Hedgehogs make wonderful pet for those people who are dedicated and patience. If you are looking for an exotic pet then hedgehogs are the perfect choice, they are playful and adorable creature. One of the advantage of having hedgehog is that you do not need much space for him. Now a days they are becoming quite popular creatures because of their gentle nature, unique creatures and cute faces. Some people do not know how to take care of them properly so following are the points which you should keep in mind before getting a hedgehog as a pet.
1. HOUSING :-
You should provide a large house to hedgehog in which he can be comfortable. The ideal size of the cage should be 18″ x 24″, you can also buy cage larger than this size. Make sure that the cage must not have more than one level as the hedgehogs have a very poor eyesight and their legs are too easy to break. Wire cages can be dangerous for them if it has a climber so this should be avoided. Make sure to include enough space in the cage for food, litter tray, bowls and toys. Also make sure to buy an air – ventilated cage so that air flow will be available all the time.
2. FEEDING :-
They are primarily insectivores but you can also feed him other things like meat, egg, fruits and vegetables. They can gain weight easily so you must be careful before feeding him too much, otherwise, he will gain weight and can tend towards plumpness. An overweight hedgehog is not cute at all, they have difficulty in walking and cannot even roll up. So you need to keep in mind before feeding him is the quality diet is the most important thing. They should be fed cat kibble of high – quality. When you choose kibble, make sure that the fat should be 15% below, 32 – 35% proteins, and must be holistic or organic. Also you should never feed nuts, seeds, raw meat, dry fruits, grapes/raisins, milk, onion, hedgehog foods ( they have poor quality of ingredients ) , raw carrots, junk food, tomatoes.
When you feed your hedgehog, make sure to feed him in the large bowl which has wide space but alsoheavy enough so that the hedgehog will not start playing with it. Also make sure to keep enough amount of water available to him as he needs to drink water sufficiently, while they are awake.
3. HYGIENE :-
Proper hygiene of hedgehogs are as important as yours and other pets. You should provide a litter – tray with not more than half – an – inch in order to prevent broken legs by the easy access. Also make sure the litter tray is large enough for him and also try to clean it everyday. You should also clean the cage regularly, atleast once a week but make sure to clean dishes and water bowl by warm water daily. Now, it comes to bathing, how often should you bath hedgehogs? he should be bathed atleast once or twice a week in order to keep a good and proper hygiene. Also you need to check the nails of hedgehog and if it grows too long, then they can get ripped – off while running on his wheel.
4. BE ATTENTIVE TO THE NEEDS AND BEHAVIOUR OF HEDGEHOG :-
Once you bring a hedgehog in your home, you need to understand that hedgehogs are not used to noise so you need to keep low noise in your home as high volume of noise can cause stress in him. The second point which you should keep in mind that hedgehogs must do exercise in order to stay fit, otherwise, he can gain weight which can also bring other diseases. Exercise means you need to provide a wheel and plenty of toys to them. Toys should be something which he can chew, nuzzle or push but not to swallow the pieces of toys. Also watch the behaviour and food habits of hedgehogs closely because they are too good in hiding his ailments, so it is very important to be aware of him.
5. HANDLING :-
Handling carefully your hedgehog is quite important as if you hurt him in anyway, he can become afraid of you. So in order to prevent this problem, you should handle him frequently but carefully in your hands, whenever you try to handle him, its important to have confidence in yourself so that your hedgehog can become familiar of you. You can handle and play with him atleast thirty minutes per day.
If you will follow these simple guidelines above then you will find out that having hedgehog as your pet is the real joy. By taking care of him properly, he’ll give you the time of real enjoyment and the bond between you and your hedgehog will be beautiful. So, have fun in taking care of your adorable hedgehog.