If you want to attract these cute creatures to your garden, you may be wondering, do hedgehogs like bananas?
Are hedgehogs able to eat bananas, or are they harmful to them?
Are there any benefits to hedgehogs eating bananas?
Why are bananas harmful to a hedgehog’s feet?
Do hedgehogs enjoy any kind of fruit?
Let’s tackle this prickly subject!
Hedgehogs enjoy bananas when served fresh. Dried banana chips should be avoided. Hedgehogs also enjoy other fruits, such as apples, melons, and berries. However, as bananas and other fruit contain a high amount of sugar, only small amounts should be offered. The riper the banana, the more sugar it contains, so it is better for a hedgehog to eat unripe bananas. These need to be thoroughly mashed for easier digestion, but the fiber content may lead to diarrhea or constipation, so feed in moderation. Do not offer hedgehogs banana peel, as this is harmful to them.
Are Bananas Good for Hedgehogs?
Bananas are nutritional fruit and have a lot of benefits for hedgehogs.
A typical banana is low in fat and contains antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients.
However, the nutritional benefits can be outweighed by the potential harm from a banana’s high sugar level.
Therefore, bananas should only be offered to hedgehogs in small amounts.
Ripe bananas have a higher glycaemic index and can quickly raise blood sugar levels.
You may be surprised to learn that hedgehogs can suffer from diabetes, and this can be exacerbated by bananas.
It is better to feed a hedgehog unripe bananas.
However, these come with their own set of problems.
They are more difficult to eat and need to be thoroughly mashed.
And their high fiber content can cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea or constipation.
This is particularly true if the hedgehog is not well hydrated, so always leave a bowl of water when offering bananas.
Some people like to feed hedgehogs on dry cat biscuits.
However, these also contain a lot of fiber.
Check the packet to find out how much fiber the biscuits contain
If it is more than 5%, then adding bananas to the hedgehog’s diet may not be a good idea.
Can Bananas Damage a Hedgehog’s Feet?
Now, that seems an odd question, so what exactly am I talking about?
Well, as you can imagine, hedgehogs have no table manners!
They will inevitably walk all over the food that you leave on the ground.
Unfortunately, the mashed banana will stick to the hedgehog’s feet.
As the banana clumps together on his feet, it will inhibit his ability to walk.
And if left unremoved, could cause further problems and eventually lead to complete immobility.
If you have a pet hedgehog that is used to being handled, then you can wash his feet.
However, a wild hedgehog will probably not allow you to touch him.
So, considering that a banana has high sugar and high fiber and can cause foot problems, the odds are stacking up against feeding them to hedgehogs.
What Other Fruit Can You Feed to Hedgehogs?
If we have now decided that bananas are not a good idea, what other fruit is good for hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs need a varied diet, and most fruit contains beneficial nutrients.
They particularly enjoy apples, melon, kiwi fruit, pears, and berries.
As with bananas, only offer small portions as all fruit contains sugar.
This can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
Surprisingly, despite their sweet taste, strawberries contain less sugar than other fruit and are a great choice for hedgehogs.
Ideally, you should wash the fruit first to remove any trace of pesticides.
The fruit should be chopped into very tiny pieces to avoid causing the hedgehog to choke.
Remove any stones or pips.
When feeding apples to hedgehogs, remove the peel, as it can be difficult to digest.
Don’t be tempted to offer dried fruit to a hedgehog, as it contains even higher levels of sugar.
Plus, dried fruit can be quite sticky and difficult for a hedgehog to swallow.
Hedgehog Diet: Treats and Dangerous Foods
Although hedgehogs do like bananas, they are not necessarily good for them.
The high sugar level can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
The high fiber level can cause digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea.
Hedgehogs may walk in the mashed banana, causing it to stick to their feet, leading to mobility problems.
So, rather than bananas, if a hedgehog fancies a sweet treat, then other fruit may be more suitable!
If you enjoy watching wildlife in your garden, did you know you can hang a banana to attract butterflies?