So You Want to Own a Hedgehog?

own a hedgehog

Hedgehogs have grown a great deal in popularity over recent years because they are so cute. Those of you who grew up during the 1990s are probably familiar with Sonic the Hedgehog, but these little guys are completely different. These little fellas are not cartoons, they eat, they drink, they sleep, and they do other things that living creatures do. 

What makes the hedgehog so popular is its petite size, adorable face, and its all around cuteness. The question, however, is whether or not these animals make good pets? Here are some things that you need to know:

• Hedgehogs are very delicate animals and are not suitable for young children. Hedgehogs, like many other small animals, can be easily hurt or alarmed. This means that they need to be treated with a great deal of respect. They need to be handled patiently and gently, and they do take time to tame. This means you and your hedgehog will have to have a few months to get used to each other. 

• A hedgehog’s diet has to be balanced and that balanced diet consists of different types of foods that are high in protein. Fresh fruit, scrambled or boiled eggs, and vegetables are just examples of what hedgehogs need to thrive. You can also include meal worms, wax worms, and crickets in their diet to ensure they are getting everything that they need. 

• Hedgehogs are rather solitary when kept as pets and out in the wild, so they don’t necessarily have to have a partner. Keeping more than one hedgehog can lead to fighting. 

• The cage should be at least two square feet and you can give them more room if you want to. The cage should not have wire flooring because this can hurt their little feet and they can get their head stuck. If the cage has wire flooring, then cover it with something that is more comfortable for them.

• Cages with horizontal bars and multiple levels should be avoided because hedgehogs are not great climbers. If they attempt to climb, they can fall and hurt themselves. 

• Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature changes and to the cold. The temperature in their environment should be comfortable and constant. You can place a thermometer in their cage to keep track of the temperature.
• Hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they will play at night and sleep during the day. If you are a light sleeper, you may not want to keep their cage in your bedroom. They will make a lot of noise. 

• Hedgehogs are also really messy, which means you are going to have to clean their cage and the equipment in their cage quite often. A clean cage is going to keep a hedgehog happy, although they have no problem with making it messy.

• You will need to have a ceramic food bowl for meals and a water bottle attached to the side of the cage. 

• Hedgehogs like to nest, so a nesting box with a small opening should be provided to them so they can sleep during the day. Plain wood shavings are the best type of bedding, as cedar shavings can irritate your hedgehog’s skin. 

• Plastic cat balls, cardboard boxes, tubes, and other pet safe toys are excellent for hedgehogs to play with. Hedgehogs can be rather playful, so it is good to give them items they can safely play with. 

• Hedgehogs have to have 12 hours of light per day to regulate their natural rhythms. A broad spectrum or standard light bulb can help with this. 

With this said, you can now determine whether or not you are ready to take care of a hedgehog. They are adorable, fun, and great to show off to your friends. However, they do also require a lot of care.

Watch the educational video on the hedgehog

Article Tags: #pets #Animals #educational videos #small mammals #hedgehogs
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