Do You Know What to Do for a Hedgehog to Stay Active?
Being shy and sometimes defensive animals, it’s essential to learn how to handle your hedgehog properly.
This will ensure that they are not getting hurt, you are safe, and you’re giving them plenty of opportunities to bond with you.
In addition, your hedgehog must get some exercise each day so they stay healthy and avoid becoming overweight.
Below, I’ll discuss simple ways to play with your hedgie and allow him to get the proper exercise.
How to Pick Up a Hedgehog?
With all those quills, picking up a hedgehog from underneath is the easiest to avoid getting poked or harming your hedgie.
Being such sensitive and shy creatures, it’s important to approach them with a quiet voice and gentle temperament.
To pick up your hedgehog correctly:
- Wash your hands with a non-fruity-smelling soap (if your hands have food on them, your hedgie may be tempted to take a bit).
- Scoop your hedgehog up with both hands from underneath.
- Do not scoop him up roughly, but also not too slowly – use gentle yet confident movements.
- Once in your hands, gently roll him onto one hand, or place him on your lap.
Tips for Handling Your Hedgehog
– Takes practice to handle them around. If you aren’t comfortable handling your hedgehog and his quills, you can use a blanket to scoop it up.
– Try to pick it up and play with it when awake. Also, remember that they are nocturnal and typically sleep during daylight hours.
– If you just brought it home and look very nervous and shy, you may want to avoid handling him too much for a couple of days until they feel comfortable in its new environment.
– You should handle it for at least 30 minutes daily to ensure enough socialization and bonding with you.
– If your hedgehog begins to become aggressive, shaking, starts biting you, or you notice green poop, this is a sign that he’s becoming stressed and had too much handling that day.
Playing With Your Hedgehog
You can allow it to play by ensuring there is a wheel to run on inside the cage, along with letting it explore around when out of it.
Some tips for letting your hedgehog play out of the cage:
– Always make sure it is always supervised when out of the cage.
– You can get a gated playpen for your hedgehog to explore in so that you can keep a close eye on it while out of its usual sleeping area.
– There are always opportunities to feed them with treats directly from your hands during playtime, so again there is a bond with you.
– Another approach is to let them walk around your laps and arms if you are, of course, sitting comfortably.
– If your hedgehog seems shy when you take it out to play, let it snuggle on your lap for a few minutes until it is ready to explore. He may also want to stay snuggled on your lap, so that’s fine too!
– Some hedgehogs are very snuggly and may prefer to lay on your lap during playtime while you watch TV or work on a hobby.
It must get enough exercise in order to stay healthy and avoid obesity.
Playing with your hedgehog and letting it explore out of the cage is an excellent idea for exercise, as well as allowing it to run on its wheel as long as it wants.
These are most hedgehogs’ favorites toy and do a great job of keeping them active. I’d suggest getting an exercise wheel for it. To see some wheels we recommend, click here.
Helen’s Little Critters, a hedgehog breeder in Texas, mentions that hedgehogs can even get exercise by playing with toilet paper rolls and boxes. Sometimes they’ll even play with these for hours straight!