Have you ever wonder how it’s like to to raise a pet hedgehog instead of common house pets like hamster, guinea pig, or even sugar glider? Hedgehogs are certainly adorable. If you are looking for an unusual and fun pet to raise and nurture, you should definitely consider getting a hedgehog.
Here are 7 things you need to know about the prickly little rascals before committing to them!
According to The International Hedgehog Association, hedgehogs come in 92 color varieties divided equally among White-Bellied and Algerian color classes, plus the Pinto pattern and Albino. Hedgehogs can only be accurately identified on the color spectrum when they are full grown (around 6 months). The common color of pet hedgehog could be found in Malaysia are like salt & pepper, dark grey, grey, chocolate, brown, cinnamon, champagne and apricot.
Pet hedgehogs have an average life span of 3-6 years which vary greatly depending on their genetics, health and owners care. So please do your best and be prepared to provide proper care once you’ve decided to take them in to be part of your life.
Pet hedgehogs require a varied, high-protein diet. A combination ratio of > 30% protein content and < 12% fat content is recommended as the staple diet for hedgehogs. Try to avoid serving a too much fish as it possesses high level of mercury, which is not good to hedgehogs. Treats such as mealworms, crickets (live or processed), cooked meats, fruits and veggies can be given to them as a treat every once in a while, e.g. after the shower.
4. Living Condition
Storage box or glass vivarium are better options compared to caged housing as pet hedgehog is most likely to climb around the cages when boredom strikes, hence leading to potential injury on themselves. When it comes to size, it should be large enough for them to explore and exercise. Owner could consider adding a running wheel or a hiding shelter to keep them happy and occupied, as well as keeping obesity at bay. As for their sleeping area, soft bedding such as a recycled paper material or towels can be used but be sure to have them replaced regularly. Owner must ensure the cleanliness of the living condition at all times as dirty litter will cause health issues, including upper respiratory problems and skin infections.
People often confused between porcupine and hedgehog as both of them have sharp, needle-like quills. Hedgehogs’ backs are covered with prickly quills that protect them from predators but they couldn’t shoot their quills out in defence. As a defence mechanism, the quills are only extended when they feel threatened, and in most cases, they will curl up into a ball.
6. A sensitive night owl
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animal, which means they prefer to snooze all day and stays active at night. They have very poor eyesight so their other senses are sharper i.e scent and hearing. When they encounter a new scent, hedgehogs will lick the new object until they develop what is best described in its mouth and then applies the froth to his quills for a marked scent. Generally speaking, pet hedgehogs are known to be timid and afraid of new things, thus they are more comfortable when there is less noise, movement and distraction.
7. Bond With Owner
Bonding with these little prickly pet hedgehog does require more time and effort. For example, owner can talk to them often, call their name to let them get to know your voice. Also, owner can get your hedgehog to sleep in a t-shirt of yours to get familiar with your scent. They don’t usually seek attention from people but they can learn to enjoy when being handled. Thus, handle them more and they will love and bond with you more!
Hedgehogs are unique timid animals that require tender loving care. When you are ready to get one of them we guarantee that you won’t regret it.
Header source: Voder