Hedgehog Cage Cleaning and Maintenance

Hedgehog Cage Cleaning Frequency

The health of a pet hedgehog depends greatly on its environment. Clean and well-planned surroundings promote good health. On the other hand, a dirty living space increases the risk for parasite infestation, diseases, and other health concerns. Cleaning the cage is one of the many responsibilities of a pet owner. This is, perhaps, one of the most important tasks of a pet owner.

Dirty cages are breeding grounds for pests and diseases. Pet hedgehogs are most at risk of respiratory and skin irritations when it comes to dirty living and lack of cage planning on the part of the owner. Bedding must be checked for signs of mold growth. Fungi produce spores that could lead to respiratory restriction. The hedgehog’s genitals are closely in contact with the bedding. Dirty bedding could irritate the genitals, causing problems in urination. Skin irritations are common for hedgehogs with unsanitary living areas as well.

Regardless of the type of pet housing, it is necessary to regularly clean and check it for damage. Most owners advise a hedgehog cage cleaning frequency of once a week for rigorous cleaning. Cleaning could be done more often or less frequently depending on the hedgehog. Messy hedgehogs require spot cleaning every now and then. For neater hedgehogs, everyday spot cleaning is advisable since it can also extend the life of the bedding and make weekly spring-cleanings easier and less of a hassle.

It is advisable to remove wet spots and waste materials in the bedding every day. This will give pet hedgehogs more space to roam relatively free of risks. Removing waste as early as possible also avoids contamination of the food area and other living quarters in the cage. Food bowls need to be emptied and washed using warm water and just enough mild soap, just as anyone would do with human bowls. It is important to thoroughly rinse and dry the food bowl before placing it back in the cage and filling it with food. Wet bowls will make food spoil more easily and invite all sorts of nasty things like disease-carrying bacteria and fungi. Water bottles should also be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Cleaning can be made easier by using bottle brushes similar to what was used for human feeding bottles.Water bottles must be thoroughly rinsed before filling it with clean water and replacing it in the cage.

A hedgehog cage cleaning frequency of once a week is more realistic for busy individuals, but it is also recommended for those doing daily spot cleaning to promote good health for pets. It is not advisable to keep bedding for as long as it remains. It is better to replace bedding weekly, to remove hidden droppings and unnoticed wet spots.The cage liners must be machine or hand washed with mild detergent and dried before using again.The bottom of the cage must be thoroughly washed and disinfected with nontoxic cleaners. The same goes for toys and other accessories like wheels. Pet hedgehog can transfer urine and feces on toys. It is important to clean them regularly as well since they can easily come in contact with the hedgehog’s food.

The prospect of cleaning can be enough to discourage anyone from keeping pets. But longtime owners assure that bonding with their hedgehogs and watching them live a healthy and active life are reasons enough to own pets. In the end, their efforts are really paid off.


Hedgehog Cage Ventilation

A hedgehog is one of the best pet animals a person can have. It is quiet at times, playful at times, and simple to take care of. It is not a very social animal so most of the time it prefers to live alone and not have any of its own kind around, which contributes to the ease of care. But once this prickly pig becomes comfortable with his owner, he can be very affectionate, loyal, and attached to him.

Probably the best thing a pet owner can provide for his little spiny friend is a high quality cage. Hedgehogs are very dynamic animals and they like to wander around for hours at times, which make it important for them to have a suitable, well-designed pet pen.

Aside from its size, hedgehog cage ventilation is one of the most important factors to consider when buying or designing an enclosure.

Improper ventilation is one of the main reasons why pets are miserable and unhealthy. This could eventually result in a shorter lifespan than normal. A great pet owner would only want the best for his animal friend, so giving careful consideration to a pet’s quality of living should be beneficial for him.

One of the best options is an enclosed wire cage with aluminum or plastic bottom pan. Wire cages offer the best ventilation as it allows more air to pass through the enclosure. Just make sure that the gaps on your cage are not more than three fourths of an inch in span to better secure your prickly pig.

