FAQ - Basic Needs - Part 2

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alpayton

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Written by jandshyne:

A Wheel and Toys:

Hedgehogs love to wheel! Wheels are an important part of a hedgehog’s life. They allow them to get the right amount of exercise and keep them looking and feeling their best. Your wheel should be of sturdy construction (some adult hedgehogs can get quite robust) and should have a solid bottom. No kind of wire bottomed wheel is appropriate for a hedgehog, it’s very easy for them to catch a nail or toe in the grids. You should also be leery of cross bars that can trap and possibly kill your hedgehog. A bucket wheel is a wonderful choice, cheap to construct, quiet, and sturdy. You can find instructions on making a bucket wheel at: Hedgies.Com. Super Pet also makes a wheel that’s acceptable but if your hedgehog becomes too heavy for it the wheel could tip over.

Hedgehogs love toys! Toys keep them occupied, stimulated, and feeling their best.

Toiled paper roll tubes are a wonderful choice for use with hedgehogs. They LOVE to stick their head in one end and run around with the tube on their head. This is what we affectionately call “tubing”. They may appear stuck but assuming you’re using a standard toilet paper tube they aren’t stuck and if you take it off of them chances are they will go right back to it. J Some will even use their tube as a scoop to pick up other toys.

Beanie Babies like you find in McDonalds Happy Meals are also a favorite. Many hedgehogs will treat their Beanie Baby like a pal, grooming it, taking it to the food bowl, sleeping with it, etc… Make sure if you use a beanie baby or other small stuffed animal that the eyes and nose are not the small plastic balls or your hedgehog could chew it off and choke on it. The sewn in eyes and nose are the best choice.

Matchbox Cars are also a favorite of hedgehogs. They love to push them around, and drag them around. Make certain they have no detachable pieces like mirrors, doors, hoods, etc… that could come off and possibly choke your hedgehog.

Cat toys also make good hedgie play things. Small plastic balls with bells in them, soft balls they can haul around, etc… Make sure there are no broken pieces that could pinch or choke your hedgehog and don’t use toys with catnip in them that your hedgehog could tear up to get to the catnip. We aren’t really sure if catnip is hedgie safe but we assume better safe than sorry. J

A critter ball is another favorite of hedgehogs, especially those hedgies who don’t have a wheel or get a lot of run time outside of their cage. A critter ball can be a wonderful way to allow that exercise. Keep in mind hedgehogs poop when they run so chances are you will be cleaning the ball out frequently. J

An alternate heat source is a must. Hedgehogs MUST be kept in a warm environment no cooler than 70 degrees year round. In the Winter if you can’t control the room temperature you can place a human heating pad (you can even purchase one with a timer) under half of the cage so your hedgehog can move close to it if he needs to. It’s also a good idea to have a hot water bottle, or disposable hand warmers or heat packs handy should you lose power or should your furnace go out. It’s also a good idea to carry such things when traveling with your hedgehog.
 
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