Can Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Blueberries?

 

Hedgehogs

Blueberries are known for their sweet flavor, succulent nature, and nutritional benefits; they can be eaten raw, used in making a variety of dishes, and can also be purchased frozen. Blueberries protect the body against cancer and heart disease and can also help maintain mental health, level blood pressure, and strong bones. They contain a plant compound called anthocyanin, which gives them both many of their health benefits and their blue color.

Blueberries can help bone strength, blood pressure, heart health, skin health, mental health, cancer prevention, and diabetes management. Blueberries can provide about 24 percent of our recommended daily intake of vitamin C. They can be blended into smoothies or syrups, folded into muffins or bread, and used as toppings for pancakes, waffles, cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT BLUEBERRIES?

Yes, blueberries can be eaten by hedgehogs. Blueberries are a very safe, non-toxic, and nutritious treat for hedgehogs. However, blueberries should be served in moderation to hedgehogs only as part of a balanced diet and not as a main meal; due to their high sugar level. It is also advisable to peel off the skin of blueberries before offering them to hedgehogs. 

BENEFITS OF FEEDING BLUEBERRIES TO HEDGEHOGS.

Blueberries

Before feeding any meal to hedgehogs, it is helpful to understand their nutritional information and study the benefits of the nutrients contained in them. This will help determine if a food item is good enough to add to their meal plan and how often they should eat such food types. Below is the nutritional value of 100 grams of blueberries according to the USDA nutrition database.

NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Water

84.2 g

Energy

57 kcal

Protein

0.74 g

Fat

0.33g

Carbohydrate

14.5 g

Fiber

2.4 g

Sugar

9.96 g

Calcium

6 mg

Iron

0.28 mg

Magnesium

6 mg

Phosphorous

12 mg

Potassium

77 mg

Sodium

1 mg

Zinc

0.16 mg

Copper

0.057 mg

Manganese

0.336mg

Vitamin C

9.7 mg

Vitamin B-6

0.052 mg

Thiamin

0.037 mg

Riboflavin

0.041 mg

Niacin

0.418 mg


Deduced from the above table, the following are the benefits of feeding blueberries to hedgehogs. 

  • Blueberries contain a decent amount of fiber: Fiber is essential for hedgehogs because it aids the proper digestion of their food.
  • Blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants which can help protect the cells of a hedgehog from chronic inflammation and diseases such as cancer.
  • Blueberries appear to have a positive effect on the blood pressure of hedgehogs because it levels their blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart disease. 
  • Blueberries serve as a source of vitamin C for hedgehogs, which aids the proper functioning of their immune system.
  • Blueberries can reduce the cholesterol level in hedgehogs; this reduces their risk of heart disease. 
  • Blueberries contain calcium. This is essential for the growth and development of strong and healthy bones in hedgehogs.

RISK OF FEEDING BLUEBERRIES TO HEDGEHOGS.

BLUEBERRIES

 

Although blueberries offer some beneficial nutrients, feeding them to hedgehogs has its risks too. Blueberries have a very high sugar content which poses some risks. The following are some risks associated with feeding blueberries to hedgehogs: 

Obesity: Hedgehogs are prone to obesity, so it is commendable to watch their consumption of fat and sugar; to ensure they do not become obese. 100 grams of blueberries contain 9.96 g of sugar. This amount of sugar can be problematic for hedgehogs if they are served with blueberries too often.

Dental Problems: Feeding hedgehogs with food items that have high sugar content can become a problem because too much sugar can cause hedgehogs to have decreased appetite, dental pain, and gum problems. It increases the chances of them suffering from these dental problems, so it is better to watch their sugar intake and not feed blueberries to them too often because of their high sugar content.

Calcium & Phosphorus: Ideally, there should be more calcium than phosphorus in the meal plan of a hedgehog. This is because phosphorus can halt the effectiveness of calcium and make it ineffective in the body. Blueberries contain 6mg of calcium and 12mg of phosphorus per 100g, which shows that this ratio is not ideal for a hedgehog’s main meal and should be apportioned moderately to them.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT BLUEBERRIES OFTEN?

Although blueberries contain high amounts of antioxidants and fiber, it contains a lot of sugar. Due to this and the fact that there are vegetables available that have more nutritional value, it is plausible to say that they are not the best option out there. This does not mean that blueberries are consumable by hedgehogs; it means that they can eat blueberries moderately. 

It is recommendable to feed blueberries to hedgehogs at least twice a week. This is not mandatory because it depends on certain factors, including how often the hedgehog consumes other sugary fruits and how weighty they are. 

HOW TO PURCHASE AND SERVE BLUEBERRIES TO HEDGEHOGS.

BLUEBERRIES

 

When purchasing blueberries for hedgehogs, it is advisable to get wild blueberries even though they might be hard to find. This is because wild blueberries contain much more antioxidants than regular blueberries. It is also advisable to purchase organic blueberries if possible because some levels of herbicides and pesticides might be present in fruits and vegetables that are not organic.

When preparing and serving blueberries to hedgehogs, it’s commendable to peel off the skin of the blueberries before placing them in the hedgehog’s bowl. This can be tiring but is essential because hedgehogs should not eat the skin of blueberries to prevent it from getting stuck in their teeth.

CONCLUSION

Hedgehogs have sensitive bellies, but blueberries are great for them. Blueberries contain nutrients that keep a hedgehog healthy. 100 grams of blueberries contain significant amounts of Vitamin C and B-6, manganese, and fiber. This makes them safe and healthy for hedgehogs. A treat of blueberries can offer lots of vitamins and minerals that hedgehogs need. Considering the size of hedgehogs; it is essential to note that giving them treats that contain blueberries at least twice a week is enough to maintain and improve their health.

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