If you have stumbled upon this ultimate guide to hedgehogs, then odds are you’re curious about what this little animal can bring to your life. Whether you’re thinking about getting one as a pet or have owned a hedgehog for years, we’re hoping to teach you a thing or two about them!
We will cover all of the need-to-know pieces of information regarding this animal in this ultimate guide to hedgehogs. From food to shelter, we’ve got it covered!
Table of Contents
- The Ultimate Guide to Hedgehogs
- An Ultimate Guide to Hedgehogs Questions and Answers
The Ultimate Guide to Hedgehogs
Despite not being native to various countries, the hedgehog is a pet that can be found all around the world. You may find them in shelters, pet stores, and from reputable breeders in most areas.
There are various species of hedgehog, including the Wild European hedgehog. However, the most commonly found species in pets is the African pygmy hedgehog.
This animal has skin that is covered in quills. These quills have evolved to help protect this otherwise small and defenceless animal against predators. While the idea of a pet with spikes may seem daunting, it’s important to know that with the proper care, you won’t need to worry about pokes.
To ensure that your hedgehog does not poke you and remains friendly, you’ll want to hold your pet in a towel until they relax. Daily handling of the animal will help them adjust to the home, ensuring that they stay friendly. They will need regular social interaction and time to roam about outside of their cage. You will also not want to keep them with other hedgehogs.
Pet hedgehogs are kept in cages. The bigger, the better. These creatures have very small feet, so you’ll need to ensure that they have a solid flooring rather than a wired cage, as is coon for other creatures like guinea pigs. You can line this floor with newspaper or other papers that they cannot ingest.
Other things that should be included in your hedgehog’s home include:
- A wheel to run on
- An untippable food bowl
- A water bottle or bowl for water (or both)
- Hiding spots, such as wooden boxes or pet igloos
So, who is this pet for? Our ultimate guide to hedgehogs recommendation is that there is extra caution when buying for a family with young children, as they may not have the patience to ensure that a hedgehog is relaxed before petting it. This risks them being pricked by the hedgehog’s quills. Families who have enough resources to spend quality time with their hedgehog every single day will reap the many benefits of having this pet in their home.
An Ultimate Guide to Hedgehogs Questions and Answers
Did you have a question about hedgehogs that we didn’t cover already? This Q&A is here to bring you the answers to any more burning questions you may have about hedgehogs.
Are hedgehogs herbivores?
Hedgehogs are considered to be omnivorous. Largely feeding on insects, they will also eat things like berries, melons, and more.
Are hedgehogs nocturnal?
Yes, hedgehogs are nocturnal. This means that they sleep during the day and have their active periods during the nighttime.
Where do hedgehogs come from?
This animal is native to areas including Africa, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand. Many countries have brought in the hedgehog as a domesticated pet.
How often do hedgehogs need to go to the vet?
You should always bring your hedgehog to the vet for an initial check-up as soon as you adopt them. Additionally, you’ll want to bring them to the vet at least once per year afterwards. This will give them the opportunity to have their nails trimmed, stool checked, and regular parasite checks.
How old will a hedgehog live to be?
The average lifespan of a domesticated hedgehog is 4 to 7 years. Wild hedgehogs have a lifespan of up to 3 years.
How big do hedgehogs become?
Hedgehogs are very small in comparison to most household pets. They will grow to become between 5 and 8 inches long and will weigh close to 30 oz. It is easy for hedgehogs to become obese, so daily exercise is key.
The healthy shape of a hedgehog will have their bodies look like a water drop shape when looking from above, or straight. Inward or outward caving can suggest that they are over or underweight. When rolled into a ball, you should not be able to see their belly fur. If you can, it may be indicative that they need to spend more time exercising.
Why do hedgehogs roll up into a ball?
Hedgehogs may roll up into a ball when they are feeling shy or threatened. This prevents predators in the wild from seeing them, as well as making their quills front and center in case of an attack. While you may not be a predator, sudden movements or the presence of threatening animals may cause your hedehog to roll up into a ball.
If you make sure your hedgehog is receiving enough time outside of their cage, they will be less likely to roll up into a ball from minor inconveniences.
Do hedgehogs get along with other pets?
If you already have other pets, like a cat, dog, or other rodent, you may be wondering if introducing a hedgehog is a good idea.
Typically, the hedgehog will be alright with having other animals. Though, it’s important to create separate spaces for them to go to when they desire it. Keeping them in the same space for too long can cause tension and anxiety in your pets, and especially in your hedgehog.
Always supervise your hedgehog when with other pets. They may be pricked by the hedgehog (accidentally, of course). This may help your pet realise the limitations set by quills, which will help their latter relationship.
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As you have learned in this ultimate guide to hedgehogs, these little critters have the potential to make great pets. They are fun, adorable, and fantastic pals to bring into your home. However, like with every animal, it’s important to understand just how much work they can be. So, do your research before welcoming one into your family!