Welcome to Hedgehog Care 101 – Your Pet Hedgehog Guide

Welcome to Hedgehog Care 101 – Your Pet Hedgehog Guide

Hedgehog Care 101 was created to serve as the most complete, easy to navigate, one-stop resource for all things hedgehog! You will find all of the information you will need to learn about owning hedgehogs as pets, proper hedgehog care, and even advice and fun activities from current hedgehog owners over on our Hedgehog Owner Corner.

We hope that you find this site helpful, and we encourage you to ask any questions you may have about hedgehog care or leave a comment over on our blog or the contact page. We look forward to chatting with you!

Hedgehogs as Pets

Yes – in most states, you can have a hedgehog as a pet! Domesticated hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals that can make great pets with the right loving care.

Hedgehogs make fairly inexpensive and low maintenance pets, although they do require the right care and attention. Since hedgehogs are quite sensitive, however, they may not be the right fit for everyone, so it’s important to first decide whether or not they would make the right pet for you.

We’d suggest starting your research with our guide, here, to help you determine whether a hedgie is right for you.

A little introduction to the African Pygmy hedgehog:

The most common type of domestic hedgehog is called the African Pygmy Hedgehog, and is the type of hedgehog that is easiest to have as a pet.

All hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, meaning they are awake during nighttime hours. This is great for owners who are busy during the day, so that they are able to care for their hedgehog while he is awake in the evening.

Estimates vary by source, but African Pygmy Hedgehogs have an expected life span between 2-8 years, with the average consensus around 3-6 years. This may seem short, but in comparison to other small pet animals, this is quite an impressive span. It is also an improvement on the lifespan of wild hedgehogs, which averages around 2 years.

In general, African Pygmy hedgehogs are calm creatures, and they like to be handled gently and kept in a quiet, tranquil environment. Although their thousands of quills look dangerous, they are not as sharp as they look and with the right handling, won’t be too uncomfortable for bare hands. In addition, Hedgehogs rarely bite.

Hedgehogs are very solitary animals, and in most cases, should be housed alone in their cage. You should take your hedgehog out for at least 30 minutes each evening to socialize, explore supervised, or even just snuggle on your lap while you read a book or watch your favorite TV show.

To learn more about having hedgehogs as pets, click here.

Hedgehog Care Information

Next, you may want to read about pet hedgehog dietary guidelines. Hedgehogs do have some foods that you should avoid, but their main diet is quite simple – typically small amounts of cat food – so they are quiet inexpensive to feed! You can find information on what types of foods to feed your hedgehog here.

Another facet of hedgehog care is learning how to bathe and groom your hedgie. Since they have sensitive skin, we’ve provided some basic bathing guidelines as well as the best types of shampoo to use to ensure that you don’t dry out their skin. They will also need to have their nails clipped a couple of times per month. Check out our page on how to bathe and groom your hedgehog, here.

To learn more about hedgehog care, click here.

Where to Buy Your Hedgehog & Supplies You’ll Need

As you continue your research and become more comfortable with hedgehog care requirements, you may want to start investigating purchasing and preparing for your hedgehog.

Take a look through our guide on where to buy a hedgehog, here, and learn about the questions to ask hedgehog breeders and pet stores in order to help you choose the right breeder and hedgehog.

When getting ready to bring home your new hedgie, you’ll need to buy some supplies to prepare his new home. We’ve created a directory of all of the most highly recommended supplies you will need in caring for your new pet hedgehog, including food, cages, and even toys.


Thank you, Charlotte Hu Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!

Enjoying Hedgehogs through Children’s Hedgehog Books

By Kathleen DeMars

The decision to adopt a pet into your family is a big one that should not be entered into without careful consideration. This is especially true when the pet you’re interested in is considered to be an exotic animal in the United States.

We already know that hedgehogs can be pricey, and that they require special care and attention to thrive in an adopted home. Despite this, you’d be hard pressed to show a young child one of these adorable little hedgies and not have them beg you incessantly to take one is as one of your own!

An excellent way to encourage your little one’s enthusiasm until (or without) bringing a live hedgehog into your home is through children’s literature – in this case, hedgehog books!

