Karen has had several exotic pets; the hedgehog was the funniest-looking, but nothing beat the skunk for getting attention!
How Do You Pet a Hedgehog?
When I first got to know my husband, I found out he had had a pet hedgehog. Since I had two ferrets myself at the time and grew up with a pet skunk and wished for a pet wallaby, I thought it might be fun as newlyweds to get a hedgehog. He said they were nice pets, after all, and they certainly looked cute in pictures. I just had one question: How can you pet a pet hedgehog?
All About African Pygmy Hedgehogs
A hedgehog's lifespan is only a couple years, so I never met my husband's average brown hedgehog, named Horatio. First of all, I had to learn that the African pygmy hedgehogs sold as pets in America are not the same thing as English hedgehogs. For one thing, they are smaller: about the size of a large potato, or when fending off an enemy, a curled-up potato with needles sticking out all over. (Maybe I should just let the graphics handle the mental images.)
They are not related to porcupines, though it is tempting to associate them. Not that I've ever met a porcupine, but I understand porcupine needles are quite long. Hedgehog needles are half an inch to an inch long, and fairly thick. And very sharp, especially when your bare foot steps on one in the rug. They don't really look too bad lying down in the same direction when the hedgehog is happy, but when he curls up in a ball, you need work gloves to pick him up!
Fact: Hedgehogs Do Not Land on Their Feet
Sometimes, gloves are not at hand, though. Such as the time my husband discovered that, unlike a proverbial cat, hedgehogs do not always land on their feet.
Horatio was on a table and for some reason decided to crawl off the end of the table, and fearing for his poor pet's life, my husband shot out his hand to catch Horatio. He made the painful discovery that Horatio had started curling up and all the pointy parts were out. Multiple needles impaling human flesh absorbed the force much better than tiny hedgehog legs would have and provided Horatio a soft (for him) landing.
My husband did not prove conclusively that hedgehogs always land on their back, but was content to theorize from this one piece of anecdotal evidence that landing on the back would make a lot of sense (for the hedgehog, not the landing place.) And it's always nice to be able to curl up into a ball in an emergency.
Cats Can Turn Around in Midair
So, having proved (sort of) that hedgehogs must twist around in mid-air, my husband went on to discover that cats also can turn in mid-air. The experiment went like this:
Cat is discovered to be preparing to pounce on prey, which is not in full view.
- Cat pounces.
- Prey is then in full view.
- Cat's sharp vision informs the cat that the object below is also sharp.
- Cat's incredible reflexes veto the decision to pounce on the object.
- Result: cat changes course in mid-air.
So my husband says, anyway.
International Hedgehog Olympic Games
My husband was very interested in getting another hedgehog. I liked it except that I have never been too interested in pets you can't really pet, like turtles. (And some you can, like tarantulas.) So I wondered where we could find someone with a hedgehog so I could find out for myself whether they were pettable. (It wasn't so much that I doubted my husband saying so as that I couldn't picture how it was done.)
I looked on the Internet for hedgehog information, which way back in 2003 was not necessarily the most obvious first place to look for information. So I was amazed to find, not only was the International Hedgehog Olympic Games (IHOG) hedgehog show happening the following weekend, but it was happening just a few miles away in downtown Denver!
We went to the hotel the event was held at (hedgehogs are small enough you can hold their games in a hotel conference room) and were amazed. The variety of hedgehogs was amazing. The variety of things you can spend money on for your hedgehog was amazing. And the hedgehog people were really amazing. I mean, as a ferret owner I had realized ferret people are somewhat crazy, but it was nothing to hedgehog people! What made the biggest impression was the hedgehog psychic, who would tell you what your hedgehog thought. (And who are you to say that's not what the hedgehog was thinking?)
But in all the amazement, I did get to pet a hedgehog (and in the process discovered hedgehogs aren't potty trained.) And we talked to one of the breeders and arranged to buy our pedigreed baby hedgehog for $200 when it was old enough. So I became a hedgehog person too.
Pet Hedgehogs and Other Pets Compared
|Companion||Friendliness||Ease of Care||Pettability||You Have What? Factor|
8 if it would sit still
African Pygmy Hedgehog
2 on top 7 on bottom
Pet Rocks as explained by a friend who collects pet rocks from the Rocky Mountains
High - never bites, allows you to hold it any time. Can hurt if you drop one on your foot.
