Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?
Hedgehogs Are Sometimes Smiley, Grumpy, and Spiny, but at the Same Time, They Are Exotic. Is It Right for You?
As we all know, we are used to cats and dogs primarily as our companions at home for years.
This is possible because they have been domesticated since the first civilizations on earth.
But, the story above is different for animals that are still predominant in the wild or other exotic words.
This is the case for hedgehogs.
One thing to know is that they are certainly not suitable for everyone! If you’re considering getting a pet hedgehog, there are several things to consider first.
A good start is by reading our article: “Is a Hedgehog Right for You?”. In this guide, you will find some important topics to consider before getting your pet.
Here, we’ll give you a quick overview of some of the things you’ll find there:
Reasons Why Hedgehogs May NOT Make a Good Pet
– Hedgehogs are generally shy animals. Most enjoy spending some time with their owners each day (around 30 minutes), but they could not be suitable for young children looking for a pet they can play with often.
– Their quills are not as sharp as they look, but some may find them uncomfortable to touch. Again, hedgies are unsuitable for young children, especially if they are rambunctious, which will cause the hedgehog to become frightened and expose the quills.
– You may not want to keep it in your room – since they are nocturnal, they stay up at night and can be a bit noisy.
– You will need to clean their cage regularly (not to say every day) to ensure their environment stays clean and smell-free.
– Their lifespan is not as long as any other pet animal. This means you will get to enjoy just a little bit of them. For more details, refer to our article: Average Hedgehog Lifespan: What Can Affect Their Life Expectancy.
– Hedgehogs have few health risks, including some that can affect humans. Refer to our Vet Near Me page for details of what diseases can be transmitted.
Tips to Reduce Their Odors!- Some owners have mentioned that they could stink badly. There are a few reasons why I suggest reading: Do Hedgehogs Smell?
Reasons Why They Make Good Pets
– As mentioned above, they are nocturnal, so they are awake in the late afternoon or nighttime. If you work during the day, this means that you don’t have to worry about being around them all the time.
– Hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance pets, so you won’t need to spend more than a few hours a week caring for them.
– Although they can become obese quickly, most will not develop serious health issues. To learn more about health problems, click here.
So, do hedgehogs make good pets? They certainly can, but all things considered, only you can decide whether or not they could make a good pet for you and your family.
If you’re still unsure, feel free to browse around the site further to learn more about hedgehogs as pets, or leave us a comment or email (info @ hedgehogcare101.com) to ask us a question!
Thank you, Rene Wang Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!
22 thoughts on “Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?”
I was scarred to get my first hedgehog but I think research is the key component. As soon as your confident with caring for them.. it makes it a lot easier. And also, to have the cage and habitat setup before hand is a huge deal too.
Thank you for sharing! I totally agree – research is very important. I hope that this site can help others who are also worried!
I really want one and I think this is a good pet. This has made me want one even more; thank you for informing me.
Wonderful! Glad we could help, Lillyana
Your article really helps me a lot on how to handle and pet my hedgie and yes of course I was scared at 1st and totally clueless to handle her.
I would love to shout a big fat thank you for you and your team for these good articles of hedgehog.
I’m so glad to hear that! You are very welcome.
I put the hedgehog with a baby falcon and a baby owl. They seem to get well together in a large 8 sqm cage in amman on roof terrace of my hotel.
Non of the mentioned food brands can be bought in Jordan
What can I feed it please? Cat food from a tin or dry in a packet. What else.
Hi Raymond, we have a guide on what to feed hedgehogs that includes some natural options like vegetables and meats. You can check that out here: https://hedgehogcare101.com/hedgehog-food-diet/
I just got one for my 16yr old son and she’s so cute but very upset and scared still. We have had her 3 days now and she is still angry. I read somewhere that it will take her about 1 on to calm down some is that true? We hold and talk to her and clean and feed her all the time, and we’re hoping to bond with her.
Hi Lisa, hedgehogs can have a very wide range of personality types, and it is natural for him to feel a bit uneasy in this new environment. Give him a couple weeks – let him have some alone time but also play with him gently, and see if he starts to feel more comfortable!
I really want to get a little hedgie. I thunk they are the most adorable little creatures that god has ever created.
Please if you could help me find some breeders near me.
I live in the United States.
In maine (Newport, Maine)to be more specific.
Thank you, Jennifer Eldredge
Here is a hedgehog directory for you! http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/breeders.shtml
I was reading about the hedgehogs and I want one really bad if you can help me find one I will be so happy. I live in United States.
To be more specific McCreary County Kentucky. Thank you Jennifer Eldredge
I just got my hedgehog and thanks to you i have more helpful information on her care than anywhere else thank you
That makes me so happy to hear Angela!
These are wild animals and better to care for the wild environment than one, solitary hedgehog
Hi. I’m glad to see someone providing such a valuable service. There’s a lot to know about loving and caring for a hedgie. When I lived in England, they ran wild there. In 2 years I only managed to see 2.
We adopted a rescue dog after returning to the USA, and she was a complete joy until cancer on her spine took her from us. I managed to get my son’s hedgie after that due to his traveling for work. I had 3 great years with Steve. They have unique characters, just like people.. He teased about coming out to play, he was litter-trained, he played games, and I miss him every day & night. He really was great! He just made the 5 year life span before becoming sick. A recommended vet whose staff all treated Steve like any other pet – using hands, not gloves; talking to him like any other pet, had to tell me he had cancer all over inside him. It’s the main killer of hedgies. I had 2 more days with him, w/ pain meds, and we played a lot. Took him back to be cremated. I have his ashes, too. Always look for a vet who treats your hedgie like the pet he/she is. One we saw always wore big gloves, spoke only to us and with talking and soothing. They do need your time, and will poop when running in their wheels each night. It’s smelly, but natural, and messy. Remember, they can’t get you when they’re hungry or thirsty. YOU have to LOOK OUT FOR THEM. Steve loved turkey burgers! Have fun!!
Do not make hedgehogs pets. These are wild creatures. Enjoy them in the wild; that is, in your garden. Think it a privilege that they come to be fed. A good cat food is all you need. The will get all the green nutrients winter and summer by foraging. Study them and learn by watching their behavior.
If you love wild animals do not keep them imprisoned as pets. They are not toys. Support them to live a natural life in the wild where they belong. Your hedgehog might appear to learn to love you but what choice does it have?
Hi Ken, thanks for your input.
I agree. Hedgehog are, in many countries, considered exotic animals, therefore they should be treated as such. I’ve been working on the site to reflect this fact and to avoid supporting the illegal commercialization.
The hedgie here in the states are an African pygmy derivative and are bred as pets. Wild hedgie don’t exist here. I understand that in England and other European and African countries they are wild and should be assisted to stay so.
My hedgie is amazing and fun and would die here in the winter. I think its like the difference between wild and domestic sheep.
I wish we did have wild hedgie.
Hi Robin, thanks for sharing these important facts.
I know some states have placed strong laws against trading exotic animal and so, hedgehogs are illegal.