There are several story books for young children with hedgehog characters for them to enjoy. Reading together fosters learning on all levels and this is a low cost, essentially risk free, way to combine our favorite hogs with your critter loving little one.

Below are a selection of children’s books that feature hedgehogs as characters. You’ll notice that M. Christina Butler and Jan Brett have more than one, and these aren’t even all they’ve written! We assume this means they, too, have a special affinity for the little guys.

We hope you’ll be enjoying a hedgie story time for days and weeks to come!

Do you have a favorite hedgehog tale that we haven’t listed? Tell us about it!

One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler

In this charming winter tale, a little hedgehog unexpectedly wakens from hibernation.

He’s too cold to return to sleep and is very happy when Father Christmas gives him a warm red woolen hat.

The hat keeps getting stuck on the little hedgehog’s quills, which leads the him to get creative, turning his hat into the best gift ever!

One Winter’s Day by M. Christina Butler

During a winter windstorm, Little Hedgehog’s nest is blown away.

The little guy puts on all of his winter clothes (a hat, scarf, and mittens) and heads out to his friend, the badger’s house, to get warm.

Along the way he meets other forest friends, who are also very cold in the storm, and Little Hedgehog shares his winter gear giving away his accessories one by one.

One Christmas Night by M. Christina Butler

This holiday tale is about Little Hedgehog as he prepares for Christmas with the help of his friends.

Most editions come with sparkly illustrations for added enjoyment for little readers!


The Hat by Jan Brett

In this amusing tale, Hedgie the hedgehog finds a winter sock that has blown off of a clothes line.

He curiously sticks his head into the opening only to find that he cannot back up and get out because it is stuck on his quills.

Nearby animals come and tease him one by one, but Hedgie tells them each that the sock will keep him warm during the long, cold winter months.

When Lisa, the sock’s owner, finds Hedgie, she tells him that animals don’t wear clothes and takes her sock back only to return to her clothes line to find all of the animals who had mocked Hedgie, each wearing a piece of her clothing.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

In The Mitten, a young boy loses his white mitten in the snow.

One by one animals increasing in size (including a hedgehog, of course), crawl into the mitten to keep warm.

This fantastic tale even has a bear crawl inside before a mouse tickles his whiskers causing him to sneeze and sending all of the animals out into the snow and the mitten sailing high up into the air to be found by it’s owner.

Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett

Hedgie plays the role of a hero in this charming story.

Hedgie helps Henny the chicken protect the eggs in her nest from a Tomten, who has become sick of porridge and has taken to stealing Henny’s eggs.

After several failed attempts to trick the Tomten by filling the nest with items such as mushrooms and potatoes, Hedgie hides in the nest himself.

When the Tomten gets a handful of prickly quills from Hedgie’s back, he learns his lesson and stays away from Henny’s precious eggs.

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter

This classic tale by Beatrix Potter of Peter Rabbit fame is just as charming and delightful as it’s more famous cousins.

Lucie is a little girl who continues to lose her pocket handkerchiefs. She asks all of the animals in the farmyard if they’ve seen them but has no success.

She searches everywhere and comes across the home of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the hedgehog.

Lucie spends the day with Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, who is the best seamstress to all of Potter’s forest creatures. Throughout the day they mend Peter Rabbit’s jacket and fix up a variety of well loved character’s apparel.

Hurry Home, Hedgehog! by Belle Yang

This hedgehog-centric book is particularly nice for very young children as it is sound focused.

The weather it turning bad and a hedgehog is on his way home. He hears lots of different sounds along the way.

As an added touch, this book is written in both Mandarin Chinese characters and English writing with translations on each page.

The Very Helpful Hedgehog by Rosie Wellesley

This story introduces us to Isaac, a hedgehog who likes being alone. One day an apple falls and gets stuck on his quills.

He gets help from a donkey, who cannot reach the apples from where he lives. Isaac learns that sometimes it is better to have a friend than to always be on one’s own


We hope you enjoy these wonderful hedgehog books, great for animal lovers of all ages!