You know that you want hedgehogs as pets, but you aren’t sure about what kinds of hedgehogs as pets best suit your lifestyle. Some of the factors you have to consider are the hedgehog’s temperament, its sex, and its size. When you go to pick out hedgehogs as pets, be sure to take your time making your decision.
- 0.1 Temperament of Hedgehogs as Pets
- 0.2 Sex of Hedgehogs as pets
- 0.3 Health of Hedgehogs as Pets
- 0.4 Age of Hedgehogs as Pets
- 1 Preparing for a Hedgehog Pet
- 2 How to buy a hedgehog from a breeder
- 3 How to Choose a Pet Hedgehog
- 4 Do Hedgehogs make good pets for Children
- 5 How to Register Your Hedgehog
- 6 Conclusion
Temperament of Hedgehogs as Pets
Temperament is among one of the most important factors you have to take into consideration when you are choosing hedgehogs as pets. It isn’t enough to just find a cute pet hedgehog; you have to find one that is nice so that you can handle it and give it the care it needs. To test the hedgehog’s temperament, handle him to see how he reacts. If he makes a clicking noise, he is showing you aggression, and he isn’t a suitable choice for a pet hedgehog. It is okay if he curls up into a ball or makes a slight hissing noise, as these are common hedgehog reactions to being in an unfamiliar situation.
Sex of Hedgehogs as pets
Since hedgehogs as pets are solitary creatures, it probably won’t matter if you get a male or a female, but if you have your heart set on one sex, you should learn how to tell the sex of a hedgehog before you go to pick one out. When a hedgehog is on its back, you have to look near the anus to see if you can see a belly-button-like protrusion. If you do, the hedgehog is a male, but if it isn’t there, you have a female.
Health of Hedgehogs as Pets
You want healthy hedgehogs as pets, so there are some things you should look for when you are checking out hedgehogs as pets. The hedgehog’s nose should be clean and not runny. The eyes should both be wide, round and bright without any discharge. Its fur should be soft and not matted, and the quills shouldn’t have any bare spots. When the hedgehog breathes, you shouldn’t hear any type of rattling, but you may hear a purring or cheeping sound, which are normal. The hedgehog should walk without seeming shaky or wobbly. It may have a slight shuffle, but it shouldn’t be pronounced. Lastly, you should inspect the hedgehog’s cage. If you have seen any green stool or diarrhea, the hedgehog isn’t healthy. If you have any doubt at all as to the health of the hedgehogs as pets being sold, it is time to find a different breeder.
Age of Hedgehogs as Pets
If you want a hedgehog that you can easily handle, you should choose a young hedgehog. At a minimum, the hedgehog should be eight weeks old before you purchase it. While there are some adult hedgehogs as pets that are sold, it is usually more difficult to bond with older hedgehogs as pets, so they are usually more difficult to handle.
Preparing for a Hedgehog Pet
You have your hedgehog pet picked out. Now, you have to get your hedgehog’s new home ready for him. You can’t just bring your hedgehog pet home and stick him in a box. He is a very peculiar creature who needs some special items to make his life fun and enjoyable.
The exact size of the cage you need for your hedgehog pet depends on the type of hedgehog you purchase. For an African pygmy hedgehog pet, which is one of the smallest species, you need a cage that is at least four-square feet. A larger hedgehog pet will need more room. Another choice you have to make is the type of cage. Generally, you have to choose between a metal cage, a glass cage or a plastic cage. A metal cage really isn’t a good option unless you plan to keep your home at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The wide gaps between the metal allow the heat of the cage to escape. This is why plastic or glass, even if it has breather holes, is an ideal choice.
