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Hedgehog Care Tips

Hedgehogs are becoming quite popular pets, and with good reason. These little guys are absolutely adorable! However, hedgehogs do have some specific care needs, so first-time owners will face a bit of a learning curve. A Burlington, ON vet offers some tips on caring for hedgehogs below.

Research First

We know, hedgehogs are adorable. However, they aren’t legal everywhere. Before adopting one, make sure that your state and city both allow them.

Offer Good Food

Hedgehogs are insectivores by nature. You can give your prickly pal commercial hedgehog food for his main meals. For snacks, your pet can have store-bought insects, such as crickets and waxworms, which should be dusted with nutritional powder. Small amounts of eggs, certain fruit and veggies, and poultry are also okay. Ask your vet for specific advice, including portion sizes and treat suggestions.

Don’t Overfeed Your Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are tiny, but they have big appetites. Don’t let Hedgie get overweight! Obesity carries some very serious health risks for pets.

Handle Your Pet Regularly

Although hedgehogs are typically quite docile, they can get frightened easily. You’ll need to handle your pet gently and regularly to keep him tame and friendly. If your spiky buddy gets scared, he may roll himself into a little ball. Just hold him and talk to him softly until he unfurls himself.

Offer A Good Cage

Like other small pets, hedgehogs spend the majority of their time in their habitats. Your pet should have a roomy, comfortable cage that is well-ventilated. Choose something with a solid floor, as wire floors can cause injury. You’ll need to add a good bedding, such as aspen; a hide box; a solid exercise wheel; a litterbox; dishes; and, of course, lots of toys.

Choose Brightly-Colored Toys

Hedgehogs can’t see very well, so they mostly rely on their ears and noses. This may be why they prefer toys with vivid colors. Keep this in mind when shopping for your pint-sized pal.

Watch For Warning Signs

Just like any other pet, hedgehogs are susceptible to illness and disease. Keep an eye out for warning signs. Some common ones are dirty quills; crusting, red, or flaky skin; scabs; lethargy; wobbling; diarrhea; and sunken, red, or watery eyes. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Do you have questions about hedgehog care? As your Burlington, ON vet clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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