If you are considering adopting or buying a hedgehog, there are a few things you should know. In order to make it simple, we created a list with all the unique requirements and responsibilities that come with bring this adorable being into your home.
Patience and money
To care for a hedgehog, you need two resources: money and patience. At first, your hedgehog might not seem to actually like you. Try not to overwhelm the animal with your presence. Spend 20 minutes per day with your new friend at the beginning and depending on his or her comfort, spend more or less time with the hedgehog.
Don’t get discouraged and don’t forget that love and care can solve any problem between the two of you. Also, these cuties require vet checkups, treats, bedding, cages, toys… Please consider this before getting the hedgehog and have to give it away due to the costs.
Cedar shavings, sawdust, hay or straw, garden soil, leaves or gravel are not recommended by veterinarians for the cage of a hedgehog. Despite being so small, they require a lot of space. Prepare a cage at least the size of one for guinea pigs.
Also, they need an enclosure in which they can not climb or injure themselves. Prepare certain items for them to hide in, like igloos, PVC pipes, empty toilet rolls or anything that works. It’s important for them to exercise so you should search for some wheels for hedgehogs or external setups for them to play in.
Temperature is another important factor. Here, they require a lot of care. The wrong temperature can lead to disease and even cause death. Your hedgehog can suffer detrimental effects from heat strokes and ultimately die if it is too hot. A domesticated hedgehog doesn’t hibernate so when it is too cold the animal can go into a false hibernating period and due to the weight loss, the pet might not have enough energy in his or her body.
The average suitable temperature for hedgehogs is between 74 and 78 degrees. Pay attention to their behavior and see if they need cooler or warmer temperature. Try to figure out how you’ll manage this before bringing the pet home.
Unique personality and temperament
This is a hard one to handle. If you see hedgehog owners cuddling and being all affectionate with their pet, that doesn’t mean yours will be as comfortable with the animal as some other individuals might be with their own. They take a lot of time to bond with their owners and some are never willing to do it at all. Like all animals, they have unique traits and personalities.
Also, they are usually shy and nervous and most of them don’t show their affection to human beings. Furthermore, they are nocturnal animals so they aren’t particularly active during the day. As we’ve noted before, be prepared to have a lot of patience with the little one you’ll bring into your home.