Low - requires only an occasional dusting
Varies. New rocks have low pettability. Rock tumblers increase their pettability. Ones with a lot of moss are highly pettable.
Our Baby Hedgehog
On a coolish day in Denver, we brought our new baby (hedgehog) home, having converted the second bathroom in our condo to a heated area we started calling "Africa", for the comfort of an animal that likes temperatures 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
As I recall, our hedgehog was considered a "champagne" hedgehog (click on the link to see pictures of the various colorations). I am not sure what the difference is between a pale, red-eyed hedgehog and an albino, but our baby hedgehog was cute—eventually, anyway.
A very young baby hedgehog looks like a small reddish potato with needles sticking out of it. Really. Well, maybe potatoes don't have noses, mouths, and legs, but otherwise, I stand by the description. If that one makes no sense to you, try picturing large baby gerbils with needles. Eventually, fur grows and they start looking cute and feeling soft, on one side anyway.
Hedgehogs love mealworms, and did you know you can actually buy mealworms at pet stores? Probably because we weren't the only hedgehog owners who had no intention of feeding our hedgehog homegrown mealworms.
Young Humans Shed Baby Teeth; Young Hedgehogs Shed Baby Prickles
Yes, those needles. All over. And then you step on them. We were glad when our hedgehog got past the shedding stage. The stage wasn't actually very long, but it did seem like forever before we were sure we'd found the last needle on our carpet.
Purchasing Equipment for a Hedgehog
I recall there being at the IHOG competition quite a bunch of things you could spoil a hedgehog with and at the same time get rid of a lot of burdensome money.
There was one thing that really did impress me, though, and we bought one of them —a hedgehog exercise wheel made out of a skateboard wheel, PVC pipe, and the bottom of a large plastic container. The thing was balanced well and was quiet too. The guy selling it assured us hedgehogs need lots of exercise, and ours used it a lot. The alternative is letting the hedgehog run free around the house, which sounds nice, but there are a few disadvantages:
- the lack of potty training
- if you step on a hedgehog you may regret it almost as much as the hedgehog
- the fact that any hole a hedgehog wants to get into, you aren't getting him out of until he wants to come out
The wheel wasn't easy to clean, but I would imagine any exercise wheel would have the same problem. That lack of potty training means after while there gets to be a whole lot of dried unmentionable substance on the running surface.
The way I would clean the wheel was take it out in the back yard, aim the hose inside the wheel, which would make the wheel spin faster and faster, and let the wheel rinse and spin itself. Eventually that would get just about everything, and it was fun, too, as long as I was careful to stand away from the splashes.
Fact: Hedgehogs Bite
Especially if you are wearing cherry-flavored hand lotion. We found this out because, of course, we had to show off our new pet to all our friends. Some of them wanted to hold him.
Hedgehogs do have individual personalities, and ours was, you might say, occasionally prickly. So he bit me occasionally, just to express that I was not treating him right, not a serious bite. It didn't draw blood. But it did hurt, and when handling a pet you already are easily hurt by, well, there are lots of relationship books about things like that. Mostly they say to stay away. Probably our hedgehog would have become friendlier if I had handled him more, especially as a baby, but as it was, he was generally nice unless dissatisfied with something, and then would nip.
So we were always a little hesitant over letting friends hold him, but I can only think of two times we had a problem. One was the friend who had just put the lotion on her hands. Out came this long red hedgehog tongue, and started licking, and licking. Usually the next thing he would do after licking like that was chew, so we separated him from those wonderful-tasting hands as quick as we could.
Then there was the elder of our church, who was over with a bunch of other people and almost before we knew he had even arrived, he came in the room saying, "Your hedgehog bit me!"
"Oh, hello, nice you could come," was our response. As we knew him to be a former goat farmer and also the father of one of the gentlest young men we know with animals, we figured we knew what he was getting into and probably deserved whatever he got!
Actually, You Can Pet a Hedgehog
If you can get a hedgehog relaxed enough with you to let you roll him over and rub his tummy, you will find they really do have a soft belly. They do like their tummies rubbed, but only by good friends.
Fact: Hedgehogs Turn Themselves Inside Out
Okay, not quite. But it looks that way, when they taste something they think is interesting. For instance, the leg of our antique coffee table. Our hedgehog would lick it and even chew on it for a bit, then start moving his mouth around to make really foamy saliva. Then he would start smearing the foam all over his back. That's the part that looked like turning himself inside out. After all, how would you smear saliva on your back if your arms were half as long? Well, you're right, you have no reason to smear saliva on your back, so you are probably wondering why a hedgehog does. I don't know. Experts don't know. Presumably hedgehogs know, but if they told the hedgehog psychic, she didn't tell me.
