Hedgehog Care 101

Are you looking for a pet that is small and cute, but a little unusual? If so, you may want to consider getting a hedgehog. A Conyers, GA vet discusses these adorable little pets below.

Basics

Hedgehogs usually live about 4-7 years. Although hedgehogs can be quite lovable and friendly if properly socialized, they are very timid by nature, and are easily scared. If your pet feels frightened, he may roll up into a little ball. We recommend handling Hedgie gently every day. That way, he’ll feel safe and comfortable with you.

Quills

As you may know, hedgehogs have quills. While they don’t shoot their quills the way porcupines do, those quills can make snuggling up with a hedgehog a bit uncomfortable. You may want to use a towel to hold your pet.

Cage

Hedgie will need a roomy, comfortable cage. We recommend a wire mesh cage with a solid floor. About 7.5 square feet is a good size. You’ll want to add a suitable substrate. Newspaper or paper-based substrates are fine. Avoid using wood chips or shavings, especially pine or cedar products, as they aren’t safe for small animals. Remove droppings and uneaten food from your pet’s cage daily, and clean it regularly. As for accessories, your little buddy will need a hidey-hole, such as an igloo; some sturdy dishes; and a water bottle. We also recommend adding a solid wheel for your tiny pal to play on. Don’t forget to include plenty of toys for your hedgehog to play with. Some good options are ping-pong balls, toilet-paper tubes, toy cars, and stuffed animals.

Food

Hedgie can eat commercial hedgehog food for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with mealworms, crickets, earthworms, and/or waxworms, and small amounts of fruits and veggies. Carrots, peas, apples, beans, and corn are all safe. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including serving sizes, suitable treats, and safe and unsafe foods.

Veterinary Care

Like any other pet, hedgehogs should see the vet regularly. These little guys can develop a variety of health issues, such as skin problems and dental trouble, and may also contract parasites if not cared for properly. You’ll also want to watch for signs of illness. Ask your vet for more information.

Please feel free to contact us, your Conyers, GA animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about hedgehog care. We are here to help!