There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to bring your hedgehog home, as well as some things to be aware of to help him get settled in to his new home.
Prepare a carrier cage
The best option for taking your hedgehog home safely is with a caring cage, such as a plastic cat carrier.
Layer the carrier with a few small blankets or fleece fabric to allow your new hedgehog to snuggle in and get comfortable during the ride.
Since you will most likely be picking your hedgehog up during the day, they should sleep through the ride since they are nocturnal and sleep in the daytime. However, they can become car sick on a bumpy ride and may be nervous in this new environment, so be aware that they may have an accident in the cage.
Bring home a couple weeks worth of your hedgehog’s food
When you pick up your hedgehog, make sure to ask for a few weeks worth of their dry food, or ask what brand to purchase beforehand so that you are not feeding your hedgehog unfamiliar food right away. After a couple weeks, it’s ok to transition your hedgehog onto a different dry food. You can learn more about what types of food to feed your hedgehog for the longterm here.
Bonding with your new pet hedgehog
Key to helping your hedgehog adjust to his new environment is allowing him to bond with you and whoever else will be commonly taking care of him.
Starting a socializing routine with your hedgehog will help make bonding easier. Routines will help keep your hedgehog’s stress levels down, and will allow them a time each day to become more comfortable with you.
You can bond with your hedgehog by spending about a half hour per day holding him in a blanket on your lap, petting him, or allowing him some supervised play time in a pen. Try not to spend too much longer than a half hour per day with your hedgehog in the beginning, so that they don’t become overwhelmed by new sensory input.
Another important part of bonding with your pet hedgehog is getting him used to your scent. You can do this by putting a worn t-shirt into his cage for snuggling, and by using the same soap when washing your hands before holding him so that he is able to get used to a familiar scent, and relate your scent to being safe.