The main use I know of for this hedgehog behavior is to entertain the hedgehog's owners and astonished guests.
Tip: Beware of Feral Hedgehogs Roaming the Streets of Denver
This is hearsay, and those who I heard it from were hedgehog owners, so it could be not quite exactly the way things were. However, the idea was funny enough I have to mention it.
Last I heard, it is illegal to own hedgehogs in the city of Denver (not the surrounding towns), because they are concerned about feral animals. That is, you bring in an exotic species and some of them escape and find each other and breed and do horrible things to the native species. It is a reasonable concern.
Except that these are African pygmy hedgehogs. As in, from Africa. To keep ours healthy, we had to have a heat rock like those made for lizard cages. He spent most of his time on the rock in the winter, and that was inside a house! So it seems a bit paranoid to think that escaped hedgehogs are going to survive in Denver for more than a few weeks in the middle of the summer.
But we liked the mental image of herds of feral African pygmy hedgehogs, roaming the streets of Denver, causing terror and mayhem in feral cats, leaving a trail of hedgehog needles to puncture feet and tires, and messily devouring the hands of anyone with cherry hand lotion.
Pet Hedgehogs Compared to British Hedgehogs
- They can run, climb and even have their own Olympics: A new book reveals the surprisingly sporty sid
A British perspective on the International Hedgehog games in Denver.
Questions & Answers
Question: What do you feed baby and adult hedgehogs?
Answer: I think larger pet stores have food specifically for hedgehogs.
© 2012 aethelthryth
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on January 01, 2015:
I can't wait to read THAT book!
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on January 01, 2015:
Thanks for the encouragement, GetitScene, I actually have a couple things ready to be WWI articles, but I'm trying to get a book about Iwo Jima published before the 70th anniversary of the battle, and that's been taking my attention the last couple years (writing and answering comments is fun, not work.)
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on January 01, 2015:
Write more hubs! I think I've read everything of yours several times. =) More WWI Ace stuff would be great!!
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on March 18, 2014:
Jeannieinabottle, sujaya venkatesh, and rebeccamealey, thank you for your comments! Hamsters are both cuter and more pettable than hedgehogs, but if you want to be a remarkable person, in the sense of a person people make remarks about, hedgehogs are an invaluable asset. People may tell the next generation about you, like a high-school friend of mine whose children have never met me, but know me as the one who had a pet skunk as a girl.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 18, 2014:
Never heard of having a hedgehog as a pet. I have to vote interesting. I like your chart!
sujaya venkatesh on March 18, 2014:
hedgehogging all the way ae
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on March 17, 2014:
Well, now I want a hedgehog! I've had a few hamsters, but hedgehogs sound delightful. I think I would especially enjoy the Hedgehog Olympics. As far as the exercise wheel goes, I can say as a previous hamster owner, they are always difficult to clean. Eventually hamsters do typically become potty trained though... as much as one can potty train a hamster, that is. Thanks for sharing all your hedgehog knowledge. :-) It makes me want one as a pet now!
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on May 14, 2013:
GetitScene, I would think fresh cheese from a friendly hand would be much better for them than moldy cheese dug out of the trash, which I'm sure they eat anyway, assuming hedgehogs in the UK operate like skunks here! (I just got reminded yesterday that there aren't skunks in Europe - a story of Danish physicist Niels Bohr having to be told to keep his distance from a skunk even if it was cute.)
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on May 13, 2013:
Unique. Loved it. When I lived in the UK (pre-boat) 2 hedgehogs used to scratch at my back door and I would feed them cheese. In hindsight, cheese is probably not good for them but they sure seemed to love it.
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on February 02, 2013:
Redberry Sky - Animals native to other countries look so cute in nature photographs, but I guess the ones we live next to are always fleabitten varmints!
Between hedgehogs and their owners, the Hedgehog Olympics are quite a spectacle.
Redberry Sky on January 30, 2013:
These days, I'd be more in the market for the pet rock you mention, but when I was a little girl I used to bring home any wild animal I found. One day I found a hedgehog and carried it carefully home with me. My mum went absolutely nutsbananas; wild hedgehogs have an *inordinate* number of fleas nestled among their spines.
