Once you’ve decided that a hedgehog will be a good fit for you, it’s time to prepare for a hedgehog and set up his new home! Here, we’ll walk you through the decisions you’ll have to make as well as how to prepare the proper cage for your pet hedgehog.
1. Male or female?
One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want a male or female hedgehog.
According to the majority of hedgehog breeders, they do not see any major temperament differences between genders. This means that they have quite similar personality types.
The main deciding factor should be whether you want to have multiple hedgehogs housed together. If so, you should choose females. They have been known to cohabitate better than male hedgehogs, and in some cases even prefer to have a cage mate.
Males are not suggested to put together in one cage, as some aggression is very possible.
2. Decide Where to Buy a Hedgehog
Next, you should decide whether you would like to buy your hedgehog. There are two main options: pet stores or hedgehog breeders. Hedgehog breeders are typically the best option, as you know exactly where your hedgehog is coming from and under what conditions the breeder has raised the hedgehog.
To help you choose the right option, we’ve compiled a full resource page of information on where to buy a hedgehog, here.
3. Ask You Breeder the Right Questions
When you start to research hedgehog breeders and pet stores in your area, it’s important to ask them some questions to make sure that you will be working with a reputable breeder who will give you a healthy, properly cared for hedgehog.
You’ll want to ensure that the breeder has raised the hedgehog under the right conditions, whether they have the appropriate licensing and health guarantees, and more. We’ve put together a list of important questions to ask breeders along with the expected answers, which you can check out here.
4. Prepare Your Hedgehog’s Cage
Your pet hedgehog will spend the vast majority of time in his cage habitat, so it’s important to make sure to choose the right type of cage and set it up properly.
The cage should include a comfortable sleeping arrangement, play area, and food area. On our hedgehog cage and habitat page, we go over all of the caging options as well as pricing and the supplies you will need to fill the cage, which you can view here.
5. Understand How to Take Care of Your Hedgehog
Next, you’ll want to become comfortable with the types and amount of care required when owning a pet hedgehog. You’ll need to feed your hedgie and provide new water daily, clean his cage regularly, and even clip his nails.
In addition, you should allow your hedgehog to have some time out of the cage for around 30 minutes per day, as well as learn how to socialize him in his new environment. To read all about caring for a pet hedgehog, check out our Hedgehog Care page, here.
6. Bringing Home Your Pet Hedgehog
The final step to prepare for a hedgehog is getting ready to bring him home! Check out our guide to bringing a hedgehog home, here, which includes how to prepare his carrier cage for the ride home, asking for a supply of his current food, and beginning the bonding process.
Thank you, Rene Wang Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!