Now That You Know You Can Look After a Hedgehog, it’s Time to Know Where You Can Get a Hedgehow Near You.
If you’ve begun a search for where to buy a hedgehog, you may have found there are not many reliable places to go.
The main reason for this is that hedgehogs are considered exotic animals.
When selecting pet stores and breeders, you should consider factors outside your convenience. Well-known pet stores can offer reliable support, including a wide range of supplies such as food and accessories; most importantly, they could also ensure that animals are sourced ethically.
Responsible breeders, on the other hand, focus on hedgehog welfare, socialization, and healthcare. Visiting the facility would provide the tools to assess the overall care of the animals.
In addition to the above, and due to some countries’ legislation, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, pet stores and most breeders must obtain a license first to trade them.
In addition, it can be challenging to breed and provide the right environment.
So, while you will probably be able to find a breeder near your area, you may want to travel a bit if they are not sold in your community.
Also, remember that hedgehogs are illegal to breed in many countries, including the UK and in the US (in States such as Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York City, Washington DC, and Fairfax County, VA).
Hedgehogs from Pet Stores
Similar to when buying a dog or cat from a pet store, you must be extremely cautious and find out if the owner of the store has:
– the license to operate.
– full rights to trade animals (especially wild) 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 beneficial if you’re a first-time pet hedgehog owner.
– In many cases, hedgehogs sold at pet stores may not have been bred and raised in quality conditions, leading to early health issues and a lower life expectancy.
– They may have males 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, as they could be pregnant.
– According to the USDA, all pet stores must obtain a license to breed and sell exotic animals, including hedgehogs. For more information, read this USDA guide.
Hedgehog from Breeders
Purchasing hedgehogs from breeders is a safer option, as breeders are often very knowledgeable and caring throughout the process.
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 female hedgehogs, they must obtain a license in order to breed and sell legally.
In addition, purchasing hedgehogs directly from them can be a bit more expensive than from a pet store, for obvious reasons. Remember that 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 site. Alternatively, do a search for “hedgehog breeders” within your State or city.
Overall, look for places that prioritize education and are transparent about their breeding practices.
Adopting a Hedgehog from Another Owner
Adopting can be a great way to rescue a hedgehog from an owner who can no longer care for them.
Similarly, an owner whose pet hedgehog has accidentally had a litter of baby hedgehogs can be 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 has no terminal disease or serious issues.
– Just as when researching hedgehogs from breeders, you’ll want to ask the owner further questions to ensure that it was initially acquired from a good place.
– Last but not least, can you look after one of them? If you believe you can’t give the attention and care they need, don’t do it.
Finding a hedgehog has its difficulties, especially if what you want is to adopt (a great alternative).
In the end, I believe this last option is possible; however, you need to know who is in need of giving away their hedgehog for whatever reason they have.
All in all, always ask questions about pedigree, health background, and living conditions. Whichever you select, remember that promoting the ethical treatment of these mammals is essential for their well-being.
This article is informative and does not mean promoting the trade of exotic animals. Please look for local regulations to determine if this is illegal in your country.
Thank you, Rene Wang Photography, for the hedgehog photo featured above!