Now That You Know You Can Look After a Hedgehog, It’s Time to Find the Right Place. But, Which One Is It?
If you’ve begun a search for where to buy a hedgehog already, you may have found that there don’t seem to be many reliable places to purchase a hedgehog.
The main reason for this is that they are considered an exotic animal.
In addition to the aboveand due to some countries legislation, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, pet stores, as well as most breeders, must obtain a license to sell them.
In addition, they can be quite tricky to breed!
So, while you will probably be able to find a breeder in your state, you may want to travel a bit if they are not sold in your community.
Also, keep in mind that hedgehogs are illegal to breed and own in many countries and select states such as Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York City, Washington DC, and Fairfax County, VA.
Now, before you make the final decision to buy a hedgehog, let’s take a look at the differences between purchasing from a pet store and a breeder.
Hedgehogs from Pet Stores
Similar as when buying a dog from a pet store, you must be extremely cautious and find out if the owner of the place has:
– the license to operate the store.
– full rights to trade wild animals and,
– is getting them from a reputable and licensed source.
Some other things to keep in mind when considering purchasing from a pet store:
– Many pet stores will not be able to offer you the level of knowledge, personal care, and expertise that a breeder can offer. This expertise would be especially helpful if you’re going to be a first-time pet hedgehog owner.
– In many cases, the hedgehogs sold at pet stores may not have been breed and raised in quality conditions, which can lead to health issues and a lower life expectancy.
– Pet stores may have male and females in the same habitat. If this is the case, make sure NOT to purchase a female that has been housed with a male hedgehog as they could be pregnant.
– According to the USDA, all pet stores must obtain a license in order breed and sell exotic animals, including hedgehogs. For more information, read this USDA guide.
Hedgehog from Breeders
Purchasing hedgehogs from breeders is the safest option, as breeders are often very knowledgeable and caring for through the process.
However, not all breeders are reputable. As a result, make sure to do some research and ask them all the basic questions.
Similar to what rules pet stores have to follow, breeders are also regulated.
According to the USDA, if a hedgehog breeder has three or more non-spayed females hedgehogs, they must obtain a license in order to legally breed and sell.
In addition, purchasing hedgehogs directly from them can be a bit more expensive than from a pet store.
Keep in mind, however, that these hedgies typically receive better care, and as they say, “you get what you pay for.”
To find a hedgehog breeder in your area, head over to Hedgehog Central’s breeder directory, or Google Search “hedgehog breeders” with your state or city name.
Adopting a Hedgehog from an Owner
Adopting can be a great way to rescue a hedgehog from an owner who is no longer able to take care of them.
Similarly, an owner who’s pet hedgehog has accidentally had a litter of baby hedgehogs can be a life saving.
Before doing this, there are a few things to keep in the loop and ask yourself:
– What is the reason the owner is giving away the hedgehog? Make sure that the hedgehog does not have a terminal disease or any serious issues.
– Just as when researching hedgehog’s from breeders, you’ll want to further ask the owner some questions to ensure that it was originally acquired from a good source.
– Last but not least, can you actually look after one of them? If you believe you can’t give the attention and care they need, simply don’t do it.
Finding a hedgehog up for adoption could be more difficult if you don’t like any of the other two (2) discussed alternatives.
At the end, I believe this last option is possible, however you just need to know who is in need to give away their hedgehog for whatever reason they have.
This article is informative and it is not a mean to promote the trade of exotic animals. Please look for your local regulation to find out if this is illegal in your country.
Thank you, Rene Wang Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!