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!