Tips on Hedgehogs care and maintenance I Hedgehogs care tips
Hedgehogs are small and adorable mammals. They eat little insects and can live for four–seven years. They are timid in nature. If you can socialize your hedgehogs properly, they can be very interactive. If the hedgehogs are under the proper maintenance, they can be good pets for their owners. Keeping hedgehogs as a pet is not the same as keeping a dog or a cat. So before adopting hedgehogs, you must have proper knowledge of pet hedgehogs care tips.
If you are going to adopt a new hedgehog this article is just for you.
Hedgehog care guide for small pet lovers
01. Hedgehog diet
Provide your hedgehogs with a balanced diet. You can use commercial foods for this purpose. You can use dry cat food that contains chicken and is full of protein can be a great source of food for your hedgehogs. Before feeding follow the instruction on the packet. You can also feed your favorite hedgehogs canned dog food or canned cat food.
If your hedgehogs behave well, you should treat them with some vegetables and fruits like:
- Corns etc.
You can also treat them with some insects like:
Hedgehogs like to eat little insects. But you should buy these treats from a pet store. Don’t collect or catch them personally.
Fresh water is also very important for your hedgehogs’ health. You can provide them with fresh water in a water bottle or bowl. You should clean the water bowl or bottle regularly. The water bowls must be small in size and heavy. It is important to check the water throughout the day. If the bottle becomes empty, fill it up.
As hedgehogs are small in size, they need a long space. They love to run whole the day. The size of the cage or house of your hedgehogs should be large enough to house all the toys and burrows. Your hedgehog’s house size must be at least 2ft X 4ft. You should try your best to buy bigger than that. The floor should be solid because wire floor may cause injury to their feet. Buy an enclosure with many levels so that your hedgehogs can get ample space to explore.
Provide your hedgehog with comfortable bedding so that they can make a Nestle. The thickness of the bedding should be at least about 1 inch. You can use paper bedding for this purpose. You can also use fleece blankets or fabric for this purpose. Don’t use wood shavings in the hedgehogs’ house. These shavings can cause respiratory problems or even cancer. In order to keep your hedgehogs healthy and happy, change the bedding and wash the house once per week.
05. Heavy bowl and hanging bottle
If you provide food in a lite bowl, your hedgehogs can knock over the dish. A heavy dish can be a good solution. A ceramic dish or heavy hedgehog food bowl can be a good solution.
You should also give them fresh water to your hedgehogs. You should keep the water in their house throughout so that they can drink at any time. You can place a water dish beside the food bowl or buy a water bottle and hang it inside the cage.
06. Warm environment
Hedgehogs can’t tolerate cold weather. You should place your hedgehog’s cage or enclosure between 24° C and 27°C. They will feel cold if you keep them under 21°C. You can set up a thermometer in the cage to understand the weather condition.
07. Noise-free space
Hedgehogs are wild animals. So, keep them in a place where they won’t get much loud noise. So, keep them in an area where loud sound doesn’t enter. They can feel jittery or fearful. So, place your hedgehog’s enclosure in a back room.
The Hedgehog care list can’t be completed without managing enrichment. Exercise and rest are important for a hedgehog. So provide them with some toys and space to take rest. You can place a tube or pipe so that your hedgehogs can hide or run. You should also provide your hedgehogs with some items like:
- Exercise wheel
- Balls etc.
09. Bathing and nail trimming
A hedgehog is clean in nature. But you should bathe your small friend once per month. Don’t bathe it with cold water. You should be careful so that its face or ears don’t get wet. You can use a toothbrush in order to scrub its quills.
You must cut your hedgehogs’ nails regularly because the hedgehogs’ nails grow fast. Grab your small friends’ feet gently and wait for some time to relax. After that, use a nail clipper to trim off the large and sharp nails.
10. Play for strong bonding
At first, some hedgehogs may feel shy. In this way, your hedgehogs will be familiar to you. Try to play with them outside their cage every day for about 30 minutes. Handle them gently and let them stand or crawl on your hand. You can also use a ball to play with them.
11. Vet visit
Your pet hedgehogs can suffer from some fatal diseases. In order to stop reproduction you can spay or neuter your hedgehogs. You should take your hedgehog to a veterinarian per year for regular check-ups. A dental checkup per year is mandatory. If the veterinarian suggests any toothpaste, you must manage it. Don’t feed them without the vet’s suggestion. Your hedgehogs may suffer from obesity. So, feed your small pets as the suggestion of a veterinarian.