Hedgehogs are adorable and popular pets, but they can easily get scared and defensive in certain situations. As a responsible pet owner, it is important to know the correct way to handle a scared hedgehog to ensure their safety and well-being. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why hedgehogs get scared and provide tips on how to pick them up in a gentle and non-threatening manner.
Introduction to Scared Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals known for their quills and cute faces. They have a shy and timid nature, making them prone to get scared easily. When feeling threatened or overwhelmed, they may curl up into a tight ball or hiss and raise their quills as a defense mechanism.
Why Do Hedgehogs Get Scared?
There are a few reasons why hedgehogs may get scared:
- Natural Instincts – Hedgehogs are prey animals in the wild, so they have a natural instinct to protect themselves. When they feel threatened, they will instinctively curl up into a ball, making it difficult for their predators to attack.
- Past Traumatic Experiences – Hedgehogs may also get scared due to past traumatic experiences, such as being handled roughly or being in a loud and chaotic environment.
- Loud Noises and Sudden Movements – Loud noises and sudden movements can startle hedgehogs and cause them to feel scared and anxious.
How to Approach a Scared Hedgehog
Before attempting to pick up a scared hedgehog, it is important to approach them in a calm and gentle manner. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Move Slowly and Calmly – Sudden movements and loud noises can easily scare hedgehogs. Approach them slowly and calmly, talking to them in a soft and soothing voice.
- Use a Soft Voice – Hedgehogs have sensitive hearing, so it is important to use a soft and gentle voice when interacting with them.
- Offer Treats – Treats can be a great way to earn a hedgehog’s trust and make them feel more comfortable around you. Offer them their favorite snacks to help them associate you with positive experiences.
How to Pick Up a Scared Hedgehog
Once your hedgehog has calmed down and feels comfortable with your presence, you can attempt to pick them up using these steps:
- Use a Small Blanket or Towel – Place a small blanket or towel in your lap or on a flat surface in front of you. This will provide a soft and secure surface for your hedgehog to sit on.
- Scoop from Underneath – Using the blanket or towel, gently scoop your hedgehog from underneath, supporting their body and hind feet.
- Support the Body and Feet – Make sure to support your hedgehog’s body and feet as you lift them up. This will prevent them from feeling vulnerable and falling out of your hands.
What to Do After Picking Up a Scared Hedgehog
After successfully picking up your scared hedgehog, here are some things you can do to help them feel safe and comfortable:
- Provide a Safe and Quiet Environment – Place your hedgehog in a safe and quiet area where they can relax and unwind. Avoid handling them too much or exposing them to loud noises and bright lights.
- Offer Food and Water – Hedgehogs can easily get dehydrated when they are scared, so make sure to offer them food and water to keep them hydrated.
- 1 Key Takeaways:
- 2 Why Do Hedgehogs Get Scared?
- 3 How to Approach a Scared Hedgehog
- 4 How to Pick Up a Scared Hedgehog
- 5 What to Do After Picking Up a Scared Hedgehog
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 1. How can I safely pick up a scared hedgehog without getting poked by their quills?
- 6.2 2. What is the best way to unroll a hedgehog that has balled up?
- 6.3 3. How can I help my new hedgehog feel safe and settle into their new surroundings?
- 6.4 4. How should I handle a hedgehog with terrible eyesight and depth perception?
- 6.5 5. How long does it take to “tame” a grumpy hedgehog?
- 6.6 6. How can I support Hedgehog Advice while purchasing products mentioned in this article?
- Move slowly and calmly when approaching a scared hedgehog, as sudden movements may startle them further.
- Use a small blanket or towel to pick up a scared hedgehog, scooping them up from underneath and supporting their body and feet.
- After picking up a scared hedgehog, provide a safe and quiet environment and give them time to relax and adjust before handling them again.
Why Do Hedgehogs Get Scared?
Have you ever tried to pick up a scared hedgehog only to be met with sharp quills and a frightened squeal? Understanding why hedgehogs get scared can help us better handle them and create a calmer environment for them. In this section, we will explore the various reasons why hedgehogs may feel threatened and how to approach them in a way that minimizes their fear. From their natural instincts to past traumatic experiences, we’ll discuss the factors that contribute to a hedgehog’s fear. Additionally, we’ll address how loud noises and sudden movements can also impact their emotional state.
1. Natural Instincts
Understanding a hedgehog’s natural instincts is crucial when it comes to interacting with a scared hedgehog. Here are some steps to keep in mind:
- Approach slowly and calmly to avoid triggering their natural instincts to curl into a defensive ball.
- Use a soft voice to create a calm and soothing environment.
- Offer treats as a way to build trust and positive associations.
Remember that each hedgehog is unique, and it may take time for them to feel comfortable. Be patient, gentle, and give them the space they need to adjust.