Wild hedgehogs are diggers by nature. They dig under grass, gardens, hedges, roots, and underbrush to try to find food. Because this is a natural behavior, you will have to provide your hedgehog pet with a substrate that enables them to dig. While you probably don’t want to bring cages of dirt into your home, there are some other options. Recycled bedding, which is often made from recycled newspaper, is ideal for a hedgehog pet because it naturally gives as he digs. Aspen bedding is also a good option; however, you must stay away from cedar shaving and pine shavings because those two choices contain oils that can irritate your hedgehog’s respiratory system. Another good option is pelletized bedding, which moves easily as your hedgehog pet digs.
Supplies and Food
At a minimum, your hedgehog pet needs a heat source that can keep the ambient temperature in the cage between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Your hedgehog pet also needs a food dish and a water bottle that hangs from the cage. You will have to buy him food. There are some hedgehog dry foods on the market, but dry cat food will work for your hedgehog pet and is often much more inexpensive. No matter what type of dry food you feed your hedgehogs as pets, you will have to supplement its diet with insects, mice, fruits, and vegetables to keep your hedgehog pet healthy.
A hedgehog pet that is inactive can become obese, and he will become bored. To keep your hedgehog pet active and happy, he needs some things to entertain him. An exercise wheel is one good option. You can also give him small cat toys, such as balls with bells, to keep him happy.
How to buy a hedgehog from a breeder
Once you’ve chosen to get a hedgehog from a breeder, next comes the procedure for choosing the finest breeder (and hedgehog!) from all your choices that are accessible. Firstly, don’t be surprised if a hedgehog breeder is not in your immediate region. Hedgehogs that are breeding isn’t always common in every place. Do a preliminary internet search.
It’s not that uncommon to be requested to be set on a waiting list as great breeders don’t “over-strain” their hedgehogs. If a few females are just owned by a breeder, litters will simply be born annually. Great breeders will even keep the hedgehogs until 6 to 8 months old with their mom.
Then ask the breeder what you need to expect to pay. Be funny if one breeder lists a cost much below the average. This could signal that you’re coping with a man who has more hedgehogs than they understand what to do with. This could undoubtedly show care standards or inferior quality breeding. Moreover, a premium cost wills charge for their hedgehogs. If so, make sure you inquire why. Occasionally this is as a result of breeding for a scarce, in demand colour. Based on your interests, this might or might not appeal to you.
Additionally, make sure to realize what you get for the money. Micro-chipping? Ongoing support?
A fresh hedgehog’s well-being should be ensured for six months after purchase.
Now, if you enjoy everything you should begin inquiring if it’s acceptable to pay a visit to fulfill their hedgehogs to the breeder. Be very leery of any breeder. This is generally an indication the hedgehogs aren’t kept in good conditions.
Lastly, don’t believe it’s impolite to request references. You would like to speak to people that can comment on the level of your breeder.
How to Choose a Pet Hedgehog
With at least 14 species of hedgehogs in the world, choosing the right one to fit your needs can prove to be a challenge. There are several considerations that you must sort through so that you can get a pet hedgehog that you are happy with and that is happy with you.
You must consider the amount of space you have to devote to your pet hedgehog. Smaller hedgehogs, such as the African pygmy hedgehog, need around four-square feet of ground space. Larger pet hedgehog will need considerably more room. This means that if you live in an apartment, you should probably stick to a smaller species of pet hedgehog. If one lives in a large home and can devote a considerable amount of space to your pet hedgehog, your options are limited only by how much you want to spend on your pet hedgehog.
Hedgehogs thrive in temperate climates. Generally, the space where your pet hedgehog will be kept should be 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature will dip below 72 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to choose a larger species of pet hedgehog because larger species are able to control their body temperature. If the temperature stays below this threshold for too long, your pet hedgehog may go into hibernation. If you still want a hedgehog and can’t keep your home above 72 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to buy a heat lamp or a warming pad to place under the cage.
When you are making plans to bring your pet hedgehog home, you have to carefully consider where the cage will be placed. Larger species of hedgehogs as pets, such as the long-eared hedgehog are good options if you are going to keep your pet hedgehog outside. If you have ample outdoor space, you can build your hedgehog’s cage into the ground and plant him a garden in his cage. If you opt to do this, make sure that you build a bottom to the cage so that your hedgehog pet doesn’t escape.
