How Well Do Hedgehogs Make Pets? Facts, Prices, and Care.
There are a lot of people who have no idea what it’s like to have a hedgehog as a pet, despite the fact that hedgehogs, also known as “hedgies,” are really cute. Hedgehogs are unique and adorable tiny creatures that don’t need a lot of space, thus they are more popular as pets. This may be one reason for this trend.
Pet Hedgehog Care
Particularly with regard to their nutrition, hedgehogs have certain requirements that must be met in order to ensure that they remain healthy and content throughout their lives.
Diet: You may either purchase hedgehog food that is specifically made for them or give them dry cat food that has been formulated to have less calories. It is essential that they get supplemental portions of fruits, green vegetables, live or frozen insects, and even ground up meats.
Housing: Hedgehogs may be housed in a cage that was designed for a rabbit, ferret, or Guinea pig, provided that the bottom of the cage is solid. They will need bedding, which may be provided by cotton or fleece liners for their cages.
Cleaning – It is essential that their enclosure be cleaned on a consistent basis. It is possible to teach your hedgehog to use a tiny pan that is kept in their cage as a litter box.
Lighting – Because hedgehogs are nocturnal, the cage in which they are housed should be shielded from direct sunlight and should also be kept free from drafts. To keep the animal from going into hibernation, you may need to install a heater in its enclosure.
Hedgehogs are timid animals that need places to hide in order to feel secure. Hedgehogs need places to hide in order to feel safe. You have the option of purchasing igloos and beds already made, or you may construct your own using PVC pipe and tiny boxes.
Hedgehogs need frequent bathing in order to maintain the cleanliness of their quills, hair, and skin. This is accomplished by grooming. In addition to that, they need frequent nail trims.
Hedgehogs can only get socialized with humans if they are handled often and given opportunities to interact with other people. If you work with your hedgehog on a regular basis, it will probably never be a cuddly pet, but it may learn to accept your presence and may even grow to appreciate you.
There are 19 interesting things to know about hedgehogs.
- Hedgehogs are not just unique animals that may make fantastic pets for certain families, but they also act in ways that you would not anticipate seeing from such odd creatures.
- Purring is a trait of hedgehogs. Even though they are mostly silent, hedgies will sometimes produce a charming purring sound when they are excited. As they search for food in hedgerows, they produce grunting sounds that are similar to those of pigs, which is how they received their name. They are also capable of making sounds like pigs.
- If you handle your pet hedgehog cautiously and gently, its quills won’t cause you any pain. On the other hand, infant quills tend to have a sharper point than adult quills. Quilling is the process that hedgies go through when they lose their old quills and grow new ones.
- The quills of a porcupine and a hedgehog are not the same, despite the fact that they seem quite similar to one another. Their quills are more properly referred to as “spines,” and contrary to popular belief, they do not have barbs, are not toxic, and contain a hollow core.
- A further distinction between the hedgehog and the porcupine is that the former’s quills are incapable of detaching and serve largely as a protective mechanism. The hedgehog will roll itself up into a ball, and its quills will cover both its head and its belly in the process.
- Quills are seen in abundance on hedgehogs. A single hedgehog may have anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 quills on its body. After a year, the quills naturally fall out and are replaced by brand new ones.
- When compared to other tiny pets, such as ferrets, hedgehogs do not emit nearly as much body odor as these animals do. The odor shouldn’t be a problem as long as the cage that your pet resides in is kept clean.
- In the event that your hedgehog starts to stink, you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible since this might be a symptom that it is sick.
- Although hedgehogs have poor vision, they make up for it with a strong sense of smell and sensitive hearing.
- Because hedgehogs are solitary animals who only enjoy the company of other hedgehogs while they are mating, you will need to ensure that your pet has plenty of time to spend alone.
- There are several peculiar biological words associated with hedgehogs. The term “an array” or “a prickle” is used to refer to a bunch of hedgehogs. Hoglets are the common name for young hedgehogs.
