Can Hedgehogs Eat Strawberries?

Hedgehogs are usually considered omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals.

Since hedgehogs are so small, the animals they eat are usually restricted to insects like worms and beetles. They may also sometimes eat small frogs, mice, and bird eggs.

Animal foods comprise about 80% of a hedgehog’s diet, and the other 20% consists of plants. This brings us to the question of whether hedgehogs can eat strawberries.

Well, the answer is yes! Hedgehogs can eat strawberries and often even really enjoy them as a snack!

Plants make up a small percentage of a hedgehog’s diet because hedgehogs cannot digest many plant and vegetable fibers too well.

So, the plants they eat usually include flowers like daisies or fruits like berries, apples, peaches, and strawberries.

Hedgehogs get nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants from the fruits in their diet.

However, it is important to remember that while hedgehogs can eat fruit and may even enjoy it, you should not overfeed them fruit, but rather, treat fruit – including strawberries – as a special treat.

So, if you want to give your hedgehog the occasional yummy and sugary treat for it to enjoy, strawberries are a good choice.

You can also go with other berries like blueberries and raspberries or choose fruit like mango, banana, and pears.

What Are the Advantages of Feeding Hedgehog Strawberries?

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of feeding your hedgehog strawberries as a snack:

  1. Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants
  2. Strawberries are full of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, and vitamin K
  3. Strawberries are part of a hedgehog’s diet in the wild
  4. Strawberries are sweet, and hedgehogs enjoy their taste
  5. Strawberries can help treat dehydration
  6. Strawberries are good for hedgehogs’ eyesight and immunity
  7. Strawberries have relatively lower sugar content than some other fruits

What Are the Disadvantages of Feeding Hedgehog Strawberries?

But before you give your hedgehog some strawberries to munch on, you might also want to consider some of the disadvantages of feeding them to hedgehogs:

  1. Strawberries contain cellulose, which hedgehogs can struggle to digest
  2. Snacking on strawberries too often can give hedgehogs diarrhea
  3. Strawberries are only a snack and cannot be considered a meal
  4. Strawberries usually have to be given to hedgehogs with other kinds of fruits and not on their own
  5. Frozen, dried, or processed strawberries can contain too much sugar, which can lead to hedgehogs developing diabetes

The Different Kinds of Strawberries Hedgehogs Can Eat

Most of the different kinds of strawberries you would find at grocery stores and eat yourself and likely to be safe for hedgehogs to eat, too.

And while you can choose just about any variety, your hedgehog might prefer a sweeter and juicier variety, such as Fairfax, Earliglow, Marshall, Tristar, or Mara des Bois.

If you grow strawberries or are picking them directly from the plant, be sure to clean them thoroughly in case they have come into contact with any kinds of chemicals or bird and animal droppings.

You should generally avoid feeding your hedgehogs strawberries that grow on bushes near busy roads or where a lot of people and animals walk by frequently.

This is so that you don’t end up giving your hedgehog a snack that has been exposed to too many fumes, chemicals, animal waste, and so on.

Can Hedgehogs Eat the Strawberry Heads?

While you may be feeding your hedgehog primarily just the fleshy parts of strawberries, hedgehogs can technically also eat strawberry heads.

Strawberry heads have a good amount of nutritional value and a generally lower sugar content than the fleshy parts of strawberries.

However, this is only the case with organic or homegrown strawberries that haven’t come into contact with herbicides and pesticides.

Commercially grown strawberries you buy from a grocery store are not organic and usually contain traces of herbicides and pesticides, especially on the strawberry heads.

And if any of these toxic chemicals make their way into your hedgehog’s body, they can cause serious illness and can even be fatal in some cases.

So, when it comes down to whether or not you can feed your hedgehog strawberry heads and the tops, you can only do so if you are certain that the strawberries have not been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Strawberry Leaves?

Strawberry leaves are fibrous and pose no harm or risk to hedgehogs.

However, even if you try to feed them to your hedgehog, the chances are that it will have little interest in them and will go for the strawberry itself rather than its leaves.

This is because hedgehogs in the wild do not usually eat leaves from different plants.

If you are particularly interested in feeding your hedgehog something green and fibrous, you can choose kale or dandelion greens instead.

How Often You Should Give Your Hedgehog Strawberries 

Too many strawberries can cause problems for your hedgehog. For one, they can be difficult to digest and can lead to diarrhea.

Two, they do not have the necessary protein that a hedgehog needs in its daily diet.

It is also important to consider how much sugar content your hedgehog is eating since hedgehogs are prone to getting diabetes.

So then, how often can you safely give your hedgehog strawberries as a snack? And how many strawberries can it have at a time?

If you give your hedgehog only strawberries and no other fruits, then you can give them strawberries once a week. If you give a combination of different fruits, then strawberry once every two weeks should suffice.

As for quantity, this also depends on whether you give your hedgehog only strawberries or other fruits.

If you only give your hedgehog strawberries, one small strawberry or two-thirds of a large strawberry should be enough.

If you give your hedgehog other fruits as well, half of a medium-sized strawberry or one small strawberry is a good portion size.

Avoid Giving Your Hedgehog Freeze-Dried Strawberries and Strawberry Jam

While fresh strawberries are perfectly safe and healthy for hedgehogs, freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry products like jam are not a good idea.

Freeze-dried strawberries are extremely high in sugar content.

To give you an idea about sugar content, 100 grams of organic, fresh strawberries contain approximately 4 grams of sugar, whereas the same 100 grams of freeze-dried strawberries contain 100 grams of sugar!

That is way more sugar than can possibly be safe for hedgehogs to consume.

As for strawberry jams, you need to be wary of the added additives. If you made the jam at home and are certain that it does not contain additives, then you can feed some to your hedgehog.

Of course, remember not to feed it too much. As for store-bought jams, you should avoid feeding them to hedgehogs because they are usually full of preservatives, artificial flavoring, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other harmful additives.

Wrap up

In conclusion, hedgehogs can eat strawberries as long as they are given in moderation and the hedgehog has a well-balanced diet.

Strawberries can provide a variety of vitamins and minerals for hedgehogs, but it’s important to remember that they are high in sugar and should not be a daily part of their diet.

For the health and well-being of your pet hedgehog, it’s recommended to feed them a mix of high-quality dry and wet food, along with occasional treats like strawberries as a supplement.

Always consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your hedgehog’s diet or health.

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