Keeping Hedgehogs As Pets; How To Care For Pet Hedgehogs
Could it be that a hedgehog, that odd animal that curls into a ball of spikes would make an exquisite pet? maybe the best way to answer this question is through education about this explicit animal. One may want to ask himself before really owning one what he needs from a pet and if he has the time to be a pet parent.
Hedgehogs are little, spiny, insect-eating mammals native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Island. And while they do not exist in the wild in North America, several domesticated hedgehogs are kept as pets stateside and are usually mistaken for porcupines. However, in contrast to the porcupine, hedgehogs have smooth quills the same as the bristles of a brush, making the creature an adorable pet instead of a dangerous predator. The African Pygmy Hedgehog (or four-toed hedgehog)—the smallest of the bunch—is a good companion. they are a wonder to the attention, too, as selective breeding yields an array of color patterns like salt and pepper, snowflake, and cinnamon.
Indeed, the hedgehog is quite an uncommon, delightful animal to adopt, however one should hunt for a place that sells them because it isn’t an easy task to find one since they’re not normally sold in pet stores. Also, the African Pygmy Hedgehog is the hog usually sold as a pet.
Petting a happy hedgehog is a bit like affectionately stroking a bristly hairbrush. trying to pet an Upset hedgehog is more like attempting to appease a wriggly cactus of doom.
How to Care for Pet Hedgehogs
Common Hedgehog Health Issues
Most African pygmy hedgehog health problems can be avoided with smart husbandry. Still, if you feed your hedgehog an excessive amount of or inadequate types of food, it can become sick. Sadly, fat is a common problem in pet hedgehogs (resulting from too many treats) and oftentimes leads to problems walking and running. Skin and ear mites can also be avoided with regular and proper cleaning of your pet’s enclosure. respiratory infections may also appear in hedgehogs as a result of an unkempt cage or a draughty way.
A genetic condition known as Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS)—a type of progressive paralysis—can appear in a domesticated hedgehog. This condition presents in hedgehogs of any age and looks like wobbly hindquarters.
Lastly, since African pygmies have protruding eyes, eye injuries and irritation could become a problem. If you see your pet pawing at its eyes or holding an eyelid closed, call your vet for a diagnosis.
Hedgehog Diet And Housing Needs
In the wild, hedgehogs eat a wide variety of bugs, plants, and roots. That diet can be challenging to recreate in captivity. “The best hedgehog diet would be a specially formulated hedgehog or insectivore diet, of which there are many commercially available preparations,” says Dr. Keller. “This diet may be supplemented with treats like mealworms, crickets, and fruits and vegetables.”
They may be roly-poly, however, hedgehogs are literally quite athletic creatures! in the wild, they usually run several miles a night and are adept climbers and swimmers. to meet their exercise wants, pet hedgehogs need an enclosure large enough to accommodate an exercise wheel and space for natural foraging behavior.
The enclosure also needs smooth sides (so the hedgehog isn’t able to climb out) and a hiding spot for sleeping. A 2-foot by 3-foot enclosure is considered a minimum size. large Tupperware storage containers may be a great option for an enclosure.
It is also imperative to include an external heat supply (an under tank heater or heat bulb) in the enclosure with multiple thermometers to monitor the efficacy. Hedgehogs return from a tropical a part of the planet and do best in a temperature of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler or hotter temperatures will make a hedgehog enter a state known as torpor.
Keeping Hedgehogs As Pets
Hedgehogs As Pets
The African pygmy hedgehog is the commonest kind sold as pets. It will grow to be around six to 9 inches long. Four to six years is a normal life, however, a pet hedgehog will live up to 10 years. it’s a solitary animal and should live alone.
A hedgehog is a very active animal. He will require a large cage even though he’s small. fortunately, there are several cages of adequate size available for reasonable prices. He also will need time outside of his cage to explore and run around.
Since hedgehogs are nocturnal, they’re best for people who are home in the evenings and at night. A hedgehog might not be an appropriate pet for small children. sometimes children may be overzealous with their affection inflicting a hedgehog to become afraid and extend his quills. this could lead to injury of a child or pet.
A hedgehog is fun to look at, quiet, not aggressive and is fairly easy to care for. it’s a clean animal and has very little smell. His food is easily attainable and cheap. A hedgehog may be a wonderful addition for someone who needs a unique and entertaining pet.
The pros of Owning a Hedgehog
Hedgehogs make great pets for those who are patient and dedicated. A hybrid of two different wild species native to Africa, the African Pygmy Hedgehog, is a domesticated species known to be the intelligent, friendly and enjoyable company for a dedicated owner.
- They are really easy to care for.
- They ne’er make noise except a small purring sound sometimes.
- They are cheap to keep as a pet.
- Hedgehogs can entertain anyone for hours on end if they will watch.
- They are loveable very little creatures that are cute, diverting and unique.
- They like to get handled and they tend to snuggle up to their owners.