The general Hedgehog care sheet covers the majority of what you need to know to properly care for your Hedgehog. If you require additional information beyond what we have here, or if you have an emergency, there are advanced resources, as well as expert support information at the bottom of this page.
What is a Hedgehog?
A small loving creatures that have been traced back on earth as far as the dinosaur era. They are one of the oldest living insectivores. They come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. The Pygmy Hedgehog is the most popular of the species and the best one to have as a pet according to many sources and breeders.
Where are Hedgehogs found in the wild?
In the wild, Hedgehogs are found in areas such as Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are not a native mammal of the United States and were just introduced a few centuries back.
Does a Hedgehog hibernate?
These small creatures are no longer being imported into the United States can be found from breeders throughout the States via pet stores, internet, while some are even posted for sale on your local newspapers. The African species was banned in 1990, and in 1992 the North American Hedgehog Association (NAHA) was created to preserve the health and existence of this poky little ball of fun. All Hedgehogs can hibernate but the Algerian species does not due to it being used to a warm climate habitat.
Hedgehog species and subspecies
How many species of hedgehogs are there?
There are numerous species and subspecies of Hedgehogs, the list below will help you with their binomial names and different types of Hedgehogs exist.
Hedgehog, Genus Atelerix
Four-toed, Atelerix albiventris
North African, Atelerix algirus
Southern African, Atelerix frontalis
Somalid, Atelerix sclateri
Hedgehog, Genus Erinaceus
Amur, Erinaceus amurensis
Southern White-breasted, Erinaceus concolor
West European, Erinaceus europaeus
Northern White-breasted, Erinaceus roumanicus
Hedgehog, Genus Hemiechinus
Long-eared, Hemiechinus auritus
Indian Long-eared, Hemiechinus collaris
Hedgehog, Genus Mesechinus
Daurian, Mesechinus dauuricus
Hugh’s, Mesechinus hughi
Hedgehog, Genus Paraechinus
Desert, Paraechinus aethiopicus
Brandt’s, Paraechinus hypomelas
Indian, Paraechinus micropus
Bare-bellied, Paraechinus nudiventris
Hedgehog Diet and Treats
- What do I feed a Hedgehog?
- Is my Hedgehog too fat?
- What kind of treats can I include on a Hedgehog diet?
Hedgehog Bathing Instructions
Do I bathe a Hedgehog?
Hedgehogs are fantastic pets in that they require minimal maintenance. They will need occasional bath, but this is rare unless you have a messy Hedgehog. Mild dog and cat shampoos that are tear less work great for bathing a hedgehog. Hedgehogs loves taking a bath and will almost always unroll to get a bath. It’s important to wrap a hedgehog in a towel and hold them close to your body to keep them warm as you dry them up thus preventing catching a cold. Blow dryers work well, but hedgehogs all act differently so if you notice that this is causing stress to your pet, discontinue and go back to towel drying.
Hedgehog Handling Instructions
How do I hold a Hedgehog?
Like any pet that you bring into your home, a Hedgehog needs to be handled and cared for and not just to be something that you just feed and water. The reason we buy pets is because we are passionate about them, and want companionship and this should be no different from a Hedgehog. If you leave your hedgehog with nothing to do but sit inside its cage with no toys or interaction with you at all, time will come that they could become bored and starts to suffer from malnutrition and getting ill. They are calm lovable pets that can quickly become part of your family. When bringing them to your home for the first time let them get used to their new surrounding and enclosure before you start handling them regularly.
Do Hedgehogs make good pets?
When you are attempting to handle them for the first time, start by putting your hand in the cage to get them used to you. You can even use and give them some treats or snack as a form of bribe and get used to your smell. Once your pet has gotten use to your hand you can attempt holding them, but make sure you are aware of their body language so you can take away your hand in case it wants to poke you. Hedgehogs are great pets and loves attention and affection so make sure you give them plenty of it and for sure you will develop an unbreakable bond.
How do I clip a Hedgehogs nails?
Their nails are fairly easy to clip, but not all Hedgehogs will be so willing to have this done onto them so one way for you to do the clipping is by giving them a bathe thus making them unroll voluntarily while in a nice warm water bowl. When you clip their nails it’s best to have someone to assist you and this is for the safety of your pet. Hold the Hedgehog close to your body and have your partner clip each nail about 1/8 inch just below the pinkish quick. Do not be alarmed if you accidentally cut the pink quick just ready yourself with some corn starch nearby to to stop its bleeding. As you get used to doing this for sure you will get better at it, it is normal to be stressed in the beginning due to the fact that you don’t want to hurt your pet and your taking great care in trimming its nails. Nail scissors or small infant nail trimmers can be used and would work just fine in trimming your hedgehogs nails.
Hedgehog Habitat Setup
- What kind of Hedgehog cage do I buy?
- What temperature does a hedgehog need?
- What other supplies do I buy a hedgehog cage?
- What kind of bedding(substrate) do I buy a hedgehog?
- Does a hedgehog need toys?
Hedgehog Health Concerns
Hedgehog Breeding and Baby Care
- How do I breed a Hedgehog?
- Questions to ask yourself before you should consider breeding a Hedgehog:
- How old does a Hedgehog need to be to breed?
- How long do I let a Hedgehog mate?
- How many babies will a Hedgehog have?
Is a Hedgehog dangerous?
Hedgehogs also naturally came from the wild or used to a wild habitat and it is for this reason that they retain their wild instincts and behavior even in captivity. Although they have been bred to make excellent captive pets you should still approach this small mammal with respect for they do bite and can really do some damage into someone with their quills when defending themselves.
Are Hedgehogs legal?
In most places they are, but certain areas require permits to own and breed them; check with your vet or to any humane society in your area to determine legality. Hedgehogs are no longer imported and were banned in the late 1990′s so all remaining litters are bred within the United States.
How old will a Hedgehog get?
Larger Hedgehogs have a life span of 4-7 years, but reports indicates that some have reached more than 15 years.
Hedgehog size and weight
How big will a Hedgehog get?
Adult Hedgehogs can weight anywhere from 220 grams to 1000 grams depending on the species whether they belong to the large or small group.
Hedgehog Average Price
How much does a Hedgehog cost?
Cost usually ranges between 100$ to 200$ depending on its color and size. Some are cheaper but you need to shop around over the internet or look at pet stores for any sales.
Hedgehog Pros and Cons
Is a Hedgehog the right pet for me?
Pros of owning this pet: They live longer than any other pets, they are entertaining, they require average amounts of attention, they are low in terms of maintenance cost throughout their lives.
Cons of owning this pet: They can get sick easily, they are hard to breed, and they have spiny scales on top of their back which can hurt.
Are there any good books on Hedgehogs?
These are some of the top-rated books available for Hedgehogs. If you are planning to invest in a Hedgehog, we highly recommend grabbing at least one of these:
- Featured Image: Hedgehog