If you have children, you should buy a young pet hedgehog. Younger hedgehogs as pets are considerably easier to tame than older hedgehogs. You should also buy a younger pet hedgehog if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to taming your pet hedgehog. A hedgehog that is younger than six months takes a lot less time to tame than one that is older. When you are checking out hedgehogs at a store or breeder, avoid any hedgehog that clicks at you, regardless of age. Clicking is a sign of aggression, and once a pet hedgehog decides he doesn’t like you, that fact isn’t likely to change.
Do Hedgehogs make good pets for Children
Hedgehogs are so small and cute that you would probably assume that they are the perfect pet for children. Well, that is a little bit true and a little bit false. As is the case with any other pet, hedgehogs as pets for children are a good option only if the hedgehog and the children can play nice and get along.
Hedgehogs as Pets are Fragile
The main thing to consider when you are trying to decide if hedgehogs as pets are right for your children is to figure out if your child can be gentle with the hedgehog. Children that understand that hedgehogs as pets are fragile and don’t mind not being able to roughhouse with the hedgehog will probably love caring for the hedgehogs as pets. Of course, even if you have a child who likes to play, hedgehogs as pets may still be a good pet; however, you must be willing to supervise all interaction between your child and the hedgehog to make sure they both stay safe and healthy.
Hedgehogs as Pets Need Attention
Many children enjoy giving their pets attention. If your child is one of those, hedgehogs as pets are an excellent choice for him or her. On average, hedgehogs as pets need to be handled for at least an hour per day. Your child can’t take days off from caring for hedgehogs as pets. If your child is worried about getting pricked with the quills, have him, or her wear a pair of gardening gloves to handle the hedgehog. As time progresses and your child and the hedgehog become more familiar with each other, you can suggest that your child wear thinner gloves or no gloves at all. Hedgehogs as pets that are comfortable are less likely to ‘flex’ their quills in a defensive manner.
Hedgehogs as Pets Are Fun
Hedgehogs as pets are a lot of fun, but remember that they are nocturnal. For school-aged children, this is probably a good thing. Hedgehogs as pets can sleep all day while your child is in school. By the time your child finishes homework and gets his or her chores done, hedgehogs as pets will be ready to play.
Hedgehogs as Pets Require Care
Owning a pet hedgehog is a good option if your child is responsible. They are also a good way to teach your child responsibility. Hedgehogs as pets must be fed and watered daily, and the cage will need to be cleaned weekly. If you are a teacher and looking into a hedgehog for your classroom pet, please remember that you will have to take the hedgehog home with you during the summer, as the children won’t know how to care for it.
How to Register Your Hedgehog
So, you just purchased a hedgehog, hopefully from a breeder. What now? Well, hopefully you have a great hedgehog cage for your little one. After that, you might consider getting your hedgehog registered. There are three big hedgehog registries on the Internet. All of them say they are international and its a little bit confusing. This guide will walk you through all of them.
The International Hedgehog Registry (Site)
This registry, based in the US, has been around since 2002. It says it is international but the two below are specific to the UK. This registry lets you see if your hedgehog has relative and where they are at. It cost $4 for most individuals.
African Pygmy Hedgehog Club Registry (Site)
This UK registry is the registry chosen by breeders. It cost 1 pound to register.
UK African Pygmy Hedgehog Registry (Site)
This other UK registry is popular among owners. This registry is also hosted on a free hosting account. It costs 1 pound to register.
Should you register your hedgehog?
Well, no. There’s really nothing you’ll get except a certificate. Its similar to having a star named after you, its nothing real besides marketing.
Just like any other small pet, hedgehogs can be a lot of fun and a great travel companion, easy to look after, and a joy to you and your family.
Like any other pet thou, these little guys need the right food, climate, and living space to make them happy and live a long life.
Good luck with your decision.