Are you looking for an exotic and unique pet to keep in your household? Go for a Hedgehog, a small but adorable pet that has spines on its back. While many people look for cute, cuddly pets for households, hedgehogs have grown their popularity in past years as great exotic pets. However, just like every other pet, hedgehogs have their own unique care guide that you should learn before getting one home. So, without any further ado, let’s jump on the Hedgehog care guide and prepare your house for a hedgie-friendly environment.
Hedgehogs are active pets that love to climb, dig, swim, or go for marathon races at night in the wild. But in captivity, all these needs of hedgie can’t be fulfilled. So it’s required to give a large enclosure cage for hedgehogs with a running wheel, hiding place, food bowl, and water bottle.
As hedgies have soft feet, choosing cages with smooth flooring and walls is also required. A cage for guinea pigs or rabbits will be most suitable for that. Also, the cage should be strong enough to prevent hedgies from escaping. Hedgies are escape artists, so always keep them in a secure hedge-proof place. Also, don’t forget to clean the living place once a week. Remove the old food debris, and clean the whole cage to avoid any kind of fecal issues.
Hedgehogs have a unique diet of insects that is not easy to replicate in captivity. But you can give them a staple diet of store-bought, specially formulated hedgehog kibble. The kibbles have mashed up insects along with vitamins and minerals for creating a balanced diet. Also, if you are comfortable with treating your hedgie with live insects, you can go for Crickets, cockroaches, and mealworms. These are the favorite food of hedgehogs, and they eat them once or twice a day.
You can give hedgies scrambled or boiled eggs, peas, broccoli, apple, mashed potato, cooked lamb, chicken or mince, and dog food for occasional treats. But remember, any of your hedgie food shouldn’t contain fish or milk as their GI is intolerant of fish or milk. Also, there should be all-time available fresh water in their cage, and the water bowl or bottle should be kept right outside the hiding box.
If you are sound sensitive and can’t sleep in the noise, then keep your hedges’ cage far from the bedrooms. As Hedgehogs are nocturnal and stay active at night, they can be a trouble for your sleep. However, hedgies will complete their sleep in the daytime and will kickstart after the evening. So, before going to bed, you can play with your hedgies and have a wonderful time with them.
Don’t be so tense about their grooming. Hedgehogs are their own groomers and keep themselves clean all time. But if you want to give them a bath, do it only once in two weeks. And also, remember to cut their nails with a vet manicure or by yourself. But if you do it on your own, don’t cut near the pink flesh as it can cause bleeding.
Thus hedgehogs have spines on their back; they can be carried easily and are really fun to enjoy. Hedgies will crawl on your hands, take treats from you, and love to cuddle with you. But if they get scared, they will roll on and can bite you also.
So don’t make them scared of anything or try to hold them when they are nervous. Also, a young age, like six to eight weeks is, the best time to habituate a hedgehog to handling. But if they are older than that, hedgies may not love to be handled.
Being unique pets, hedgehogs need special care for their health. An annual visit to an exotic pet vet is important for keeping your hedgehogs healthy. Also, take your hedges for a dental cleaning under anesthesia occasionally, as they easily catch dental diseases.
Moreover, skin issues, including mite and lice infestations, intestinal parasites, and tumors, are common problems in hedgehogs. So keep all these issues in check, and if you see any symptoms, take them for a vet check-up. Another common thing you will see during hedges petting is Spine Loss. Just like human hair loss, hedgies lose their spine in a limited amount. But if your hedgie is losing spines in large amounts, then it’s a sign of medical concern.
So that’s all with our Hedgehog Care Guide for Beginners. Hope this article is going to be helpful for you.