Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

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Hooked on Hogs
Jan 28, 2009
Kingston, Ontario
The frequency of baths depends entirely on the individual hedgehog. Some hedgehogs will rarely need a bath and will keep themselves and their feet clean. Others will need a bath every couple of weeks or more and foot baths every couple of days. Remember that too many baths can dry their skin out.

Preparing for a bath

Most hedgehogs are not fond of water so providing a non slip surface will help him feel more secure. Rubber bath mats with suction cups on the bottom can be cut to fit the sink or a bin and will keep him or her from slipping.

It is very important to ensure the bath water is not too warm. Run the bath BEFORE putting your hedgehog in the water. NEVER run water when the hedgehog is already in the water. There is too much risk that the water will change temperature and scald the hedgehog.

When checking the water temperature, immerse your hand up to your wrist. Our hands can tolerate much warmer temperatures than other areas of our bodies and of the hedgehogs body. Your wrist is more sensitive to the water temperature so if it feels just slightly warm on your wrist it is fine for the hedgehog. If in doubt, buy a baby bath thermometer.

If you want to run water over your hedgehog, do not use the tap. Instead, have a bucket or a jug and fill with water the proper temperature and use a plastic cup to pour the water over him or her. Water coming from the tap can change temperature unexpectedly and risk burning the hedgehog.

Most of the time, plain water is all that is needed. If the hedgehog is dirty a moisturizing body wash such as Aveeno unscented Oatmeal Body Wash works great. There are also cat and dog moisturizing shampoos that work well. Dog shampoos tend to be highly scented which some hedgehogs do not like. Cat shampoos are less scented and are made for animals that groom themselves so are non toxic. Human baby shampoos should be avoided as they are very drying to the skin.

Expect that the hedgehog is going to poop in the water, probably numerous times. To refill the water, lift your hedgehog out of the water. Run fresh and ensure it is the correct temperature before putting the hedgehog back in. Using the water from the bucket or jug will work well also.


For the final rinse, you can add a couple of drops of vitamin E oil, Flax seed oil, or olive oil. This will help moisturize his/her skin.

Once finished, wrap your hedgehog in a dry towel and sit with him for a while to ensure he doesn’t get chilled. Change the towel to a dry one after a few minutes. Now is a good time to trim some nails.

Foot Baths

Most of the time all a hedgehog will need is a foot bath to clean their poopy feet. A half an inch of water in the sink, tub, or a plastic bin is all that is needed. Ensure the surface is non slip.

For those who hate water, thoroughly soak a towel and let hedgie walk around on the towel. It will clean poopy feet and make him feel more secure than actually being in the water.