Also, deeper pans are better as they can prevent your hedgehog from climbing and getting injured. Sometimes hedgehogs twist their feet and fall when they try to climb on wire walls. Another important tip: never ever let your cage have wire flooring. Your pet will have a hard time walking on it and may soon die from lack of physical activity.

Plastic bottom pans are also more preferred than metal or aluminum ones. This is because they are easier to clean and they are not affected by external temperatures. They also don’t rust and their quality stays the same even after a long period of time.

The flooring should also have a soft bedding material. This adds comfort and freshness to your pet’s living area. Do not use paper shreds or wood flakes to cushion your cage’s floor as it not only gives respiratory ailments to your pet, it also holds the smell of your pet’s natural wastes, such as urine or feces. A dirty pet pen is easily contaminated and your pet might catch an infection or disease if it is not cleaned right away. Some species of wood also contain toxins that can be detrimental to a hedgehog. To further improve ventilation, wire cages should also be provided with proper heating or cooling devices to keep your hedgehog breathing properly.

By following the aforementioned tips, you can be sure that your hedgehog cage ventilation is good enough to give your most cherished pet the quality of life that he deserves.


Hedgehog Cage Odor

Hedgehogs are very exceptional animals. They are naturally playful and aloof at the same time. Most of them are nocturnal. In the wild, they tend to live most of their lives alone. The only time they get to mingle with their own species is when mating which usually only lasts just a few minutes. In its natural habitat, as soon as a hedgehog is born, it starts on its own journey that will typically last from 4 to 7 years, although a few have a lifespan that goes on up to 9 or 10years. The average lifespan of a prickly pig greatly depends on the sanitation of their living environment. When their surroundings are dirty, they become more prone to various contamination’s, sicknesses, and bacterial or fungal infections. It is absolutely necessary for a responsible owner, therefore, to make sure that the cages of his little prickly friends are regularly cleaned and well-maintained when breeding hedgehogs as pets.

The first and most obvious sign of pet pen filth is odor. Hedgehog cage odor is a natural indication that your pet enclosure badly needs cleaning. Unlike guinea pigs, hamsters, or other domesticated rodents, hedgehogs do not have an innate foul smell. Generally, the strange odor coming from a hedgehog’s cage is from its biological wastes such as piss and dung. Needless to say, it should be washed and disinfected immediately if you want your pet to last longer and have a better quality of life.

How to properly clean your hedgehog pen:

1. You have to clean its cage frequently. 

Believe it or not, not all hedgehogs are the same. Some are natural stinkers while others are more behaved. Because of their nocturnal nature, some prickly pigs are known to be more active at night while you are sleeping, and they run and poop all over their pen at the same time. In short, observe your pet. Notice the odor of your enclosure. If it always smells bad you may need to clean it daily. If not that often, then maybe only twice or thrice a week. Remember that taking care of a pet requires a lot of work and dedication. If you are not ready for such accountability, then it would be better not to pursue it.

2. Never use shavings as bedding to your cages. 

Paper or wood flakes act like sponges that absorb your pet’s urine and feces which results in foul hedgehog cage odor. Shavings are also friendlier to deadly pathogens that can be detrimental to your dear animals. Use fleece or any soft clothing instead.

3. Younger hedgehogs are typically messier than adult ones. 

If possible, bathe the little ones daily as they can be smellier and dirtier.

4. Clean your hedgehog toys and exercise equipment daily. 

Hedgehogs are more likely to poop or urinate on their wheels even when you litter train them. It’s their instinct. Since they spend most of their time playing and using these devices, you should keep them clean all the time.

5. Choose a cage with a plastic bottom for easier cleaning. 

You can simply use soap and water to wash away dirt and use alcohol or other chemical disinfectants to sterilize it before putting back your prickly pigs.

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