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February 13, 2024

How to take care of pet Hedgehogs| Hedgehog Care

Who doesn’t want a small, cute, and harmless >hedgehog as a pet? This little four-legged friend is homely and always gives you the sweet and peaceful company that you want with your pet. Hedgehogs are famous for their timidness, however when their owner calls they respond immediately. 


How to take care of Hedgehog? Taking care of these beautiful pet animals is necessary because they are sensitive to too many things. Therefore, make sure that you give extra care to these animals. Taking care includes proper diet, clean water, physical activity, and grooming. 


Their laid-back personality does not let them fool you, if not handled properly they can become fiery and aggressive. Given the circumstances, this particular is not for everyone. When they become comfortable with a person they respond more. 


In this article, we have included 15 best healthcare tips for your hedgehog pet. Read our hedgehog care guide to understand the topic better. 


Taking care of Hedgehog

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Taking care of a pet hedgehog requires attention to their unique needs. Here are 10 points to ensure their well-being:


Proper Housing:

  • A hedgehog's cage must be big enough to allow it to engage in its natural activities, which include digging and exploring. For a single hedgehog, try to keep the cage no smaller than 4 square feet. With sturdy walls to keep the animal from escaping. Plastic-bottomed wire cages are a popular option.

  • Make sure the cage has adequate ventilation to keep the air clean and avoid respiratory problems.


Temperature Regulation: 

  • Temperature extremes can affect hedgehogs. Keep their surroundings consistently at a temperature of 72–80°F (22–27°C). Keep their cage out of direct sunlight and drafty places.

  • Regularly check the temperature with a thermometer, especially in the winter months. If needed, supply a low-temperature heating source, such as a ceramic heat emitter or heating pad.


Nutritious Diet:

  • A balanced diet high in protein and low in fat is necessary for hedgehogs. Good options include commercial hedgehog food, premium cat food, and specially prepared hedgehog diets and this is how to take care of a hedgehog for beginners. 

  • Add occasional treats to their diet, such as mealworms, crickets, small amounts of fruits, and vegetables. But keep in mind that giving them fatty or sugary food can cause obesity and other health problems.

  • Clean, fresh water should always be available in a shallow dish or a bottle with a sipper tube. To maintain cleanliness and freshness, change the water every day.


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Handling: 

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  • When handling your hedgehog, take a calm and gentle approach. Offer them treats and talk quietly so they can get used to your scent.

  • To avoid injury, ensure that their body is properly supported, particularly their feet.  Be mindful of their quills, which may prick if they feel threatened or uncomfortable.


Enrichment:

  • Curious animals and hedgehogs gain from both physical and mental stimulation. Toys such as balls, tunnels, and puzzle feeders can be provided to promote play and exploration.

  • Hedgehogs need an exercise wheel to stay physically fit and avoid becoming obese. To avoid back injuries, select a solid-surface wheel that has a minimum diameter of 12 inches.


Hygiene: 

  • Frequently clean the cage by clearing out any waste, food scraps, and soiled bedding. Perform a thorough cleaning once a week and spot-clean every day.

  • To keep your hedgehog from getting uncomfortable from overgrown nails, trim them as needed. Be cautious not to cut into the quick (the blood vessel inside the nail) when using pet-safe nail clippers.

  • Hedgehogs may benefit from occasional foot baths to remove dirt and debris from their feet. Use warm water and mild, unscented soap, and ensure they are thoroughly dried afterward.


Veterinary Care:

  • Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian experienced in treating hedgehogs to monitor their health and address any concerns.

  • Keep up with vaccinations recommended for hedgehogs in your area and discuss preventive measures for common health issues like mites and respiratory infections.


Observation:

  • Pay close attention to your hedgehog's behavior and habits, as they may indicate underlying health issues or changes in their environment.

  • Look for signs of illness, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, weight loss, or changes in stool consistency. Seek veterinary attention promptly if you notice any concerning symptoms.


Socialization:

  • Hedgehogs can be shy at first, but they can become lovable pets with time and careful handling. Spend time each day gently talking to your hedgehog and giving them treats to help foster trust.

  • Gently pet them and let them explore your lap and hands to foster interaction. Respect their personal space, though, and don't coerce them into interacting if it makes them uncomfortable.


Dental Health:

  • Because hedgehogs' teeth erupt and grow continuously throughout their lives, giving them the right chew toys can help keep their teeth trimmed and in good condition.

  • Keep a regular eye on their dental health, looking for symptoms like drooling, difficulty eating, or overgrown teeth. See a veterinarian if you observe any problems.


Environmental Enrichment:

  • Change their cage arrangement frequently to create an environment that is stimulating. To keep them mentally occupied, introduce new toys, hiding places, or foraging opportunities.

  • To replicate their natural habitat, think about including safe, organic materials like branches, rocks, or tunnels for them to explore.


Scent Control: 

  • As a natural part of their communication and territorial behavior, hedgehogs have a distinct musky scent. However, by maintaining a clean cage and enough ventilation, you can help control their odor.

  • Steer clear of using harsh chemicals or scented products close to their habitat as these can irritate their delicate respiratory systems.


Travel Safety:

  • Make sure your hedgehog is safely enclosed in a travel cage or carrier with adequate ventilation when transferring them. Give the carrier a cozy hiding place and cover it with plush bedding.

  • When traveling, stay away from abrupt movements and loud noises that could agitate them. If the journey is long, make sure there is access to food and water and maintain a steady temperature.


Final Thought

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This guide to owning hedgehogs are special creatures that require commitment, meticulous attention to detail, and in-depth knowledge of their requirements. You can guarantee your hedgehog companion a happy and fulfilling life by giving them a good diet, regular handling, appropriate veterinary care, and a suitable environment.


Recall to pay close attention to their behavior, take quick care of any health issues, and put their welfare first. You can develop a close relationship with your hedgehog and give them a long, happy, and healthy life if you are patient, loving, and dedicated to their care.

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