June 19th, 2011, 08:58 PM
Hello all! :)
I'm curious about pet hedgehogs. I'm thinking of getting one for myself (and possibly for my dad, who loves them). I did a bit of research on the net, but what I found was quite contradictory. One source said they were nocturnal, another diurnal; they're easy to feed or hard to feed; and so on, which is all very confusing. So, what are hedgehogs like as pets? As much detail as possible, please! Thank you all! <3
June 19th, 2011, 09:26 PM
I never had a hedgehog as a pet but I crew up with them in Germany, We have quite a few over there, you could see the hole family at dawn going out for their nightly walk :)
When it became cold and too cold for the little ones, they had to be a certain weight to make it out in the wild, we where asked to take them in, so we had quite a few hedgehogs hibernate in the basement over the winter.:lovestruck:
They are friendly little guys and will get used to people very quick...btw in Germany they are called "Igel"
Hope it helps a little :)
June 20th, 2011, 07:01 AM
what would you like to know about them? I've had the pleasure of rescuing/owning them as pets. they are litter trainable, and yes, they sleep at night but like chinchilla's you can turn that around by keeping them awake days. they enjoy wet and dry dog food, you must give them meal worms, they make great loving pets , they "snuffle" around you and will curl up on your lap, they are quite shy pets and will curl into their ball if a stranger comes near or if you raise your voice, they love being out of their cage playing on the floor, my children use to set up race courses for them all over the place. They like cat toys and will happily roll a ball around with a bell in it. you can buy commercial hedgehog food at most pet supply stores. anything else??
June 20th, 2011, 10:24 AM
How long do they live, Melinda? How fragile are they? And are they prone to any diseases?
I didn't realize they could be trained to use a litter box!
They're such cute little buggers! :lovestruck: Always thought they'd be sweet little companions to have around the house. Course we'd have to wait till at least most of the Pack has passed on, but now is a good time to do some research... :o
June 20th, 2011, 10:34 AM
they are prone to "wobbly" syndrome, its a brain disease that causes them to "wobble" as they walk and if they aren't kept extremely cleaned (cages) they can easily have respitory problems, they don't see very well *L* but man can they "snuffle" sniff.....as for life span, like a guinea pig, 4-6/7 yrs possibly.........oh and they don't like sharing cages, at one point I have 6 different cages when the spca brought me some from a hoarder, they were a "fad" about 10 yrs ago when I had them.
June 20th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Clean. Separate cages. :thumbs up I can handle that!
Is the wobbly syndrome treatable? :o Is it something they catch or something genetic?
June 20th, 2011, 11:38 AM
I'm pretty sure its genetic Hazel, they say its caused by interbreeding as in hegie mills, people were churning them out like crazy way back when, my first rescue came to me in a teeny kitten carrier where it lived 24/7, they used newspaper as a liter/bedding, only fed him dry cat food..man he was a mess, he had a respitory illness and was soooo covered in feces and had urine burns on the bottom of his little feet and belly, you really aren't suppose to bath them but we had no choice with this one, he was so pitiful looking, scrawny to boot. took us about 3 months of hand feeding him mushed up meal worms and healthy stuff that by the time he was well I couldn't give him up for adoption, if anyone raised their voice he would close right up at the beginning, so he lived with us, hubs built me a two story condo for them, one on each floor, plexiglass on 3 sides and the two huge doors (whole front of the cage) opened, the door was all screened, they could smell each other but they both had their own space.
June 20th, 2011, 01:19 PM
Poor lil guy! Glad you were able to pull him through and get him on his feet again!
One last question--how many mealworms a day? We used to raise mealworms for my brother's anole so that's not a problem, but we might need a bigger 'breeding facility' (ceramic crock pot :laughing:) if they eat more than 5 or so a day. :D
June 20th, 2011, 02:16 PM
not sure about anyone else, but I gave them 3 a day, and I either dropped them in boiling water first or cut them in half, there have been cases of hedgies not crunching them up and just swallowing them whole and the worms have injured their stomach lining.....oh and like cats, you clean/sift their litter every day and you can't use the clumping kind, just the good old fashion stuff, I used a tupperware sandwich container *L* perfect size
June 20th, 2011, 04:13 PM
Thanks for all the info, Melinda! :highfive: Definitely something to think about...they sure are sweet!
June 20th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Melinda, you're the best! :thumbs up
I still have a few questions, though. What sort of bedding should they have? Should it be cleaned once a day? Can they run around in a wheel or a hamster ball? Thanks! :)
June 21st, 2011, 04:40 AM
I always used aspen shavings, or a pine mix, never cedar!! but I'll dump a bag into a large container before I use it to get rid of any strong odor. some use those saucer wheels, but I never did because of their little legs being so delicate, they love a good run on the floor, my kids would make walls with those big building blocks, almost like a mini obsticle course, (walls about 5 inches high) they would all have an hour outside the cage play time , twice a day here. if you have two floors in your cage, make sure its a solid ramp and not one that looks like a ladder. you don't have to clean the bedding once a day, but you do have to sift/clean their liter box, just like you would a cat
June 21st, 2011, 08:51 PM
Thanks again! :) Are there any vet issues I have to take care of?
June 22nd, 2011, 05:15 AM
ummm yeah, you have to find a vet that will care for them when they get ill, my vet knew nothing about them whatsoever and I had to travel to Ottawa to get treatment which was a bit over an hour away........
June 23rd, 2011, 12:33 AM
Yikes! I'm four hours from Ottawa...hopefully there are some closer to me. Anyways, thanks very much! :)
June 23rd, 2011, 05:27 AM
no problem Dracen, hope you research more before getting one *S* and enjoy.