Hedgehogs have been riding a rising wave of popularity in recent years, as more and more people become charmed by these little guys, and want to keep them as pets. In fact, there are even hedgehog cafes in Japan. These adorable critters can make very fun pets, but they do need some careful TLC. Read on for some ‘pointers’ on caring for Hedgie from a New Albany, IN vet
Hedgie’s diet should mimic his natural diet, which mostly consists of insects. You can offer him a commercial hedgehog food. Low-fat cat food is another option. Some people combine the two. Like any other pet, hedgehogs love treats. Your quilled buddy can have mealworms, crickets, earthworms, and boiled eggs. Some fruits and veggies are okay, but you’ll need to research new foods to make sure they’re safe before offering them. Some of the foods to avoid include seeds, nuts, chocolate, and raw meat, bread, onions, garlic, honey, and tomatoes. Ask your vet for specific advice.
A large terrarium or Guinea pig cage will work for habitat. Kiddie pools are also fine. They’re easy to clean, and can be moved from one spot to another. Just pick something with a solid bottom and good ventilation. For substrate, you can use shredded paper or aspen. Avoid pine, cedar, and corncob: they aren’t safe for Hedgie.
Hedgehogs are very playful! These guys tend to prefer things that are vividly colorful. Many cat toys are fine. You can also offer some toys made for cats or ferrets, such as small stuffed animals, or ping-pong balls. Solid exercise wheels are also fine.
Hedgehogs are quite sensitive to temperature extremes. Keep Hedgie’s room between 70 to 80F at all times.
You don’t have to bathe your prickly pal, though you can if you want to. Use warm water and a gentle hand soap or baby shampoo. You’ll also need to cut your little buddy’s claws.
Proper veterinary care is crucial to your hedgehog’s health and well being. We usually recommend that healthy adults come in about twice a year. It’s also important to know the common illnesses many hedgehogs face. Hedgie can be susceptible to cancer, dental problems, and digestive issues. Obesity is also a common issue, just as with other pets. Ask your vet for specific advice, including signs of sickness, diet, and habitat needs.
Do you have questions about hedgehog care? Contact us, your New Albany, IN pet clinic, today!