How to Bathe Your Pet Hedgehog

Bathing your hedgie

One of the basics of pet hedgehog care is how to bathe one. Most pets eventually need to be cleaned. Even if they’re good self-groomers, the realities of their day to day existence will sooner or later result in dirt and grime beyond their ability to remove themselves. If you’ve got a pet hedgehog, you’ll probably want to bathe your hedgie a few times a year to keep him from getting too smelly.

Here’s what you need to bathe your hedgehog:

  • A gentle baby shampoo/conditioner combo product – preferably of the “no tears” variety (hedgehog’s eyes are sensitive)
  • A dedicated nail brush you use ONLY to bathe your pet hedgehog
  • A clean hand towel
  • A kitchen sink with drain plug

How to Bathe Your Hedgehog:

  1. Insert the drain plug and fill the sink with about 1.5 cups of lukewarm water (make sure the sink itself is clean first).
  2. Mix one ounce of the shampoo/conditioner combo into the water to make suds.
  3. Gently lower your pet hedgehog into the water, face up (you don’t want him to drown!)
  4. Let your pet soak for a few minutes. He’ll probably try to get out of the water, so just gently hold him there. He shouldn’t freak out too much.
  5. Look for any spots on the quills, and apply extra shampoo to those spots, using the nail brush to gently rub them out, going in the direction of the quills.
  6. Gently wash the furry parts of your hedgehog with a washcloth. Make sure to clean their face with the washcloth, but keep the water out of their ears.
  7. Lift your pet and drain the sink. After draining, rinse him off with lukewarm water coming out of the faucet, moving in the direction of the quills to get all the shampoo off.
  8. Dry off your hedgehog using a warm towel. You won’t be able to get him completely dry this way, but do the best you can. After drying, give him another warm towel to snuggle up in, where he can lay down and rest and continue drying off away from drafts. It’s best to keep the hedgehog in the towel on your lap while you watch TV for a few hours afterward. It’s a great time for the two of you to bond!

[box type=”alert” border=”full”]Don’t let your pet get too cold, because hedgies are susceptible to pneumonia. Keep him warm and he’ll stay healthy![/box]

Hedgehog care always involves knowing how to have a clean hedgehog. You wouldn’t want to be dirty with no way of getting extra clean, and neither does your pet. A clean hedgehog is a happier hedgehog, and more of a joy for you to be around!

27 Comments on "How to Bathe Your Pet Hedgehog"

  1. Audrey Miller | 26/11/2009 at 3:06 am |

    After I read this website, I felt better than ever. I really want a hedgehog!

  2. Nicolás Zavala | 26/02/2010 at 3:50 am |

    i’m a little bit confused cause i was told i only need to bath my hedgie twice per year, but here you wrote once a week, isn’t it dangerous to have your hedgie wet such frecuently?

  3. I only bath mine about 3 /4 times a year plus foot baths when needed.

    That aside the above is excellant advice for people who are nervous about bathing thier hedgies :o)

  4. Also after I towel my hedgie off I use my hair dryer on low heat and it seems to work perfect. This makes me feel better so I know she isnt getting too cold. Just remember low heat so you dont burn her and always move the hair dryer never leave it on one spot.

  5. this is sorta a dumb question but whats “lukewarm water”? and where could you get a “nail brush”?

  6. “lukewarm water” means water that is between warm and cold, not too cold but not too warm either. A comfortable temperature that wont overheat or overcool the hedgie.

  7. so exactly how often to you bathe your hedgie?? and are they like porkie oines and shoots quils??? and how bad does it hurt to get poked?

  8. Hegie (my hedgehog) take his bathe twice a week depending on the weather condition. we are in the Philippines so it is o.k that she take a bathe as frequent becaus of the warm condition

  9. GermanicMille | 21/08/2010 at 2:34 am |

    Is hedgehog and it’s feces smelly?

  10. @GermanicMille- Hedgies are smelly, yes. However, regular cleaning of the cage and teh hedgie itself should take care of that.
    @Sierra- You should bathe your hedgie once a week, and yes they do have quills. A male hedgie can have up to 500 and females tend to have less. However, hedgie quills are not poisonous and are not barbed like Porcupines’. They should not harm you.

