Hedgehogs: Ten Things You Should Know

Hedgehogs can make really neat pets, but how do you decide if one would be a good pet for you? Here is a list of the top 10 things you should consider before adopting a hedgie companion:

  1. You will need to feed them a high quality diet and keep their habitat clean, including a full scrubbing once a week.
  2. Hedgehogs need to stay warm. Their ideal habitat temperature should stay between 72 and 75 degrees.
  3. You will get poked. A hedgehog has quills, and even the most even-tempered animal will poke sometimes. It is also possible (though not common) that your hedgehog may bite you.
  4. You have to trim their nails, even if they don't like it.
  5. It can be more difficult to find veterinary care for a hedgehog. Many veterinarians are not familiar with their medical needs, which makes finding a good vet for your pet harder and expensive at times.
  6. Hedgehogs are mostly nocturnal animals. They will likely make a lot of noise at night as they eat, drink, play, and explore in the wee hours while you are trying to sleep.
  7. You will need to handle your hedgehog frequently to keep him friendly. They also may not like to be handled by people unfamiliar to them, and may not like other hedgehogs.
  8. Hedgehogs, in general, like to spread spit all over themselves in a process called "self-anointing".
  9. They prefer habitats with room to explore, exercise wheels, and places to hide.
  10. Babies go through a process called "quilling" where they lose their baby quills and gain their mature quills. During this process they may seem grumpy and may not want to be handled.

The decision to add a pet to the family is a big one, and careful research will help you decide what the perfect kind of pet is for your family. For more information on having a hedgehog companion, contact our specialists at United Pet Group.