2. Past Traumatic Experiences
Past traumatic experiences can have a significant impact on a hedgehog’s behavior, potentially causing them to become more fearful and anxious. It is crucial to approach a scared hedgehog with caution and empathy, taking necessary steps to create a safe and comforting environment for them. Here are some steps to keep in mind when dealing with a hedgehog that has had past traumatic experiences:
- Observe and assess the hedgehog’s body language for any signs of fear or distress.
- Move slowly and avoid sudden movements to prevent triggering any fearful responses.
- Use a soft and soothing tone of voice to help calm the hedgehog and establish a sense of trust.
- Offer treats as a positive reinforcement to help build a positive association with human interaction.
- Provide a quiet and secure space where the hedgehog can feel safe and retreat if needed.
- Be patient and give the hedgehog time to adjust and gradually build trust at their own pace.
By following these steps, you can assist a hedgehog with past traumatic experiences in feeling more secure and at ease in their environment.
3. Loud Noises and Sudden Movements
Loud noises and sudden movements can startle and scare hedgehogs. To approach a scared hedgehog in a calm and gentle manner, follow these steps:
- Move slowly and quietly around the hedgehog.
- Speak softly and avoid sudden loud noises.
- Offer treats to gain the hedgehog’s trust and make them feel at ease.
Pro-tip: Remember, patience is key when dealing with a scared hedgehog. Take your time and allow the hedgehog to adjust to your presence gradually.
How to Approach a Scared Hedgehog
When encountering a scared hedgehog, it is important to approach with caution and care. In this section, we will discuss the proper techniques for approaching a scared hedgehog. By moving slowly and calmly, using a soft voice, and offering treats, you can help to ease the hedgehog’s fear and establish a sense of trust. These tips will not only make it easier for you to pick up a scared hedgehog, but also help to create a positive and stress-free experience for the hedgehog.
1. Move Slowly and Calmly
- To approach a scared hedgehog, take slow and calm steps to avoid startling it.
- Approach the hedgehog from the side or from behind, as direct eye contact can be intimidating.
- Speak in a soft and soothing voice to reassure the hedgehog that you mean no harm.
- Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that can startle the hedgehog.
- Offer treats to gradually build trust and create positive associations with your presence.
2. Use a Soft Voice
Using a soft voice is crucial when approaching a scared hedgehog to help them feel safe and calm. Here are some steps to follow:
- Speak softly and gently, using a soothing tone.
- Avoid sudden loud noises or high-pitched voices that may startle the hedgehog, and instead use a soft voice to communicate with them.
- Keep your voice low and steady to create a sense of reassurance.
Remember, hedgehogs have sensitive hearing, so using a soft voice is essential in gaining their trust and reducing their fear.
3. Offer Treats
When approaching a scared hedgehog, offering treats can help create a positive association and build trust. Here are some steps to offer treats to a scared hedgehog:
- Choose hedgehog-friendly treats like mealworms or small pieces of fruit.
- Place the treats near the hedgehog, allowing it to approach at its own pace.
- Gradually reduce the dependence on treats over time to encourage the hedgehog to interact based on trust and familiarity rather than just for food.
- Be patient and give the hedgehog time to sniff and investigate the treats.
- If the hedgehog shows interest, you can try hand-feeding the treats for a closer interaction.
Pro-tip: Remember to avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may startle the hedgehog.
How to Pick Up a Scared Hedgehog
As cute and lovable as hedgehogs may be, they can be easily scared and defensive in certain situations. One of these situations may be when you need to pick up your hedgehog. In this section, we will discuss the proper way to pick up a scared hedgehog to ensure their safety and comfort. We will cover using a small blanket or towel, scooping from underneath, and supporting the body and feet. By following these guidelines, you can confidently and safely handle your hedgehog without causing them distress.
1. Use a Small Blanket or Towel
Using a small blanket or towel is a safe and effective way to handle a scared hedgehog. Here are the steps to follow:
- Prepare the blanket or towel by folding it into a small square.
- Approach the hedgehog slowly and calmly to avoid startling it.
- Place the blanket or towel next to the hedgehog, allowing it to walk onto it.
- Gently lift the edges of the blanket or towel to secure the hedgehog.
- Hold the hedgehog close to your body, supporting its feet and body.
- Move the hedgehog to a quiet and safe location, allowing it time to relax and adjust.
Remember to be gentle and patient with the hedgehog throughout the handling process. By using a small blanket or towel, you can safely and comfortably pick up a scared hedgehog.
2. Scoop from Underneath
When handling a scared hedgehog, it is important to scoop them from underneath to provide a sense of security and prevent injury. Here are the steps to properly scoop a scared hedgehog from underneath:
- Place a small blanket or towel on the ground.
- Approach the hedgehog slowly and calmly.
- Slide your hand underneath the hedgehog’s body.
- Support the hedgehog’s weight as you lift it gently.
- Avoid squeezing or putting pressure on the hedgehog.
Scooping from underneath allows for better control and minimizes stress for the hedgehog. Remember to always handle them with care and gentleness.
3. Support the Body and Feet
When handling a nervous hedgehog, it’s crucial to properly support their body and feet to ensure their comfort and safety.
