Now that you’ve decided you may want to buy a pet hedgehog, it’s time to find out where to buy him: breeder, pet store, or adoption?
If you’ve begun a search for where to buy a hedgehog already, you may have found that there do not seem to be many places to purchase a hedgehog in the United States.
The reason for this is that hedgehogs are considered an exotic animal, and due to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, pet stores, as well as most breeders, must obtain a license to sell hedgehogs. In addition, they can be quite tricky to breed!
So, while you will probably be able to find a hedgehog breeder in your state, you may have to travel a bit if they are not sold in your community. Also, keep in mind that hedgehogs are illegal to breed and own in select states (Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New York City, Washington, DC, and Fairfax County, VA.)
Now, let’s take a look at the differences between purchasing a hedgehog from a pet store, a hedgehog breeder, and finding a hedgehog from a current owner to adopt, so that you can make the best decision for you on where to buy a hedgehog:
Hedgehogs from Pet Stores
Just as when buying a dog from a pet store, you should extremely cautious and try to find out if the pet store owner is getting the hedgehogs from a reputable source. Some things to keep in mind when considering purchasing a hedgehog from a pet store:
- Many pet stores will not be able to offer you the level of knowledge, personal care, and expertise that a breeder can offer you, which may be especially helpful if you’re going to be a first-time pet hedgehog owner.
- In many cases, the hedgehogs sold at pet stores may not have been breed and raised in quality conditions, which can lead to health issues and a lower life expectancy.
- Pet stores may home male and females in the same habitat. If this is the case, make sure NOT to purchase a female that has been housed with a male hedgehog.
- According to the USDA, all pet stores must obtain a license in order breed and sell exotic animals, including hedgehogs.
Hedgehog from Breeders
Purchasing hedgehogs from hedgehog breeders is the safest option, as breeders are often very knowledgeable and caring for through the process. However, not all breeders are reputable, so make sure to do some research and ask each breeder the questions from our “Questions to Ask Hedgehog Breeders” page.
- According to the USDA, if a hedgehog breeder has three or more non-spayed females hedgehogs, they must obtain a license in order to legally breed and sell hedgehogs.
- Purchasing hedgehogs directly from breeders can be a bit more expensive than purchasing a hedgehog from a pet store. Keep in mind, however, that these hedgies typically receive better care and as they say, “you get what you pay for.”
To find a hedgehog breeder in your area, head over to Hedgehog Central’s breeder directory, or Google Search “hedgehog breeders” with your state or city name.
Adopting a Hedgehog from an Owner
Adopting a hedgehog can be a great way to rescue a hedgehog from an owner who is no longer able to take care of their hedgehog, or an owner who’s pet hedgehog has accidentally had a litter of baby hedgehogs.
There are a few things to keep in mind when adopting a hedgehog from an owner.
- What is the reason the owner is selling the hedgehog? Make sure that the hedgehog does not have a terminal disease or any serious issues.
- Just as when researching hedgehog’s from breeders, you’ll want to further ask the owner some questions to ensure that the hedgehog was originally purchased from a good source.
Finding a hedgehog up for adoption is going to be the most difficult way to find a hedgehog, but if you aren’t in a rush and would like to wait to rescue a hedgehog, you may also be able to save some time and money by purchasing the hedgehog’s crate and supplies from the current owner.
To find a hedgehog up for adoption, head on over to Pet Finder and type “Hedgehog” into the breed area, along with your location. Another option is to keep a look out for postings for hedgehogs in your area on Craigslist.
Thank you, Rene Wang Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!