Advanced Care for Your Pet Hedgehog

Hedgehogs (often affectionately referred to as hedgies) are very interesting, fascinating pets to own. They are adorable, fun to watch, and can give you a lot of enjoyment. Before bringing one home, however, you need to know how to care for it, so your pet will always be happy and healthy and at its best!

The first thing you will need for your hedgie is a cage. The minimum cage size is 24″ by 24″. If you keep them in a smaller cage, they may become fat, bored, and sick. This is because hedgehogs are naturally active animals who run a lot in the wild. Often, they don’t even run for a reason–they just run for the joy of it. So, in addition to a large cage, your pet hedgehog also needs an exercise wheel (use a wheel with solid floors, so your pet’s feet don’t fall through the bars, since this can hurt him).

Hedgehogs cannot tolerate cold climates so be sure you keep yours warm. If they are kept in temperatures below 70 degrees F, they can become seriously ill or even die. You will also need to provide a shelter for your hedgehog inside the cage, since hedgehogs are burrowing animals. There are many acceptable shelters sold at pet stores, but a small box will do. Use some kind of comfortable bedding in the cage, preferably a type that will adjust to the shape of your pet’s body.

Some hedgehogs can be litter trained, but others cannot. Watch your hedgie and see if he uses the same spot to relieve himself on a consistent basis. If so, then he’ll likely use a litter pan, which will make cleaning the cage a lot easier.

Your hedgehog will need to have food and water available at all times. A water bottle works better than a water bowl for most hedgehogs, and is cleaner. You can buy commercial hedgehog food for your pet, or feed him meal worms or other small insects. Hedgehogs are omnivores, so a combination of meat and produce is your pet’s ideal diet.

Toys are important to your hedgehog’s mental health, since without something to entertain them, they can become very depressed. Try to get a variety of toys, such as tubes, boxes, and balls. You should also spend as much time as you can with your pet.

Get the cage and other supplies BEFORE you bring home your hedgehog, so you’ll be prepared when he arrives. Once he’s home and settled in, he won’t require much maintenance. Just make sure to clean his cage once a week and clip his nails when they get too long. He shouldn’t need a bath too often, maybe once or twice a year to clean off any visible dirt or grime.

Overall, hedgies make great pets. If you give yours a proper environment and handle him regularly, the two of you will get along wonderfully. You can expect a lot of enjoyment from a well-cared for hedgehog!

6 Comments on "Advanced Care for Your Pet Hedgehog"

  1. you really have to clip his/her nails? could you take them to a local pet groomer? because i don’t want to hurt the little guy/gal if i make a mistake.

  2. It is super easy to clip there nails on your own if they are white nails. The bottom will be a pinker color and the top a whiter color like your own nails. as long as you dont hit the pink your good to go. Also they naturally have a longer nail on there feet its best to keep it longer then the rest but still trim them. If they try and curl up, tip them on there back for a few seconds and when you turn them back over they usually come back out of there curled position. Buy nail clipers that are for small dogs.

  3. Can hedgehogs get along with other pets, say a ferret?

  4. Can hedgehogs get along with dogs? Can you take them for a walk if you buy a little harness and leash? (I know it’s a stupid question but I am just asking)

  5. Danielle | 02/11/2012 at 9:56 pm |

    My hedgehog was a nervous wreck while I had ferrets. Their smell is a natural rodent repellant, because they are rodent hunters. Also there was an incident where my ferret somehow both escaped its cage, and broke into my hedgehog cage. Both came out of it fine, but it could have been bad.

  6. I would like to know where I could get a pet hedgehog of my very own. So, before do anything else I think I’m going to ask my mama’ frist if it’s ok to go the pet shop and get my first hedgehog from there!

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