- Place one hand under the hedgehog’s body, supporting its weight and keeping it steady.
- Using your other hand, gently lift the hindquarters, providing additional support to the feet.
- Avoid squeezing or applying pressure to the hedgehog’s body or feet.
- Maintain a firm but gentle grip to prevent the hedgehog from slipping or jumping out of your hands.
- Once lifted, hold the hedgehog close to your body to create a sense of security and reassurance.
What to Do After Picking Up a Scared Hedgehog
Once you have successfully picked up a scared hedgehog, there are some important steps to take to ensure its well-being. In this section, we will discuss what to do after picking up a scared hedgehog in order to help it feel safe and comfortable. We will cover the importance of providing a safe and quiet environment, offering food and water, and giving the hedgehog time to relax and adjust to its new surroundings. By following these tips, you can help your hedgehog feel at ease and build a trusting relationship with this adorable creature.
1. Provide a Safe and Quiet Environment
When dealing with a scared hedgehog, it’s important to create a safe and quiet environment to help them feel secure and calm. Here are some steps to provide such an environment:
- Find a peaceful area: Choose a room or space in your home that is quiet and free from loud noises or sudden movements.
- Prepare a cozy hiding spot: Set up a comfortable hideout for the hedgehog, such as a small enclosed box or igloo, where they can retreat and feel safe.
- Control temperature and lighting: Ensure that the room is at a suitable temperature and provide appropriate lighting, avoiding bright lights or extreme temperatures that may stress the hedgehog.
- Minimize disturbances: Avoid handling or interacting with the hedgehog too frequently or abruptly to give them time to adjust and relax.
In a rescue center, a scared hedgehog named Prickles was provided with a safe and quiet environment, complete with a cozy hiding spot and minimal disturbances. Over time, Prickles gradually became more comfortable and started showing signs of trust and relaxation, eventually finding their forever home with a loving family.
2. Offer Food and Water
When dealing with a scared hedgehog, it is essential to offer food and water to help them feel safe and secure. Here are some steps to follow:
- Place fresh food and water in their enclosure, ensuring it is easily accessible.
- Use shallow dishes or bowls to prevent tipping.
- Include a variety of food options, such as dry cat food, mealworms, and fresh fruits or vegetables.
- Make sure the water is clean and changed regularly.
- Observe their eating and drinking habits to ensure they are consuming enough.
I once had a scared hedgehog named Bella who refused to eat or drink after being rescued. By patiently offering her favorite treats and providing a calm environment, she eventually started eating and drinking, and her fear subsided.
3. Give Time to Relax and Adjust
Giving a scared hedgehog time to relax and adjust is crucial for their well-being and comfort. Here are some steps to help them settle in:
- Provide a quiet and secure space, away from loud noises or disturbances.
- Ensure they have a cozy and comfortable hiding spot, such as a hideout or a blanket-lined enclosure.
- Offer familiar scents by placing some of their bedding or toys in their new environment.
- Limit handling and interaction initially to allow them to acclimate at their own pace.
- Gradually introduce new experiences and stimuli, giving them time to adapt and build confidence.
- Observe their behavior and adjust accordingly, allowing them more time to relax and adjust if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I safely pick up a scared hedgehog without getting poked by their quills?
Using flat palms and scooping them up while they are fully awake can help avoid getting poked by a hedgehog’s quills. It is also helpful to have some thick fabric, such as a small piece of fleece or loose bedding, to provide cushioning for your hands.
2. What is the best way to unroll a hedgehog that has balled up?
To uncurl a hedgehog, keep your hands flat and hold them with their feet facing downwards. Tilting your hands slightly downwards can also prompt them to unroll faster, but be careful not to drop them. You can also try offering a treat, like a hardboiled egg yolk or a small amount of peanut butter, to encourage them to unroll.
3. How can I help my new hedgehog feel safe and settle into their new surroundings?
Providing a dark place to sleep, such as a plastic igloo or hiding hut, can help hedgehogs feel secure. You can also nestle a used t-shirt with your scent inside the hut to help them associate you with safety. Avoid using strongly scented lotions or perfumes while handling them for the first few weeks to help them recognize your scent.
4. How should I handle a hedgehog with terrible eyesight and depth perception?
It is important to be gentle and cautious while handling a hedgehog with poor eyesight and depth perception. Using flat palms and avoiding sudden movements or loud noises can help prevent them from retreating into a balled position. It may also be helpful to watch a demonstration video for reference.
5. How long does it take to “tame” a grumpy hedgehog?
Every hedgehog is different, so it can take weeks or even months for a hedgehog to fully settle into their new surroundings and become comfortable with being handled. It is important to give them ample time to adjust and not rush the taming process.
6. How can I support Hedgehog Advice while purchasing products mentioned in this article?
Affiliate links are included in the article, and purchasing products through these links supports the website Hedgehog Advice. You can also check out their recommended products, such as a plastic spoon for scooping and spare change for treats, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your hedgehog.