Here we can see, “How to Take Care of a Pet Hedgehog”
Hedgehogs are unusual creatures that make excellent pets. They are covered in tiny small spines and roll into balls when startled, not simply because they eat a different type of food than other pocket pets. Hedgehogs require unique care, such as housing and food, so keep reading to learn how to care for a hedgehog as a pet.
Hedgehogs, unlike most other pocket pets, are considered insectivores, and these snouted rodents have a strong appetite for creepy crawlies. The most commonly fed insects in captivity are mealworms and crickets, but a hedgehog’s basic food should be a store-bought, specially prepared hedgehog kibble. Mealworms, crickets, and other live insects and vegetables can be added to the kibble if it doesn’t already have insects in it.
Many owners and breeders still feed their hedgehogs kitten food, which isn’t the best because it doesn’t have blood meal or chitin.
Keeping Hedgehogs as Pets
African Pygmy hedgehogs are native to central and eastern Africa, as their name suggests, but the majority of these hedgehogs are actually a hybrid of two species: four-toed and Algerian hedgehogs. They eat small insects, grubs, snails, spiders, and small vertebrates in the wild, which is a diet you should try to replicate in captivity.
Hedgehogs can live in cages designed for guinea pigs and rabbits. However, wire-grate cage bottoms should be avoided since hedgehogs have small feet that can be hurt if they fall through these grates. Hedgehogs’ sensitive feet benefit from soft bedding such as recycled paper material or towels that are changed out on a regular basis. Good cage padding is essential; wire-bottom or plastic grates can cause callus formation on the feet, which can lead to pododermatitis, a foot infection. To make cleaning some areas easier, consider using fleece or dog-training potty pads instead of soft padding or fleece.
A large enclosed running wheel, as well as a hide box, food bowl, and water bottle, should be kept in the cage for your hedgie to exercise in. Make sure the running wheel is cleaned on a regular basis to avoid faeces buildup, which can lead to foot illnesses or infections in humans when they are handled.
Hedgehogs are particularly active at night and will run several kilometres on their wheels or in their enclosed play area in a single day. They may grow unhappy, overweight, and suffer foot sores if they are unable to obtain the necessary amount of activity. Hedgehogs value exercise and activity, so prospective owners should be able to commit to providing the required space.
Although African pygmy hedgehogs have a lot of sharp spines, they are nevertheless enjoyable to handle. Hedgehogs who have been trained will crawl into your hands, take goodies from you, and even like being carried around. Because younger hedgehogs are easier to tame than older ones, getting one at around six to eight weeks of age is your best bet for a hedgehog who enjoys being held.
Hedgehogs dislike having their heads petted and will roll into spiky balls if startled. If you’re having difficulties cleaning your hedgehog’s feet, consider placing it in a shallow bath that only covers their feet, because hedgehogs dislike water.
Health of Hedgehogs
Pet hedgehogs can suffer from dental disease, skin problems such as mite and lice infestations, intestinal parasites, and tumours. Spaying and neutering are indicated to reduce the risk of cancers of the reproductive organs and other disorders later in life. To keep your hedgie from losing teeth or developing other dental problems, thorough dental checkups at yearly vet visits and the occasional tooth cleaning under anaesthesia are recommended. Some owners brush their hedgehog’s teeth once a week with cat toothpaste and a small head toothbrush or cotton-tipped applicator, but this is very rare.
Obesity is a typical problem with these dogs, so make sure you feed them the proper amount of food for their diet.
In minor amounts, spine loss is normal, but if your hedgehog is losing so many spines that it has bald patches, there is likely a medical issue. Excessive spine loss is most commonly caused by parasitic infections such as mites. If your hedgehog is losing a lot of spines, you should take him to the clinic.
Are hedgehogs easy to take care of?
Hedgehogs can be fun and low-maintenance household pets, but they do require specific attention. They have sharp quills that can be difficult to handle. Daily handling that is consistent and proper will help them relax and feel at ease with you.
Are hedgehogs high-maintenance?
Hedgehogs are low-maintenance animals with little cage cleaning requirements. Your hedgehog’s litter box, on the other hand, will need to be cleaned at least once a week. Additionally, their cage is cleaned once a week!
Do hedgehogs need baths?
Most hedgehogs will only require a bath once a month or less. Hedgehogs get the most dirty by treading in their droppings. Therefore, clean their cage often, once a week or less if necessary, to avoid unnecessary baths.
Can hedgehogs be potty trained?
These little creatures are smarter than most people realise, and toilet training them can make your job a lot easier! While expecting a 100% success rate is unrealistic, a good number of hedgehogs can be trained to use a litter box if done correctly.
Do hedgehogs fart?
Hedgehogs, yes, fart! Hedgehog farts, on the other hand, sound just like farts. Hedgehog farts can also be quite unpleasant, especially if the hedgehog has been fed fishy cat food. This may be why so many hedgehog specialists advise against it!
I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.