Here are some Hedgehog facts and frequently asked questions!
Q: What is a hedgehog's life span?
A: 4-7 years.
Q: How can I tell if it's a boy or a girl?
A: A female's genitals are immediately next to the anus, while the male's penis sheath, or "belly button" is farther up the tummy
Q: What can I use for my hedgehog cage?
A: A metal or plastic cage (like those made for rabbits) or a extra large plastic bin is acceptable. Make sure that the cage has at least 2.5 square feet of floor space, and that the cage bottom and sides have no wire grates that little hedgehog feet can fall through and get hurt on, or get stuck. Clean the cage at least once to twice a week, and odor won't be a problem. We offer Hedgehog Starter Kits, available from $80! These starter kits include everything you need to start out your hedgie with a new home. When you buy a Happy Hedgies hoglet, receive up to $10 off Starter Kits!
Q: Why do hedgehogs need to be kept warm?
A: The cage should be kept at 73-78° F (23-25° C) constantly. When they get too cold hedgehogs will attempt hibernation. Captive bred hedgehogs do not know how to hibernate properly which is why hibernation is so dangerous. Make sure your hedgehog does not get cold! We recommend an additional heat source like a heating lamp, heating pad or space heater. Be sure to keep a thermometer in your hedgie's cage to keep an eye on the temperature.
Q: What's the best bedding for my hedgehog?
A: Fleece or Flannel liners, recycled paper products, white softwood shavings and aspen shavings have been recommended by many. A little warning about wood beddings, they have been known to carry mite eggs which could hatch and infest your new pet. Be careful with Carefresh bedding. We have used Carefresh before and found two of our hedgehogs start to chew and eat it. One of them became very sick and had to be taken to the vet. There have been reports of hedgehogs dying from ingesting Carefresh because of internal blockage.
Q: My hedgehog seems bored and lonely, can I put another hedgehog with him?
A: Hedgehogs are solitary pets and prefer to live alone. Living with another hedgehog in the same cage can cause fighting and stress out your hedgehog and injury. If they were two females born from the same litter, there can be exceptions, but making sure you have extra room for another hedgehog in the same living area. ex. a larger cage, extra sleeping area.
Q: Are there any toys I can give my hedgehog?
A: Hedgehogs can run or walk endlessly at night, so a wheel is almost necessary for their exercise. A large wheel (12" in diameter or so) is recommended. Be sure that the running surface of the wheel is solid, so that your hedgehog is not at risk for slipping and breaking its legs. Toilet paper tubes and plastic cat balls with bells inside will also make them extremely entertained. PVC piping and other tunnels are great for them to explore in as well.
Q: Is there any treats I can give my hedgehog?
A: Protein - mealworms (large or small), butter worms/wax worms, freeze-dried crickets and unseasoned cooked chicken
Fruits - Cherry, Apple, Watermelon, Banana, Pears, Strawberry, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Mango, Peaches, Pumpkin, Squash, Honeydew, Cranberries, Raspberry, Blackberry, Plum
Veggies- Carrots, Sweet Potato, Radish, Turnip, Green Pepper, Asparagus, Corn (unseasoned), Broccoli, Peas(the mushy part inside)
Q: My hedgehog always curls into a ball and spikes me when I pick him up, can I do anything to stop that?
A: Socialization Is Key! The more you handle your hedgehog, the more it will get accustomed to you. Hedgehogs deserve love, attention and affection that any pet deserves. Every hedgehog has a different way of expressing his or herself. Every hedgehog is different in its likes and dislikes and they will be sure to let you know. To help socialize your hedgehog, take a used t-shirt that has your scent on it and put in your hedgehog's sleeping area and let them cuddle up with it. This will let the hedgehog get familiar with your smell. Remember hedgehogs use their noses as their primary sensory! It's the owners job to take time to get to know the animal and what they like for attention.
Q: What is hedgehog hygiene?
A: Hedgehogs will need their nails clipped regularly. They also need to be bathed no more than once or twice a month
1. Fill your sink with lukewarm water so your hedgehog can’t touch the bottom
2. Keep your hand under them to be sure they are safe
3. Use your other hand to pour water over the quills to get them wet
4. Put a small amount of Baby Aveeno Oatmeal on a tooth brush and brush down with the quills (never up). Try not to get water in their eyes and ears
5. Rinse thoroughly and clean the feet. When you’re done, place your hedgehog in a warm towel and snuggle until completely dry. This is a good time to bond with your baby.
If skin is irritated or dry apply a little bit of flax oil to their skin.
Q: Do hedgehogs smell as much as guinea pigs and hamsters?
A: No they don't. Hedgehogs are clean animals and don't give off a strong smell. If you clean their cage twice a week, there should be no problems with odor. They do however, poop in there running wheel so be prepared to be cleaning poop up every other day.