Cool and interesting Hub, Aethelthryth - I would *love* to go and see the Hedgehog Olympics! :)
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on October 05, 2012:
Hello shiningIrisheyes, thank you for the comment. I liked the name Horatio; I thought it was very original. And I'd have to say hedgehogs can even be cuddly, if they are very happy, but that can change very quickly too....
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on October 05, 2012:
I so enjoyed reading about the hedgehog escapades - especially with your Hubby and Horatio. My niece had a hedgehog and it was the only one I ever laid eyes on. Very cute but not very cuddly!
Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on October 02, 2012:
Sadly hedgehog numbers in the uk are decreasing - according to the hedgehog preservation society by 25% over the past 10 years. I don't see them as often as I used to. If you visit the UK again you might enjoy a visit to Tiggywinkles which is a wildlife hospital which started of with hedgehogs and expanded. They have a visitor centre and I'm sure you'd get to meet hedgehogs there.
I shall look forward to your hub on artist writer collaborations.
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on October 02, 2012:
Thank you, Nettlemere. I would love to see English hedgehogs, but they've hidden themselves pretty well whenever I've been in England. As for the illustrations, I think I'm going to write an article about how artist friends seeking ways to promote their work on-line are a natural fit for Hub writers who do not know anything about art!
Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on October 01, 2012:
Well written, enjoyable hub and very cute illustrations. I've looked after a few European hedgehogs over winter which were too light to survive hibernation and I think they have just about the smelliest droppings of any creature I've cared for!
aethelthryth (author) from American Southwest on October 01, 2012:
Thank you, Farmer Rachel. I guess the main reason anyone would choose a hedgehog over a hamster is to see the looks on their friends' faces.
Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on October 01, 2012:
Interesting and cute hub! Can't say I'm much interested in having a pet hedgehog myself, but this was really awesome information. Great job! Voted up and more :)
How Can I Bond With My Hedgehog?
Bonding with your hedgehog will help create an attachment between the both of you. The more the attachment between you and the hedgehog, the more you grow a love for each other. Bonding with your hedgehog will require effort, persistence, and a better understanding of hedgehogs.
To bond with your hedgehog, appeal to their powerful sense of smell, their sensitivity to smell, and their sense of touch. Your pet hedgehog will slowly get used to your scent, the sound of your voice, and enjoy special snuggling time with you. These pets have poor eyesight, so bonding with them via their senses will raise the effectiveness of all your efforts to bond.
You can bond with your hedgehog by letting them get used to your scent. Hedgehogs have a powerful sense of smell. One way to achieve this is by sleeping in your t-shirt for several days or wear it for a full day, then without washing it, drape it over the hedgehog’s cage.
You can also look for a fleece small enough to fit your pet’s cage, sleep with it for a few days then put it in their sleeping area. When the pet is still warming up to you, it’s better if you avoid trying out new perfumes, lotions, or scents. A fresh smell may disguise your original scent that the hedgehog was warming up to and confuse them.
Regularly talking to your hedgehog helps it bond with you by growing familiar with your voice. To increase this effectiveness, speak to your hedgehog during snuggle, holding, and bathing time, among other fun activities this makes them associate your voice with enjoyment and comfort.
An easy way to bond is during their sleep and snuggle time. To achieve this, place your hedgehog on your lap for about an hour when watching tv or reading. You’ll notice your hedgehog uncurling and attempting to explore on its own after a few minutes.
If your hedgehog takes a little longer to relax, just be patient with them. You may also hold it against your chest with your hand so that it can enjoy your warmth. Refrain from trying to pet a shy hedgehog. It will likely relax and then come out on its own.
However, some irritable behaviors may limit how well your hedgehog bonds with you. When a hedgehog is accustomed to complete silence, general noises like the opening and closing doors may irritate them.
Hedgehogs are naturally very sensitive to sounds. You’ll even notice the prickle or ball up when they hear a loud noise. You can play music from time to time, the talking sounds, and music on the radio will provide constant noise, which makes new sounds and noises less obstructive.
If you’re still feeling unaware of their mood and affection, you may try playing with your buddy. Sit your hedgehog on the floor in a hedgehog safe area or room. Instead of touching it, allow the hedgehog to figure you out on its terms. Stay still and let them explore you like a mountain, do this routinely they’ll get used to you.
