You Love Hedgehogs and Feel Like Having One. But, Do You Think It Could be a Good Idea?
Now that you are considering buying a hedgehog, it’s a good idea to find out if your lifestyle is a good match before making a decision.
Below, we have put together some guidelines to help you decide whether a hedgehog will be a good fit for you and your family.
Are Hedgehogs Legal to Own in Your Area?
Though pet hedgehogs are legal in most of the U.S., they are illegal to own in some states such as Arizona, Hawaii as well as big cities like New York City, Washington DC.
In addition to the above, they are illegal in some countries of the European Union. To find out more the restrictions and reasons, we recommend to check this list of countries.
If a hedgehog is not legal in your state, you should not even consider getting one, as they can be confiscated and you may be fined.
Do You Have Young Children?
Hedgehogs can be suitable for children as young as five, however it is important they are under adult supervision.
It is up to parents to make the final decision whether you are comfortable with your kids handling a hedgehog.
The main fact to consider is that hedgehogs can have a bit of a nervous temperament and kids may create a not calm environment for them.
If they are handled roughly or your children are loud, they can become scared and can raise their quills. While they are not sharp, they can be uncomfortable for sensitive hands.
Are You Looking for a Daytime Pet?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so they are awake during evening and night hours.
They do not typically like to be woken up during daytime hours when they are naturally in their sleep cycle.
For children who have fairly early bedtimes, hedgehogs may not be the best option as they will have a small window of time to interact.
At the end, a hedgehog is most of the times a grown up pet than for kids.
Will You Be Home Evenings and Nights?
This goes along with the last question – since hedgehogs are nocturnal, they must be cared for during evening hours.
If you work night shifts and there is no one in your household to take care of it, it may not be the best choice for you.
Do You Have the Space at Home for a Pet?
Hedgehogs themselves are small critters, so technically there is no much space needed for them.
Despite this being the case, their natural habitat has no limits so it is important to make them have a good area as their territory.
As a minimum, the cage you buy should be at least 2 foot by 2 foot.
The good thing is that cages are not expensive and after all, they need a good place to rest or play, so don’t be greedy.
They also should not be placed in the direct vicinity of other pet animals like hamsters or dogs, because they are very sensitive to their smells.
Are You Willing to be Patient?
Hedgehogs are shy, sensitive little animals and they will take a couple of weeks to feel comfortable in their new home after you adopt them.
It’s important to be patient with your new pet as it adjusts, and note that it may hiss or seem grumpy when you first try to take him out of the cage for social time.
Do You Have Time to Feed and Play with It Daily?
Hedgehogs do require to be fed once per night, which simply requires you to be there to put fresh food in their dish.
Many hedgies love exploring outside of their cage and snuggling with their owners, and even the more “loner” hedgehogs should be socialized daily.
According to West Coast Hedgehogs, you should ideally allow for 30 minutes with your hedgehog per day.
This time can let them explore out of the new habitat supervised, or as simple as letting them sleep in a blanket on your lap while watching a TV show or reading.
Is Your House Temperature Around 73-78 °F?
Hedgehogs are very sensitive to the cold too, and can go into hibernation if the temperature is much below 73°F.
You should not let your hedgie attempting to go into hibernation as this can be deadly out of their natural habitat.
It’s important to make sure to keep the room temperature within 73 to 78°F.
If you don’t like to keep your home that warm, note that you can get a small, inexpensive space heater just to keep the hedgehog’s area warm.
Are You Wiling to Handle the Hedgehog’s Quills?
While hedgehog’s quills are not so sharp as to pierce the skin, they are a bit sharp and can be unpleasant for some people to touch.
Make sure you don’t mind handling the pointy quills before getting one.
It may be a good idea to visit a breeder and see how you feel after having the chance to hold a one with your bare hands.
Are You Looking for More Than One Pet?
Hedgehogs are very solitary animals, and to be safe, should typically not be paired with another hedgehog in the same cage.
Males are often very territorial and aggressive around other males, and putting a male and female together can result in a potentially dangerous pregnancy.
If you’re looking for multiple playmates, hedgehogs may not be the best option.
Are You Able to Afford the Hedgehog Needs?
Purchasing a hedgehog is not similar to buying common domesticated pets such as cats. They are more depended to of the owners.
We think it is not our place to give you a raw price for them. This question is directed to their elements you will need to source to provide the best environment possible.
Check our Preparing a Hedgehog Cage and Habitat Guide to find a list of the minimum items needed for a comfortable life.
Thank you, Justin & Elise, for the hedgehog photo featured above!