Bananas are enjoyed by billions of folks around the world. Many household pets like cats and dogs love the taste of munching on the popular fruit. It is only right for hedgehog owners to want to share the goodness in bananas with their quill babies.
This article answers the question “Can Hedgehogs Eat Bananas?” by discussing the nutritional benefits of the yellowish fruit for hedgehogs and how best to serve them. We also reveal potential pitfalls to watch out for when offering bananas to beloved quill babies.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Bananas?
Hedgehogs can enjoy bananas because they are a reliable source of fiber, folate, vitamins, manganese, and potassium. Bananas also provide immune system improvements that enable the hedgehog to fight against infections and diseases.
Hedgehogs rely on insects and vertebrates like slugs, mice, larvae, and toads in the wild. It is no surprise when they take to bananas quickly because of the sweet taste. However, the dietary requirements of domesticated breeds are different from wild hedgehogs and fruits form a core part.
Experts recommend that 10 percent of the hedgehog’s diet comprises fruits and veggies. Fortunately, bananas can play an active role in the nutritional foundation of these popular pets.
Are Bananas Good For Hedgehogs?
Bananas are a great option for hedgehogs as previously stated due to the pack of healthy nutrients on offer. Hedgehogs having a bad day could enjoy instant relief after being handed a few slices of bananas which explains why many owners use it as a secret tool for bribing hedgehogs to speed up the bonding process.
Nutrients hedgehogs may enjoy from consuming bananas include:
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
Are Bananas Bad For Hedgehogs?
Bananas contain high amounts of sugars which can pose problems for the hedgehog’s health. Diabetes and unhealthy weight gain are real issues that may arise when hedgehogs are exposed to excessive amounts.
Besides, bananas contain calcium and phosphorous, two key nutrients required for proper body functionality. Calcium stimulates healthy bone formulation and maintenance while phosphorus is required for the correct functioning of key organs like kidneys, livers, and the heart.
However, excessive amounts of phosphorus leeches calcium out of the body resulting in decalcification and side effects like weak bones and teeth. With bananas containing 4-5x as much phosphorus as calcium, making them an active part of the hedgehog’s diet could cause numerous health issues.
While unripe bananas may contain limited sugars, the high starch content can pose additional problems for hedgehogs. For instance, obesity is a likely outcome when hedgehogs are exposed to excessive amounts of starch.
Besides, unripe bananas lack the sweet taste common in ripe varieties meaning hedgehogs may not be as keen compared to the ripe fruits.
How Many Bananas Can Hedgehogs Eat?
Hedgehogs should eat no more than 1 tablespoon of bananas per serving for maximum health benefits. As long as the fruit is ripe enough, cutting it into smaller slices for easy chewing and swallowing is recommended especially for hoglets that have recently been weaned off their mothers.
The fruit should be washed in salty water to remove traces of pesticides and other chemicals which could pose hazards when ingested. Additionally, moldy or over ripe parts should be removed before serving to pet hedgehogs.
You can hand-feed bananas to hedgehogs to stimulate the bonding process or serve them in their food bowls. Bananas may also be served independently or together with other foods fruits and vegetables to enhance the taste.
How Often Should Hedgehogs Eat Bananas?
Hedgehogs should consume bananas once a week to minimize the effects of the high sugar and phosphorus content. The excessive fiber quantities in bananas could also make these pets susceptible to diarrhea and other tummy upsets from regular consumption.
Vets and hedgehog experts recommend that fruits should make up no more than 10 percent of the hedgehog’s nutritional base. Since bananas are not the only fruits hedgehogs enjoy, a weekly offering makes a lot of sense.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Dried Bananas?
Dried bananas should never land in a pet hedgehog’s food bowl because of the hard texture which can act as a choking hazard. Chewing could become a problem leading to a high probability of sore mouths in hedgehogs.
Besides, dry bananas contain higher concentrations of sugar which may increase the risk of diabetes and related side effects after consumption. Excessive starch concentrations should be expected in dried bananas formulated from unripe fruit.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Banana Peels?
Banana peels are a big no for hedgehogs because they offer no nutritional benefits. Besides, the peels typically contain bacteria and disease-causing organisms as well as pesticides and other chemicals that could pose health hazards for hedgehogs.
Trying to swallow banana peels may also lead to an increased risk of choking in hedgehogs.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Frozen Bananas?
Hedgehogs should not eat frozen bananas because it could reduce their internal body temperatures resulting in colds and increased risk of hibernation. Frozen banana may seem like the perfect snack for hedgehogs in the summer when room temperatures are high but their internal temperatures can escalate quickly.
What Fruits Can Hedgehogs Eat?
Hedgehogs can eat a wide range of fruits in moderation as a supplement to staples like cat food. A couple of healthy fruits they enjoy with minimal risk of side effects include:
Additionally, hedgehogs should also consume healthy vegetables to promote immune system enhancements and other benefits. Health options for hedgehogs include:
Conclusion: Can Hedgehogs Eat Bananas?
Bananas are a healthy source of nutrients for growth and repelling infections and diseases in hedgehogs. However, its consumption should always be in moderation due to the high sugar content which could expose hedgehogs to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Bananas also contain a 1:4 calcium to phosphorus ratio which forces the leeching of absorbed calcium out of the hedgehog’s body leading to weakened bones and teeth. This may limit hedgehogs from engaging in their favorite physical activities like running on exercise wheels.