15 Pros and Cons of Having a Hedgehog as a Pet
Hedgehogs, or вЂњhedgiesвЂќ if you prefer, are cute little creates that are naturally found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. You can find them in New Zealand now too thanks to their introduction there. There are currently 17 different species known to science with this animal who shares a distant ancestry with shrews. Their tiny quills are reminiscent of porcupines, but the two animals are unrelate.
Hedgehogs got their name in the late 15th century because you would find them living near the hedgerows in Europe. The вЂњhogвЂќ portion of their name came about because of the tiny snout that looks reminiscent of a pig.
Most hedgies have brown spines with pale tips, but the ones that live on the island of Alderney in the United Kingdom are blonde. All of them roll into a tight ball as a way to defend themselves, causing their quills to extend outward.
If you are thinking about a hedgehog as a pet right now, then these are the critical pros and cons that you will want to review.
List of the Pros of Having a Hedgehog as a Pet
1. Hedgehogs are relatively quiet when they live in your home.
If you have had guinea pigs or hamsters in the past, then you know how loud they can be when they understand that you might be working on a treat for them. Hedgehogs approach this scenario in a completely different manner. You might hear purring noises coming from them when they want something, but it isnвЂ™t a sound that is loud or obnoxious. That is why this small animal tends to be a popular selection for renters вЂ“ especially if you live in a large complex with thin walls.
2. Hedgehogs are independent creatures who donвЂ™t need much attention.
When you have a hedgehog as a pet, then youвЂ™ll want to give the animal some daily interactions that are gentle and loving. It only takes a few minutes to give them the attention they need each day, unlike a dog or a cat who might want constant contact. If you want to keep your pet tame, then plan to spend about 60 minutes per day with the animal in some way. That doesnвЂ™t mean you need to have physical contact that entire time. Being in the same room can be enough for many of them.
3. Hedgehogs are a low-maintenance pet to consider having in your home.
You donвЂ™t need to worry about taking your pet hedgehog out for a walk each day. There arenвЂ™t specific outdoor enclosures youвЂ™ll need to build, scratching posts to install, or other high-maintenance activities that other pets need to stay mentally and physically healthy. If you provide a hedgehog with an exercise wheel in their enclosure, then youвЂ™ll be taking the most essential step necessary to maintain their health requirements.
4. Hedgehogs are interactive at all hours of the day.
Your hedgehog maintains an unusual set of hours, often napping some during the day and night with various activities in between those periods of rest. If you work an alternative shift, then this advantage means that you can interact with your pet whenever you are home. You may want to consider keeping your enclosure somewhere other than your bedroom because of their nightly activities if you find that their motion keeps you away.
5. Hedgehogs have cool quills that donвЂ™t hurt.
You can pet a hedgehog because their quills are not as sharp as the ones you might find on a porcupine. If you have a young animal at home as a pet, then youвЂ™ll want to handle him or her very carefully because baby quills are usually much sharper than the adult version. YouвЂ™ll notice that the quills come out like a dog shedвЂ™s its coat sometimes as well, which is a process called вЂњquilling.вЂќ
Getting poked is still a possibility If you donвЂ™t handle a hedgehog of any age with the right amount of care, so be sure to learn how to manage this part of your interactions before bringing home the pet in the first place.
6. Hedgehogs donвЂ™t have the same smell issues.
If you share a home with other small pets, then their odor can seep in the upholstery and carpet over time. Even houses with dogs and cats in them can smell problematic. You might become nose-blind to this issue, but your visitors will certainly detect the foul atmosphere. Ferrets are notoriously bad for this issue. When a hedgehog is your pet, then it isnвЂ™t something that youвЂ™ll need to worry about as all. Keeping the cage clean will help to maintain the animalвЂ™s health.
If your hedgie does start to develop a foul odor, then this issue is typically a sign of illness. YouвЂ™ll want to get him or her to vet right away.
7. Hedgehogs have a long lifespan for their size.
When you bring home a young hedgehog as a pet, then they can live for about 4-6 years when they receive the love, care, and food that they need to maintain their physical and mental health. YouвЂ™ll need to give your hedgie time to forage to gain this advantage as well. Although they are not as long-lived as most dogs or cats, it is significantly longer than other rodent-like animals that you might consider.
8. Hedgehogs can be a hypoallergenic option for some homes.
YouвЂ™ll discover that hedgies donвЂ™t have the dander that other animals bring into your home, which means they work as an excellent pet option for someone who has allergies. If you donвЂ™t like the idea of having a hairless cat or a fish, then your new best friend could be this little ball of quills. They wonвЂ™t seek out your attention, but you can encourage some physical interactions with gentle care over time.
