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Meet the Hedgehog

November 15, 2014

One pet that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the hedgehog. The African pygmy hedgehog is the type of hedgehog most commonly sold as a pet. These little quilled cuties are quite adorable, and can do very well as pets if given the proper care. In this article, your local veterinarian Niagara Falls goes over some basics of hedgehog care.

Cages

Hedgehogs are very active! These little guys are definitely not couch potatoes. They’re also nocturnal. Therefore, you probably don’t want to put your little buddy’s cage in the bedroom. Hedgies need lots of room to run and play, so you’ll need a least a 4 x 2 cage. A wire cage with a solid floor is an excellent choice for your hedgehog’s home. Once you have chosen a cage, you’ll need bedding. Recycled paper is a great option for hedgehogs. Stay away from wood products, as they can be harmful to hedgies. Your little buddy will also need a little home, or hidey-hole, where he can retreat to sleep or just have some quiet time. Hedgies can also be trained to use litter boxes, so you may want to get one of these as well. You’ll also need to add food and water bowls, and plenty of toys.

Diet

Some companies do make commercial hedgehog food, but it can be hard to find. If you can’t buy any locally, you can use dry cat food as your hedgie’s basic food instead. Your hedgehog will also need wet food. Canned cat or dog food is suitable. In addition, your little buddy will need his basic meals supplemented with some fruits and vegetables. It may take some experimentation to find out what Hedgie’s favorites are. Always research a new food to be sure it is safe for hedgehogs. Like any other pet, hedgehogs really like treats. They love insects, so you can feed your little one crickets or mealworms on occasion. Cooked meats, eggs, and doggy biscuits are also suitable treats.

Temperament

Hedgehogs can be a bit shy, especially at first. If your hedgehog gets scared, he may roll himself up into a little ball. This is a hedgehog’s main method of defense. Your hedgehog may ball himself up the first few times you handle him, but he should relax in time. As with any other animal, hedgehogs all have their own personalities. Some are friendly and outgoing, some are fearful, and others are nonchalant. Take time to get to know your little one’s personality and habits.

Do you have any questions about caring for hedgehogs? If so, your local vet clinic Niagara Falls is here to help! Please contact us any time we can be of assistance.

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