Articles on basic care and considerations for new or prospective owners.
Articles pertaining to health, nutrition, and veterinary care.
Articles and pictures about hedgehog breeding, growth, and development.
Articles for people who already own a hedgehog or want to know more than just the basics.
Learn more about hedgehog shows and hedgehog colors!
Wondering where on earth to buy a hedgehog? Start here!
Where to purchase hedgehog supplies and collectibles.
Meet the hedgehogs of Hedgehog Valley!
Meet the other critters that call Hedgehog Valley
HEDGIES AND HUMAN PREGNANCY
All too often I see ads posted on the Internet that
say, “Having a baby, have to find a home for my hedgehog.” From
personal experience, I can definitely say that having a baby is a huge
life change, but it doesn’t necessitate the rehoming of your hedgehog.
The first thing to pay attention to if you are pregnant or have a small baby is hygiene. I have talked to several vets and doctors, and all told me that the risk of toxoplasmosis is pretty darn remote with hedgehogs, unless they are allowed to spend a lot of time rooting outdoors. Other types of infections, such as salmonella, are a possible risk, but washing hands and practicing good hygiene can prevent the spread of infection. When my children were very small, I would wait until they napped before taking care of the hedgehogs and then would wash up and change clothes before handling the baby. As they got older, I let them sit in the hedgie room in the stroller, then roam under close supervision, and now they are old enough to know to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer after handling the animals or helping with cages.
Many expectant parents believe that a new baby will mean that they don’t have enough time for the hedgehog. My experience has been that this is not the case. Babies sleep a lot. And in the middle of the night, hedgehogs are very understanding when you need someone to talk to, when you can’t sleep after the little human has woken to demand feeding.
As your human baby grows, a hedgehog is a wonderful companion to learn from. My children have been fascinated with the hedgehogs since they were old enough to take note. They have learned about expressing feelings and how to respect the hedgehog’s defenses. My kids and I spend valuable together time cleaning the cages and playing with hedgehogs. While it might be faster to clean alone, my kids take pride in their jobs. Zury (3-1/2) can dump clean shavings in the cages after I clean them out and rinse and refill water bottles, while Seph (age 5) can put the bottles on the cages, then fills and places feed dishes in the clean cage. Both children can handle friendly hedgies with no gloves or other “devices” and know how to use a hedgebag to pick up a prickly hedgie with no harm to hedgie or themselves. I take pride in their learning these responsibilities, and in their learning how much our little friends depend on us to help them.
I think of how much my children have benefited from the hedgehogs in our family, and how much the hedgehogs benefit from having my children to share their love and attention, and my children definitely agree. I hope that you will bless your children with hedgehogs in their lives, too.
Show them you care, Support our Troops
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