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 colors!
Wondering where 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 or
have called Hedgehog Valley
What to do When Your New Hedgehog Arrives Home
Whether you have picked up your hedgehog in person or have had it shipped to you, we know that making it comfortable in its new home is important to you! Here are a some tips to help smooth the transition:
Handling your hedgehog
Some hedgehogs are happy to be handled right away while some need quiet time to feel safe again. If your hedgehog is calm and relaxed, then it probably does not mind being held right away. Even if it is calm, it is best to wait several days before taking your hedgehog on the rounds to meet all your friends. Remember that while some handling is good, too much can be quite stressful.
If your hedgehog is shy or appears stressed, you will want to just briefly hold it, then let it get in the hidey place in its cage. We always provide a hedgebag with our babies so that they will have a place to hide. Talking to your shy or frightened hedgehog in a quiet, soothing voice helps get them used to you.
There is one danger here with a shy hedgehog. That is, that if you do not handle it at all, it may learn to act like a prickle ball to keep you away. So, you will have to use your best judgment and try to strike a balance between handling and not handling. You want to avoid both stressing your hedgehog out and teaching your hedgehog that being prickly scares you off.
All of our hedgehogs have learned to drink from water bottles but sometimes they will not drink from the water bottle on arrival at their new home. We are not sure why this happens, but it does not hurt to offer both a dish and bottle at first. You can use bottled spring water at first since some hedgehogs will refuse to drink water that tastes funny to them. Our local water comes from a small town well without a lot of chlorine or anything in it.
Remember to ask the person you are getting the hedgehog from what they are feeding so that you can continue that diet, if appropriate. If not appropriate or if you do not have a source for that food, ask for a sample of the previous food that you can mix in with your new food to ease the transition. Your hedgehog may take a little while to adjust to the new diet, but it is pretty rare that they totally refuse. We feed our hedgehogs a mix of foods so that they are used to variety. We find that this reduces problems in switching to a different diet when they go to new homes. It is not unheard of for hedgehogs to go off their feed for one to three days sometimes, but if you notice that your hedgehog has not eaten for a day, try offering treats such as cooked chicken to entice it to eat. After three days, you should take your hedgehog to the vet for a check.
Hedgehogs may exhibit green stools for a few days after moving to a new home. This can happen for several reasons. It can be a reaction to stress, or to different food or water. Unless it is gelatinous and very sticky (signs of possible bacterial imbalance) or very deep green and tarry (signs of possible intestinal dysfynction), it is no reason for alarm if it occurs briefly. If it continues for longer than three days or your hedgehog appears lethargic or dehydrated, you will want to take your hedgehog to the vet to make sure that everything is okay.
We recommend finding a veterinarian in advance, before you get your hedgehog and before there are any problems. We have a page with suggestions about how to find a vet if you don’t already know of one who will see hedgehogs. Hedgehogs do not need any shots, but mites and respiratory infections can occur. They are easily treated if caught early. Some people take their hedgehogs for annual well pet visits, while others watch carefully and only take them to the vet if there are signs of a problem.
Getting Help/Advice & Continuing Education
Contact us if you have questions! When I got my first hedgehog there were only three hedgehog pages on the web and they all belonged to people with just one or a few personal pets. There was one mailing list and it had a whopping total of 42 members! Thank goodness times have changed and hedgehogs are now a popular pet. The Internet is full of information about hedgehogs, though not all of it is equal in quality. Keep reading articles, join groups, have fun!
All information on this web site is copyright of Hedgehog Valley. You may view/print the web pages for your personal use. You may also provide a link to these pages without prior approval. No one is allowed to re-post the information from Hedgehog Valley Web Site, including pictures, to any other web site, without the approval of Hedgehog Valley. Copyright 2002