Do You Know What to Do for a Hedgehog to Stay Active?
Being shy and sometimes defensive animals, it’s important to learn how to properly handle your hedgehog.
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, it’s necessary for your hedgehog to get some exercise each day so they stay healthy and to avoid becoming overweight.
Below, I’ll discuss simple ways to play with your hedgie and allow him to get the right exercise.
How to Pick Up a Hedgehog?
With all those quills, it’s easiest to pick up a hedgehog from underneath 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 properly:
- Wash your hands with a non-fruity smelling soap (if your hands have any 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.
- Ones in your hands, you can keep him in two (2) hands, gently roll him onto one hand, or place him onto your lap.
Tips for Handling Your Hedgehog
– Takes practice to handle them around. If you aren’t comfortable with handling your hedgehog and his quills yet, you can use a blanket to scoop it up.
– Try to pick up and play with it when awake. Also, keep in mind that they are nocturnal and typically sleep throughout the daylight hours.
– If you just brought it home and looking very nervous and shy, you may want to avoid handling him too much for a couple of days until they feel comfortable into its new environment.
– You should handle it for at least 30 minutes a day to ensure there is 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 play pen for your hedgehog to explore in so that you can keep a close eye on it while out of its usual sleeping area.
– There is 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 letting them walk around you 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 just want to stay snuggled on your lap so that’s fine too!
– Some hedgehogs are very snuggly, and may prefer to simply lay on your lap during play time while you watch TV or work on a hobby.
It’s very important that it gets enough exercise in order to stay healthy and avoid obesity.
Playing with your hedgehog and letting it explore out of the cage is a great idea for exercise, as well as letting it run on his wheel as long as they want.
I’d definitely suggest getting an exercise wheel for it. These are most hedgehogs’ favorites toy, and does a great job to keep them active. To see some wheels we suggest, 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!