A Prickly Affair – Pet Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are very cute and endearing, but before getting one, you have to be sure you can commit to taking care of it for 6-7 years or more. As with all pets, hedgehogs require care and attention if they are to thrive. Although a hedgehog requires less effort than a dog for example, they still have needs that must be met.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs are the kind most kept as pets. In some states hedgehogs are illegal as pets so the first thing you have to do is find out if you can keep a hedgehog as a pet. A hedgehog is not a fashion statement or a fad, and please do not consider getting one unless you’re absolutely sure you will be able to take proper care of it for the rest of its life. Finding a veterinarian who can treat your hedgehog should it get sick is another thing you should consider. Very few vets specialize in hedgehog care so make sure you live within traveling distance to one. You don’t want to find yourself with a sick hedgehog and no vet to take it to.
Hedgehogs aren’t vegetarian, in the wild their diet consists mainly of beetles, earthworms, caterpillars and snails so be prepared to feed it meal worms and other unsavory items. Contrary to popular belief milk is not good for them; in fact cow’s milk will give a hedgehog diarrhea and make it very sick.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures; they are most active at night so they may not be a suitable pet for you. They also don’t make good pets for children as great care has to be taken handling them. A hedgehog that is afraid will hiss and make threatening noises and can sometimes bite. Their bite can be quite painful. They require a lot of time and patience to tame and socialize and aren’t cuddly pets, they prefer scurrying around than lying on your lap.
Hedgehogs need to be kept in certain temperatures: 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit otherwise they can get seriously sick, if you can’t meet these needs, don’t get one! They also require 12 hours of light a day otherwise their sense of time and season gets thrown off balance. When this happens they can go into hibernation and sometimes even into a coma and die.
Even though they have quills they need to be bathed and brushed otherwise they pick up parasites such as fleas and ticks. Their nails need to be trimmed regularly and their feet cleaned.
If the above hasn’t put you off getting a hedgehog and you still think you would like to keep one as a pet, then research as much as you can on keeping hedgehogs before you buy one. The more you know about them the better prepared you will be to giving it a good home.
Jeff likes to write on various subjects and has been doing so for numerous years. His most up-to-date website is which supplies people with information on the cellulite machine.