  11. can a hedgie be to young to take a bath becaus mine is 3 months old

  12. I came across an artical that told people heggies can swim, and is it ok too leave a heat lamp on one part of there home *aka cage*

  13. kaitlin | 26/07/2011 at 9:09 pm |

    I really whant one but im woried it will stink up the house and or atleast my room ! Oh and due to some horrible events im forced to sleep in someone elses home (my grandmothers)Even though i still live at my house. Would a hedgehog be ok bye its self at night ??

  14. I live in a studio apartment. Will a hedgehog leave any sort of smell? I want to get one but not if my place will smell

  15. Kay-Kay | 30/11/2011 at 5:10 pm |

    I’m seriously considering getting a pet hedgehot, but I have some questions. I’ve had a hamster before, and I still have his old cage, and I was wondering if that would be sufficient to keep a hedgehog in? About how big do they grow to be when they’re older? And how much smell is involved with one? When I had my hamster I cleaned his cage fairly regularly but my room still took months to get rid of the hamster-smell after he passed away. (He died of old age. He was a few years old.) And how long is their life-expectancy? Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions. 🙂

  16. To answer some earlier questions, hamster cages can be good homes for hedgehogs, as long as they have more floor space. Hedgehogs don’t like climbing, and descending. A large fish tank would be better.
    The life expectancy of a hedgehog is around 3-5 years.

  17. Where do you buy a hedgehog????

  18. Can you like, get one shipped to Minnesota from Florida???

  19. Never mind I guess u can buy em in a pet store. ;8

  20. I’d suggest you use the links to the breeders listed in the Breeder’s page which you can find here:

    I think it would be much preferable to a pet shop.

  21. Jessicca | 06/04/2012 at 2:43 am |

    How frequent we need to bath the hedgehog?
    i’m planning on buying a hedgehog.. i’m a student and i live in a room.. so i don’t want my hedgehog to smell very bad.. so to prevent it .. how frequent i can bath him?

  22. How many times you bathe your hedgehog is really determined by how messy he is and how dry his skin is. Maxie gets an oatmeal bath once a month to keep his skin moisturized and a foot bath nearly every day. They themselves don’t have too much of an odor. Their poop (like all poop) is a little stinky but if you keep the home clean, you’re fine.

  23. Hi… I was looking into getting a hedgehog but I read somewhere they have fleas and you can’t wash them. Is that true? Also, so they smell? I really want a pet that would stay most of the day in a cage like a bunny or hamster but they smell and I don’t like that!

  24. Listen. I would like to stress that getting a hedgehog IS NOT like a hamster or guinea pig. They are fragile pets. Their diet is very demanding and unless you are willing to clean a poopy wheel every two days do not force this animal to be abused. They do stink. They mainly eat cat food which equals to cat smelling poo but you can’t use deodorizers because of how strong their sense of smell is. They poop and pee constantly. More than any animal I have ever seen. Their cage does smell. They do not like light. It hurts their eyes and they need companionship and exercise out of the cage almost every day but also unlike hamsters and guinea pigs they don’t yearn for your companionship and don’t really “play” unless you count running for a hiding place. It’s very important you know the facts because I ended up with one after deciding they were too much because he was being neglected. It’s really hard to give him what he needs and occasionally I just can’t give it to him. He is so sweet and super cute but I just beg you don’t get something because its a fad. It’s very selfish for the animal. Sorry for the rant I just want everyone to know the bad parts as well as the good.

  25. Peter,
    Please be aware that Kenzie may be young (pre-teen) and she may not know these terms. Never assume someone is stupid because they don’t know something. English may also be her second language and some of the terms may be foreign to her. Please, be compassionate. At least she asked. There are many people who would’ve been too nervous or timid to ask a question for fear of looking stupid. My mother always taught me that the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. And I’m 49.

  26. can you put a hedgehog in a hamster ball and let him/her roll around and have a grand time or would it hurt him?

  27. Never mind I found it on the internet

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