The Basics

Articles on basic care and considerations for new or prospective owners.

Vet/Health Care

Articles pertaining to health, nutrition, and veterinary care.

Breeding and Development

Articles and pictures about hedgehog breeding, growth, and development.

Advanced Care Issues

Articles for people who already own a hedgehog or want to know more than just the basics.

Colors

Learn more about hedgehog colors!

Purchase a Hedgehog

Wondering where to buy a hedgehog? Start here!

Hedgehogabilia

Where to purchase hedgehog supplies and collectibles.

Our Herd

Meet the hedgehogs of Hedgehog Valley!

Other Critters

Meet the other critters that call or have called Hedgehog Valley their home!

Is A Hedgehog For Me?

One of the most frequently cited reasons for people who give up a pet is, "It wasn't what I expected." This happens all too often with dogs and cats, and more unusual pets such as hedgehogs are no exception. If people don't know how to care for them properly or don't have a realistic idea of their personalities, they can't make an informed decision about whether or not a hedgehog is going to be a good pet for them. The following list is to help you know what to can expect from a hedgehog:

 You can expect:

- To have to research and then provide a daily source of appropriate, high quality food and clean water.

- To clean the cage once per week, sometimes a little more or less, and that it may or may not litter train. If your hedgehog has a wheel, it will likely poop on the run and the wheel will need to be cleaned one or more times per day. If you choose to use cloth liners in your hedgehog's cage, it will need to be changed and cleaned daily.

- That it will need to stay warm (above about 70F), or else your hedgehog may get sick and die.

- You will get poked. Even the best hedgehogs have off days.

- That there is a strong chance you will need to trim its toenails, even if it gets grumpy and doesn't want you to.

- That it will self-anoint (i.e., spread spit or other things on itself).

- That it will stay friendlier if handled daily, even for just a few minutes.

- That it will be happier if it has a place to hide and toys for enrichment.

- That a hedgehog who is not friendly to begin with may never become friendly, although they do often show slow improvement over the years.

- That it may bite, though this is unlikely. Anything with teeth may bite.

- That two males generally will not enjoy one another's company and should not be housed together. Males and females also should not be housed together. Two females may be able to house together,  but it isn't guaranteed.

- That a hedgehog's life expectancy is 3 to 5 years.

- That it will enjoy toys that it can climb in or on, and items it can manipulate.

- That it may poop on you, especially if it is a baby. Babies don't seem to have much in the way of manners or bowel control.

- That most babies will go through a period of "quilling" and will be very grumpy for a while. You will need to hold your hedgie baby anyway, if you want to keep it from learning that being grumpy is a good way to get people to leave it alone.

- That it will probably need at least one trip to the vet for mites in its lifetime. The little pests are not species-specific, and can come from sources like bedding or other animals.

- That your hedgehog may never actively seek you out for companionship. Some hedgehogs do, but most just think humans are just something cool to climb on.


Antigone Means

Iola, KS

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Please note that if portions of this article look like the information on the International Hedgehog Society's care page, it is because they are using my writing from an earlier version of this article, without giving credit to me.


This page last updated by Tig on  11/05/18