How-to-Raise-a-Hedgehog

How to Raise a Hedgehog?

Hedgehogs are mammals. These animals are adorable to look at. Their typical life span is a minimum of four to six years and usually grow up to nine inches in length. They are quite active during the time they are awake. They are nocturnal animals, so they typically become active around evening.

These animals are not at all aggressive, but very sensitive to touch and sound. It does not take much effort to pet them. They take time to get comfortable in a new place and with new people. Once they do, they are one of the most adorable pets you can ask for.

You just need to handle them carefully, while making a clean atmosphere for this clean creature.

Care Packages For Raising A Hedgehog

Before buying a hedgehog as your pet, you need to be prepared. Things you need to care for a hedgehog are:

  • A habitat and proper environment
  • A cage
  • Food and Water
  • Medical Care
  • Toys
  • Miscellaneous

Information Guide On The Different Prospects

You need to look after each of the following areas to ensure a good environment for your hedgehog:

Habitat

If you want to have a hedgehog as a pet, you have to ensure it a good home. You need to keep your hedgehog safe and entertained while keeping it happy. They also need to run around outside the cage, so you might need to keep your house safe for it too.

You should keep the cage away from heaters, freezers, air conditioner or any place where the cage can be too warmed up or cooled down.

Cage With A Proper Environment

Building or buying a spacious cage is a must for a hedgehog so that it can roam around freely inside it. Building a multi-level cage is the best idea if you have space and money.

1. Bedding

Having bedding over the bottom area will keep it comfortable. You can use recycled paper or pulp to make the bedding fluffy. It is best not to use wood shavings.

2. Bowls for Food And Water

There should be separate places to keep bowls for food and water inside the cage. The bowls should be attached to the cage to prevent the hedgehog from turning it over. There needs to two separate bowls for dry and moist food.

3. Litter Box

You would want to train your hedgehog to use the litter box. So you can attach a small box on the place it prefers. It can be made by using recycled paper.

4. A Tunnel

A cage needs a tunnel where the hedgehog can feel warm and safe and can hide for relaxing. A tunnel can easily be made at home inside the cage. Or you can buy one with a tunnel.

5. Entertainment

You can keep some toy items to keep it happy and active. A cage can come with wheels or ramps, ledges, etc. to keep it busy. You can also keep a ball, chew toys or bells.

6. Cleaning

The cage needs regular cleaning. The cage needs to be free of waste every day while having a clean bowl of water and food. The bedding and toys are needed to be replaced once a week. You have to make sure that the bedding is dry before putting it inside the cage.

Diet Of A Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are not known to be picky eaters. They eat insects, baby mice, worms, eggs or fruits. You can make a plan to give your hedgehog a balanced amount of protein depending on his activity level and metabolism.

  • For your pet, dry food should be the main option. Dry cat food is a good source of protein for your hedgehog.
  • Moist food should also be provided to your pet. Hence, you can give the hedgehogs cat-food or dog-food which is rich in protein and consists of meat.
  • It is healthy to give your hedgehog a little portion of fruits and vegetables. Beans, peas, carrots, etc. are great options. However, be careful not to give them too much of fruits and vegetables.
  • Just to add variety to its diet, you can give it insects like mealworms. You can also opt for food like eggs, chicken or even burger. Be sure to give it small pieces in moderation.
  • Make sure your hedgehog always has a supply of clean water.

Handling And Grooming

You need to be patient in handling your hedgehog.

  • You should not wear gloves when you want to pick him up. He should get familiar to your smell to feel comfortable in your touch.
  • You need to gently scoop him up with both of your hand from underneath. Then you can let it be comfortable over your stretched palm while supporting it with the other hand. When it gets comfortable, it will start to explore you on its own.

Hedgehogs are very clean animals compared to others. They need proper grooming to stay clean. Such as:

  • If you keep your cage clean regularly from waste and leftover food, your work is half done.
  • It sometimes might need a bath. You will need a towel, toothbrush, and a sink to clean it. If you want you can use a drop of cat shampoo in water.
  • Use the toothbrush to clean his quills very gently.
  • After the bath, try to dry it as much as possible with a towel.
  • Since it won't live in a natural habitat, its nail requires trimming once in a while. You have to grab its one foot gently and give it time to relax before clipping its nail with a nail clipper.
  • If you accidentally cut a nail while clipping it, use flour or corn starch to stop it.

Medical Care

Even after taking all the steps to ensure a happy and healthy habitat and proper diet, your hedgehog might face some difficulties. It can face injuries or illness. In such cases, it is best to take it to the veterinarian.

  • Hedgehogs often get affected by cancer. The most common symptom is to have a lump which can be a tumor.
  • They can get ear infections from mites or fungus. You will notice a flaky ear in such cases.
  • They can sometimes get their eyes poked. You will notice bulgy or cloudy eyes if that happens.
  • If their feet get rubbed on a rusty surface, you will notice a swollen foot. Check the bedding or the cage to know what might’ve caused it.
  • You might notice bloody feet too which is caused by untrimmed or torn nails. Removing sharp edges and keeping the nails trimmed can save their feet.
  • You might notice redness or itching which is caused by ticks.
  • Be careful if they start to hibernate for a long time. Its cage might be getting too cold. This can be fatal for hedgehogs.
  • Sometimes, hedgehogs get bloody noses from rubbing it against something sharp. You can easily make the bleeding stop with flour or corn starch. It is not that dangerous.
  • If you notice your hedgehog is not eating or lethargic or vomiting, take it to the vet. Because it might have eaten something which is not edible.
  • They often get a respiratory infection from its home being too cold. You might notice heavy and noisy breathing in such a case.
  • If your hedgehog gets hair or quill loss, excessive itching or flaky skin, it might be affected by mites
  • They can also get gum and teeth disease. You will notice bad breath or swollen gum in such a case. Providing them dry food is the best way to prevent it.

Final Words

Hedgehogs are not an appropriate pet for children; they might hurt hedgehogs' quills or get hurt in return. While it seems a bit high maintenance, keeping a hedgehog as a pet is entertaining and fulfilling.

Once you build up a perfect environment for it, it is super easy from there. You just have to ensure the cleanliness and dietary supplies regularly for them.

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