Showing your Hedgehog in Competitions
by Kathleen DeMars
When someone starts talking about showing their pet competitively, the first thing that comes to mind is typically a dog show.
The likes of the Westminster Kennel Club and movies starring Eugene Levy flash through my brain.
But precious pups are not the only adorable companions who can earn blue ribbons or the best in the show!
Showing your hedgehog can be a fun way to enjoy them further and increase your knowledge of your favorite little one!
Step 1: Name Your Hedgehog
Pogs, hedgies, hedgehogs, whatever you call your little guy, don’t call him Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog is the most cliche hedgehog name out there. You can do better, and I implore you to do so!
Once you’ve got your little Sir Plumpkin appropriately named (that was the name on the top of your list, right?), you’ll be ready to join the International Hedgehog Association (www.hedgehogclub.com).
Step 2: Register for an Event
This charitable not-for-profit organization strives to “aid breeders in improving the quality of the species, and provide owners and breeders with lineage information.”
Through this association, you can find upcoming sanctioned hedgehogs and human shows in which you might enjoy participating.
So, you’ve got Sir Plumpkin adequately named, joined the IHA, and registered for a show. Now what?
Hints for a Good Showing!
Arrive on time
Even if it’s not your first time in a show, you can handle the nerves easily by showing up beforehand.
Make sure Sir Plumpkin and his cage are clean. A warm, slightly soapy bath is in order, and you may like to use a q-tip to get in between Sir Plumpkin’s quills.
Comfort while waiting for the show
Bring Sir Plumpkin’s soft, cozy pouch that he loves to sleep in. Show off his/your personality here.
There is no end to the designs on fleece to make a hedgie pouch at the craft store.
There will be a lot of waiting, and you’ll want him to feel cozy… and stylish.
Get comfortable with other owners
Talk to other participants! Hedgehog shows are as much for you as they are for your little hedgie.
Expect a friendly environment with several little prickly squishes to admire.
You may even learn something from your competitors about how they care for their pets, which is part of the reason that hedgehog shows were started in the first place.
Get him ready
When you’re up next, wake Sir Plumpkin. He’ll probably be sleeping, and you’d like him to be at his most alert for his special moment.
Take pictures, and decorate the exterior of Sir Plumpkin’s cage or your hotel room door if you’ve traveled from afar.
This is a fun and interactive event where you may come away with a blue ribbon for Sir Plumpkin and a whole scrapbook’s worth of adorable pictures.
Make him famous on social media.
Post the cutest pictures to any social media account you may have. If you browse around, you will see other owners also have such inspiring photos of their pets.