberries? Find out right here in our easy to follow guide…
Too Much Sugar Causes Dental Problems
The second reasons why too much sugar can become a problem is that hedgehogs commonly suffer from tartar build-up in their teeth and gums.
This is backed up by Pet-MD, who states that this can cause hedgehogs to have gum problems, dental pain and decreased appetite.
Too much sugar in a hedgehogs diet increases the likelihood of them suffering from these sorts of dental problems so it’s better to keep it to a minimum.
Calcium & Phosphorus
Calcium and phosphorus are recommended to be in quantities of either 1:1 or 2:1
There should ideally be more calcium in the foods you feed to your hedgehog than phosphorus.
The odd food that’s out of balance won’t matter too much but if you feed too many foods that are higher in phosphorus than calcium then it can be a problem.
This is because phosphorus can stop the absorption of calcium and renders it useless in the body.
As you can see from the table above, blueberries contain 6mg of calcium and 12mg of phosphorus per 100g.
This means that the ratio is not ideal and is another reason why blueberries should be fed in moderation.
How Often Can Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries?
Even though blueberries do offer high amounts of antioxidants and a decent amount of dietary fibre, the fact that there are greens available that are more nutritious and the high amounts of sugar mean they aren’t the best option out there.
This doesn’t mean that you should avoid blueberries altogether, however, it does mean that you need to offer them in moderation.
We recommend feeding blueberries to your hedgie around 1 to 2 times per week. This is just a guide and you should always use your own judgement depending on a number of factors including how often you are feeding your hedgie other sugary fruits and if they are putting on weight or not.
At the bottom of this post, we will show you 5 great alternatives to blueberries that are packed full of nutrients.
How Should I Prepare Blueberries For My Hedgehog?
When it comes to purchasing the blueberries, always try and get wild blueberries even though they are hard to come by.
This is because they offer much more antioxidants than regular blueberries as we mentioned earlier.
The second thing we recommend you try and do is to opt for an organic option if possible. This is due to the regular fruit and veg containing levels of pesticides and herbicides.
As for actually preparing and offering the blueberries to your hedgehog, it’s important that you peel off the skin of any blueberries that you add to their bowl.
This can be tedious but it’s important as hedgehogs can’t eat the skin of blueberries.
As blueberries are relatively high in sugar we recommend that you offer no more than ¼ to ½ a tsp, preferably mixed with vegetables to make a full tablespoon portion.
5 Healthy Foods to Feed to Your Hedgehog
It can sometimes be hard to keep mealtimes interesting at the same time as keeping them healthy.
To make things a little easier, we have researched 5 healthy greens that offer your hedgie lots of nutrients and can be added to their diet regularly.
The 5 healthy foods to feed your hedgehog are…
- Dandelion Greens
- Collard Greens
We have put these 5 greens in a table where you can compare them side by side and see which of them you would like to add to your hedgies diet in the future.
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|