List of the Cons of Having a Hedgehog as a Pet
1. Hedgehogs are not social animals.
If you have more than one hedgehog at home, then youвЂ™ll need to keep them separated from each other. These animals tend to fight when they share the same cage, especially if you have males, and this reaction is typically to the death. You must have separate cages if youвЂ™re keeping more than just one of them at home. That means youвЂ™ll need to have more space, spend extra time cleaning their cages, and ensure that each animal gets the one-on-one time thatвЂ™s necessary for their mental and physical health.
2. Hedgehogs need time to explore.
Hedgehogs are independent, self-reliant pets who donвЂ™t need a lot of attention, but you do need to get them out of their cages regularly to support their health. Getting an exercise wheel can help them to stay active, and that is an excellent first step. These animals also need time to go foraging since that is one of their primary natural activities. YouвЂ™ll want to set up a safe area that is separate from their primary home to accomplish this need. Make sure that you clean up after your pet as he or she scurries about too, because there will be many droppings left behind.
3. Hedgehogs donвЂ™t engage with litter training well.
It is not unusual for hedgehogs to relieve themselves while they are running around. If you let one loose in your apartment, then you have a 99.9% guarantee that there will be a mess to clean up afterward. Their droppings might be small, but they can leave stains if youвЂ™re not careful with this issue. Some hedgehogs do have the ability to use a little box with the right amount of training, but there are some who never catch on to this trick. ThatвЂ™s why daily cleaning is sometimes necessary if you decide that a hedgie is the best pet for your home.
4. Hedgehogs donвЂ™t mix well with tiny humans.
Hedgehogs like to have a quiet environment, which means a home with small children or lots of other pets will not be a good fit. These animals get stressed out quickly when there is a high level of noise pollution around them. Hedgies need careful and secure handling to protect their health as well, so children might inadvertently injure the animal if they are not careful вЂ“ or accidentally drop one. Those quills can give your fingers a poke too if the handling is a little rough.
5. Hedgehogs need a specialized veterinarian for their care.
You will need to speak to the veterinarian offices in your community to see if there is any local expertise in the health management of exotic animals. It may not be a service that is readily available in some areas, so you will want to see where the closest location is before bringing home your pet to ensure that the best level of care is possible. If you need to drive more than 50 miles to reach the help you might need one day, then having a hedgie might not be the best choice.
6. Hedgehogs require a specific nutritional plan that you must follow at all times.
Hedgehogs are omnivorous when they live in the wild. You will find all 17 known species eating frogs, toads, snails, eggs, and even snakes. YouвЂ™ll find them chasing after insects too. Outside of the winter months, you will find them hunting down melons and mushrooms. When the cold weather hits, then they like to survive on grass roots. In the Middle East, the hedgies there have developed a taste for berries.
That means youвЂ™ll need to feed your hedgehog a specific diet meant for their needs. Some stores carry a commercial food product, but it may not be available in all areas. You can sometimes substitute a meat-based dry cat food вЂ“ especially if the primary ingredient is chicken. Canned dog or cat foot works when the first item in it is an animal-based protein. You should also include peas, corn, apples, carrots, or beans in small portions.
7. Hedgehogs require regular care.
A hedgehog cannot be left alone for an extended time without some kind of interaction. If you plan to be gone any longer than a day or two, then someone will need to stop by your place to check on the hedgie and play with them for a bit. YouвЂ™ll also want to consider the temperature of your home during this time, as they donвЂ™t do well in climates that are under 70F.
Final Pros and Cons of Hedgehogs as Pets
Only you can decide if a hedgehog will be a good pet for your home and family. The first question you should ask yourself is what you want from a hedgie in the first place. These animals will not provide you with constant companionship like a dog or the intelligence of a cat, but they are still smart in their own unique way.
If you want a low-maintenance pet who is happy to be independent without a lot of physical interaction, then this animal might be a good fit for your home if you have responsible children and no other pets that could cause a disturbance. Talk to a breeder, interact with hedgies, and then youвЂ™ll know where you stand on the pros and cons of hedgehogs as a pet.
- Gerbils recognize each other by the taste of their saliva. That is why it looks like they are rubbing noses when they meet, they are actually licking each other’s mouths!
- Does your gerbil ever push at your hand with its head? This means that it is irritated and wants to be left alone.
- When a gerbil is excited, it will sometimes jump with all four feet in the air.