We can probably all agree that strawberries are delicious and would make a sweet and juicy treat for your hedgehog but can hedgehogs actually eat strawberries? Or can they be harmful to your hedgehog?
In this post, we will look at the advice of vets and nutritionists while also taking into account both the pros and cons of feeding strawberries to hedgehogs.
This will allow you to understand if strawberries are on the menu for hedgehogs and if so, how often and in what quantities your hedgie can be fed strawberries.
So can hedgehogs eat strawberries? Hedgehogs can eat strawberries safely if they are added to a balanced diet. Strawberries do contain some nutrients that are beneficial for hedgehogs, however, they also have a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio that means they should be fed as a treat only.
Read on to discover…
Nutritional Value Of Strawberries
Sometimes the easiest way to fully understand if a food is a healthy choice for your hedgehog or not is to take a look at the nutritional data of that food.
We have included the nutritional data for strawberries using research from the USDA (US Department Of Agriculture)
Check out the nutritional information for strawberries below…
Nutritional Information (Strawberries)
Can Hedgehogs Eat Strawberries (A Closer Look)
In the wild, hedgehogs eat a varied diet including invertebrates, frogs and small mammals as well as vegetables and fruit. Source:
In captivity, even though the majority of your hedgehog’s diet will consist of hedgehog feed or similar, you should still offer a small amount of fruit and vegetables according to experts such as VCA-hospitals.
Hedgehogs can eat strawberries as part of this type of balanced diet.
Even though hedgehogs should be eating some amount of fruit and veg in their diet, there are still lots of things to consider before you add strawberries to their food bowl.
Below we will look at both the benefits and potential concerns of feeding your hedgehog strawberries…
The Benefits Of Hedgehogs Eating Strawberries
Most fruit is minerally poor when compared to greens, however, strawberries do hold their own quite well for fruit.
We will now break down 3 of the most important nutritional factors about strawberries that can benefit your hedgehog…
Strawberries Are High In Vitamin C
Looking at the table above, you can see that strawberries are high in vitamin C. In fact they offer a generous 58.8mg of vitamin C per 100g.
Vitamin C is necessary for growth, repair and development of all the tissue in the body. Source:
The healing of cuts and wounds, the health of the immune system and the maintenance of bones and teeth are all things that vitamin C is responsible for helping with too.
Eating foods such as strawberries in the right quantities will provide your hedgehog with helpful amounts of this vitamin.
Strawberries Are a Source of Fibre
Strawberries are high in fibre and experts such as Medical News Today back this up by pointing this out in a recent article they posted on the health benefits of strawberries.
Again, looking at the table above, you can see that strawberries actually offer 2g of fibre per 100g.
This is a healthy dose of dietary fibre and is much needed for many reasons including aiding with digestion and the formations of healthy stools.
Strawberries Are Fairly Low In Sugar
The vast majority of fruit is high in sugar and this can pose a problem to hedgehogs who have a tendency to become obese in captivity.
Many vets and nutritional experts have written about the concern of domesticated hedgehogs becoming overweight and even struggling to curl up into a ball due to becoming obese. Source:
A good thing about strawberries is that they actually contain less sugar than a lot of the common fruits out there and obviously offer a low sugar diet is a high priority due to how easily hedgehogs can become obese.
In the table we provided, you can see strawberries contain 4.89g of sugar per 100g.
In comparison, apples generally contain around 10.39g of sugar per 100g which is more than double that of strawberries.
Bananas also contain much higher amounts of sugar with 12.23g per 100g.
You may now be wondering if your hedgehog can eat bananas?
Well, you can find out in under 2 minutes if bananas are safe for hedgehogs or not by checking out our guide here…
This doesn’t mean that strawberries can be fed daily and in large quantities, as the sugar content is still high when compared to greens and veggies, however, it does mean that they are often a better option for a treat than a lot of other common fruits.
The Concerns Of Hedgehogs Eating Strawberries
Even though strawberries have some great nutritional benefits, you do need to feed them to your hedgehog with caution.
This is due to the fact that strawberries have an unbalanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
Without getting too scientific, it’s highly recommended that for every one part of phosphorus your hedgehog consumes in their diet, they should consume at least an equal amount of calcium.
This is recommended by many vets, experts and nutritionists. Hedgehog-rescue.co.uk actually recommend that the ideal ratio is 1:1 to 2:1
If you feed your hedgehog one or two foods that have a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio occasionally it isn’t going to do them much harm as long as the majority of their diet has a healthy ratio and is much higher in calcium.
Unfortunately for strawberries and a lot of fruits, they fall into the category of a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Strawberries contain 16mg of calcium per 100g and 24mg of phosphorus per 100g.
This means that even though hedgehogs can safely eat strawberries, it’s not recommended to feed them too regularly especially if you are offering your hedgie other foods with an unbalanced ratio.
(at the end of this post we will share 5 greens that are healthy for hedgehogs with a great calcium to phosphorus ratio)
How Often Should Hedgehogs Eat Strawberries?
It’s important to know not just if hedgehogs can eat strawberries but also how often they should really be eating them too.
Even though strawberries are fairly low in sugar for a fruit, they still do contain a fair amount and this means you need to be cautious when adding them to the food bowl regularly.
The unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio we just mentioned earlier is also an important factor when deciding how often to feed strawberries.
With all things considered, we would recommend offering strawberries to your hedgehog around 1-2 times per week.
This will depend on how often you are giving your hedgehog other fruits and foods high in sugar and with unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratios.
Some breeders recommend feeding your hedgie no more than 2-3 portions of fruit per week and the portion size should be no more than 1tbs.
How Should You Prepare Strawberries For Your Hedgehog?
The first thing we would like to mention is that it’s always best to source an organic option for fruit and veg if you can find one.
This is because they are free from pesticides and herbicides that can be harmful.
When it comes to actually preparing the strawberries for your hedgehog there’s not a lot you really have to do as strawberries are already soft and ready to eat.
You will simply need to cut off a portions size of around 1tbs from a strawberry and add it to the food bowl.
5 Healthy Foods Hedgehogs Can Eat Instead Of Strawberries
It can sometimes be hard to know what foods to feed your hedgehog outside of their conventional hedgehog feed.
Some foods that we think are really healthy can turn out to not be that good after all and it can all get a little confusing.
To make things much easier, we’ve listed 5 of the top greens that are great for hedgehogs and can supplement their main hedgehog feed and provide much-needed nutrients.
To make things even easier, we have provided the 5 greens in a handy table complete with their nutritional information so you can compare them side by side and see which of these greens you want to add to your hedgies diet.
If you want things easier still, check out our full guide that details exactly what hedgehogs can eat and what they can’t here
Check out the 5 healthy greens for hedgehogs 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|