- The African pygmy hedgehog is one of the 17 species of hedgehogs, and it is one of the kinds that is often kept as a pet in the United States. The four-toed hedgehog and the North African hedgehog are the parents of the African pygmy, which is a hybrid of the two species.
- There are also some long-eared hedgehogs and Indian long-eared hedgehogs available for purchase as pets, although they are not nearly as popular.
- Hedgehogs are indigenous to every continent with the exception of Australia and the Americas. Even though they were brought there as a species after they were introduced there, they may also be found in New Zealand.
- Since the fourth century B.C., people have been keeping hedgehogs as pets.
- The venom of several different varieties of dangerous snakes has little or no effect on hedgehogs. In point of fact, there is evidence that they consume the meat of certain venomous snakes.
- Hedgehogs are known to hibernate during the winter months if they are found in climates that are particularly cold. Hedgehogs that are native to desert environments will go into aestivation when temperatures reach very high levels or when there is a prolonged drought.
- Estivation, which is very comparable to hibernation, is characterized by a condition of dormancy and a decreased metabolic rate.
- In response to certain flavors or odors, hedgehogs “anoint” themselves with their own saliva. It is not fully known why they behave in this manner; nonetheless, it is possible that they are attempting to hide their smell.
- In the United Kingdom, the hedgehog is known as “the gardener’s buddy” due to the fact that they feed on insects that feed on plants and cause harm.
- In several states and cities, including Alabama, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia, Douglas County in Nebraska, and New York City, it is against the law to possess a hedgehog.
- Other states and cities include New York City. In the states of Arizona, New Jersey, and Oregon, ownership is subject to regulation.
- In captivity, hedgehogs may live for up to seven years, but in the wild, their longevity is closer to two to four years.
- Due to the fact that hedgehogs may transmit infections to humans, it is essential for people who maintain hedgehogs to regularly clean their environments and wash their hands. Salmonella and ringworm are two diseases that may be transmitted to hedgehog owners from their pets.
How much does it cost to buy a hedgehog?
The cost of purchasing a hedgehog may range anywhere from $100 to $300 on average. The price will vary according on the age of the hedgehog, how sociable they are, and the color of their fur.
The cinnamon and salt and pepper hedgies are going to be the least expensive, and the “pinto” hedgies are going to be priced somewhere in the middle.
Hedgehogs that are blonde, black, or white in color often sell for the highest prices. Prices at breeders are often higher than those at pet stores.
Hedgehogs are sometimes available for adoption via local animal shelters as well as through organizations that specialize in animal rescue.
In this scenario, the cost of adoption via a shelter would most likely be on the cheaper end, whereas adoption through a private rescue organization will be on the upper end.
The Expenses Incurred When Caring for a Hedgehog
You need to factor in the following initial expenditures when calculating how much it will set you back to maintain a hedgehog:
Depending on how much you want to spend on it, the price of a cage may range anywhere from roughly $50 to $150.
Your first set of accessories, which may include a bed, food dish, drink bottle, and exercise wheel, will cost you between fifty and one hundred dollars. To maintain a reasonable temperature in the cage, you will also need a heating pad and a thermometer, each of which will cost between $50 to $60 when purchased combined.
The price of routine trips to the veterinarian will vary depending on where you live and whether or not there are any local veterinarians who are experienced in treating unusual pets like hedgehogs.
Before you have your pet, it is in your best interest to verify the rates of several veterinary clinics by calling about.
A five-pound bag of food, such as Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Complete, will run you around $25 and will provide enough nourishment for your hedgehog for about two months. You should also think about how much supplements, like fresh veggies and fruit, would set you back.
Naturally, you have the option of spending more money on your hedgehog by purchasing more toys, snacks, and other kinds of bedding.
Hedgehogs Can Be Good Pets
One of the greatest methods to help you determine whether or not a hedgehog will be a good pet for you is to educate yourself about these animals.
A hedgehog is an excellent candidate for a pet if you are searching for an animal that requires a minimal level of care and is content to be left alone when you are unable to be with it.
Before making your final choice, it is highly recommended that you spend some time engaging with potential pets at a breeder, rescue organization, or educated pet store.