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Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Cherries? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cherries? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat_cherries

Hedgehogs are an increasingly popular pet in the United States, but people still have many questions about their diet. Most owners know their hedgehog loves fruit, but one of the most common questions we get is can hedgehogs eat cherries. The short answer is yes, hedgehogs can eat cherries and will probably enjoy them. However, before making them a regular part of your pet’s diet, there are some things to consider. Keep reading while we look at the benefits and potential hazards of cherries so you can be better informed.

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Are Cherries Bad for Hedgehogs?

Let’s take a look at the components that make up this fruit we humans enjoy so much, but that may pose a few risks to your pet.

Seed

Cherry seeds contain the potentially deadly toxin cyanide. This toxin is not only harmful to hedgehogs and other animals; it’s also poisonous to humans. Most people don’t realize the seeds are dangerous because we don’t eat them, so you will need to remove any seeds from the cherries you provide to your pet.

Skin

The skin of cherries is not toxic to your hedgehog, but it does present a choking hazard. The hedgehog has a tiny mouth and throat. The skin of several fruits can get lodged in it, so it’s better to remove it before serving, when possible, to minimize risk.

Sugar

Cherries, like many other fruits, contain quite a bit of sugar. One cup of cherries contains more than 13 grams of sugar, and while you will only be serving a fraction of this amount, they can still lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and other health problems for your hedgehog.

basket of cherries
Image By: Pixabay

Are Cherries Good for Hedgehogs?

Water

Cherries contain plenty of water which can help your pet stay hydrated, especially if it hasn’t been drinking enough since the hedgehog will likely be more attracted to the fruit than the water bottle. However, too much water at one time could lead to diarrhea.

Protein

Cherries contain protein that can help provide your hedgehog with energy and the building blocks for strong muscle.

Vitamin A

Cherries contain vitamin A which can help the blood transport oxygen better.

Vitamin C

Cherries are extremely high in vitamin C like many fruits, and this important nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that works to boost the immune system. It also helps prevent scurvy, helps build strong bones, and helps relieve allergy symptoms. Vitamin C is also vital in collagen production, which is an important tissue in animals that supports bone and joint health.

Fiber

Another benefit to feeding your pet hedgehog cherries is that it provides fiber. Fiber is important because it can help balance your pet’s digestive system, reducing the frequency of constipation and diarrhea.

bowl of cherries
Image By: Pixabay

How Can I Feed My Hedgehog Cherries?

  1. Wash them carefully to remove the pesticides and other chemicals.
  2. Cut the cherry in half to remove the seed.
  3. Remove the skin from the cherry and cut or chop it into small pieces.
  4. Give your hedgehog only small portions of no more one or two cherries every 2-3 days as part of a varied diet.
  5. Start with very small potions until you see how your pet reacts. If it enjoys cherries and doesn’t suffer from diarrhea, you can slowly increase the portion size to the maximum amount laid out above.

What Other Fruit Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Your hedgehog can eat a wide variety of other fruits, including apples, bananas, kiwi, melons, pears, and more. Other berries your pet is likely to enjoy include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and more. Your pet will enjoy these fruits as much as it likes cherries, and it can help you provide a versatile diet with plenty of different vitamins and minerals. You will also feed most of them the same way, by cleaning and removing the skin and seeds and cutting it into small pieces that your pet can manage.

hedgehog eating apple
Image By: Shironina, Shutterstock

What Fruit Should Hedgehogs Avoid?

  • While many fruits are safe to give your hedgehog, there are several you should avoid as well.
  • You should not feed citrus fruits like oranges, limes, lemons, and others. These foods are too acidic and can lead to digestive issues and discomfort if your pet eats them.
  • Grapes are toxic to the hedgehog and can lead to liver and kidney damage. Raisins are dried grapes and are also unsafe for hedgehogs to eat.
  • Hedgehogs should not eat dried fruit because it has a higher sugar concentration, and manufacturers often add a preservative that can cause health problems in your pet.
  • Be careful when feeding your hedgehog fruit that grows on trees, including cherries, because these foods often have plenty of pesticides on them.

What Other Foods Do Hedgehogs Eat?

  • In the wild, hedgehogs are primarily insectivores. They will eat several different types, including crickets and worms, but you should never feed free caught insects because they can carry bacteria that make your pet sick, but commercially bought insects can be a great treat.
  • Hedgehogs will eat baby mice, frogs, snakes, eggs, and more.
  • If you are in a pinch, you can feed your pet hedgehog a small amount of dog or cat food. Dry dog food is best and should have chicken listed as the first ingredient.
  • Wet cat and dog food can help add moisture to your pet’s diet if it’s not getting enough water.
  • There are several brands of commercial hedgehog food available that will provide your pet with a healthy diet.

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Summary

Hedgehogs can eat cherries. They are healthy, provide numerous benefits, and there is a good chance your pet will enjoy eating them. You’ll need to wash them well to remove any pesticides, remove the skin and seed, and chop them into smaller pieces so your pet can eat them, and you can only give a little at a time, but it can add a lot of variety to an ordinary diet.

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