Before you get a hedgehog

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Hooked on Hogs
Jan 28, 2009
Kingston, Ontario
Some things to consider before getting a hedgehog

Temperature is the most important consideration when deciding if a hedgehog is a suitable pet for your household.
Hedgehogs are from tropical climates and
MUST be kept ABOVE 72F (22.2 Celcius) at all times.

Even this is not warm enough for many hedgehogs. 75F – 76F (23.9C – 24.4C) to be a good temperature that agrees with most of them. This is a must. If you do not keep your hedgehog warm enough he will get sick and die. The easiest way to keep hedgie warm is to turn up the heat in the room hedgie is kept in. A space heater works great also.

If you are the type of person who likes their home cool and cannot stand warm temperatures, a hedgehog may not be a good choice of pet.


Consider your lifestyle before you decide to adopt a hedgehog. If you are an early to bed, early to rise type of person a hedgehog may not be an ideal choice of pet. By nature, hedgehogs are most active in the evening and middle of the night.

Hedgehogs and children

Hedgehogs are not a good choice of pet for young children. Hedgehogs are most active in the evening and middle of the night. Most young children are in bed before the average hedgehog is thinking of getting up and come morning when the child is getting up the hedgehog is ready for bed. Some hedgehogs can be woken up during the day for short periods of time but are often grumpy. How would you like to be woken up at 3am. A grumpy hedgehog is not ideal for a young child to try and handle. Watching a hedgehog sleep all day very quickly becomes like watching paint dry. Young children loose interest very quickly.

Every hedgehog owner will get poked on occasion. This can happen with even the gentlest hedgehog. After being poked a few times many children will become afraid to handle the hedgehog.

Hedgehogs are quiet shy little animals that startle easily. Young children just by being their exuberant active selves don’t usually have the patience required to enjoy a hedgehog as a pet.

Older children

If your child is to be the primary caregiver for a hedgehog consider his/her abilities. Hedgehogs require more specialized care than hamsters, rats and mice.

Hedgehogs have specific temperature and lighting requirements that must be followed or the hedgehog can get sick. Hedgehogs also require regular nail clippings, foot baths and baths as well as frequent wheel washings. Sometimes the wheel must be washed daily.

As with all small animals care must be taken to thoroughly wash your hands after handling the hedgehog or cleaning its cage and wheel. Is your child responsible enough to do this and all that is required for the hedgehogs care and safety.

Of course as with all pets it is ultimately the responsibility of the adult to ensure the child is providing proper care and handling of the hedgehog.

Cage Placement

Think of where your hedgehogs cage will be placed. If your bedroom is the only choice consider a few things first. Hedgehogs are up at night. If you are a light sleeper you many not be able to tolerate the constant shuffling, chewing, running, drinking and general cage re-arranging that hedgehogs do. Hedgehogs spend most of the night running on their wheel and even the quietest wheel combined with the pitter-patter of little feet can sound very loud in the middle of the night.

Many people do have their hedgehogs in their bedrooms and get accustomed to and enjoy the sound but it is something to think about before you get a hedgehog if your bedroom is the only place you are able to keep him/her.