Hedgie Care

Start here! Read this! 

DOWNLOAD: HedgehogCareSheet.docx 

Next, check these out!

There are lots of resources are out there on cage set up, bathing, grooming… and most of them are great! Two of the sites I find myself repeatedly going to are Hedgehog Central, and Hedgehog Headquarters.

I would encourage anyone considering owning a hedgehog to read both these websites thoroughly.  And here’s my own hedgehog Myth Busters:

Is a hedgehog right for me?

Hedgehogs are easy to take care of: BUSTED

dirty wheel

Dirty Wheel! In just 48 hrs!

Generally hedgehogs are easier to take care of then say saltwater fish or some reptiles.  But EASY implies more than just skill level. Cats are easy.   Hedgehogs come with their own variety special needs. Hedgehogs should have daily or bi-daily wheel and foot cleaning. And a close eye on skin conditions and toenails is required.

Here’s my bi-nightly routine starting at 4pm: I get our hedgehogs up and carry them to the bathtub filled with about an inch of warm water.  Then I go and collect all their wheels and bring them into the bathroom.  By that time, their “poop shoes” have loosened up and if there’s anything still left on the toes, I use a children’s soft toothbrush to finish up. A poopy butt might also need to be wiped down and nails trimmed (which is a real trick!).  Then I put them in their playpen with a large towel.  They’ll burrow and explore in the towel while drying off. This allows me to finish up cleaning their wheels and clean the food dishes and spot clean the cage.  Now I go back tot he playpen and clean up any potty messes. It this point if I’m our of time for the evening, back in the cages they go.  If I’ve got the time, they each get some lap time and get to stay in the playpen until bedtime.

Hedgehogs are good pets for children: BUSTED

dirty feet

Dirty feet!

Hedgehogs are sweet but hard to handle at times! Even a mellow hedgehog still had sharp-as-needles quills and both my husband and I have bled from an unlucky quill.  But hedgehogs need frequent regular handling to stay sweet. For this reason, I do not believe hedgehogs are good pets for kids. Our male hedgehog was adopted from an adult owner who was unable to handle him as much as he needed.  As a result, he is very skiddish and becomes agitated easily.  He can be very hard to love at times and requires a lot of patience.  Although he has improved 100 fold since we acquired him, his lack of handling during his early months is still evident.

Hedgehogs rarely pee or poop on their owners while being held: BUSTED

Either my husband and I are extremely unlucky or other owners are just lying!  Two of our three hedgehogs have no qualms about peeing and pooping all over us!  Because of this, I have adopted a potty bucket technique.  When I get them up, I will immediately put them in a plastic bucket.  After they’ve cleared their bowels out, then I’ll hold them but inevitably, they’ll still poop on me!

Hedgehogs are worth the effort: Confirmed!

Hedgehogs are incredible creatures! When I have a hard day at work, I have three things I look forward to: My husband, my cat, and my hedgehogs! And two of them are usually off doing their own thing. My hedgehogs always crack me up with their shenanigans and soften my heart with those little noses and big sweet eyes.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Nose!

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