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Old 02-03-2009, 04:50 PM United States
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Default FAQ - Need to Knows

Written by jandshyne:

Things Every Hedgehog Owner Should Know

Hedgehogs make wonderful pets provided you respect their natural curiosity and energy.

Hedgehogs are a wild animal by nature and although they’ve come along way toward being domesticated they do still deserve to be treated with care and understanding.

Small children can be dangerous when allowed around Hedgehogs unsupervised

Hedgehogs should never be left unsupervised in a room

Hedgehogs do have some natural predators so they mask signs of illness often until it is to late and therefore you must be diligent in observing your Hedgehog’s behavior, appetite, energy level, and temperament

Hedgehogs should never be allowed outdoors unsupervised, they should also not be allowed outdoors if the temperature is less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (including the wind), and they should not be allowed to roam in any areas pesticides, fungicides, or other chemicals have been used, they should also not be allowed outside in areas where they will be exposed to the feces of other animals or wild insects.

Hedgehogs require a strict room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above at all times to prevent a hibernation attempt that can be fatal.

Hedgehogs have very small legs and feet and a very fragile spine, they can injure themselves if they are to fall to great a distance or get a foot or leg caught on a wire or uneven surface. They can also get threads or human hairs wrapped around their legs which can cut off circulation and cause severe infection, loss of limbs, and even death.

Hedgehogs should NEVER be left home alone for more than 24 hours. If you must be gone for any length of time you will need a trusted and reliable pet sitter. It’s also a good idea to inform a trusted neighbor of your plans so they can keep an eye on your home and alert emergency personnel of your Hedgehog’s presence in an emergency. You can also call your local rescue stations, fire departments, and police departments and inform them of your Hedgehogs whereabouts in your home and pass along any necessary information they may need in an emergency. You should make certain your pet sitter and your neighbor know the name and phone number for your vet and that you make arrangements for funding in case a medical emergency should arise in your absence.

Hedgehogs have specific dietary requirements; feeds for other species are not adequate nutrition and can be detrimental to your Hedgehog’s health.

You should always have money set aside in an emergency veterinary fund; set a minimum amount and never go under that. The only other alternative is to have a payment agreement in place with your veterinarian in case emergency care should become necessary.

Hedgehogs can be very costly, very messy, and very demanding, please take these things in to consideration before bringing a Hedgehog in to your home.

Hedgehogs are solitary animals and often prefer to live alone. Two male hedgehogs should NEVER be housed together, they will fight to the death. Males and females should not be housed together over an extended period, if you are breeding you should introduce them and then separate them before the babies are born or the male (and possibly the female) will kill the babies.

NEVER drop your hedgehog. To pick up your hedgehog scoop them gently up in both hands distributing the weight and force of the quills evenly between both hands. If their huffing, hissing, or popping is startling to you (or a visitor) sit on the floor while holding them to be certain you are not at risk of dropping them. Dropping a hedgehog can cause severe spinal injury and even death. Should you drop a hedgehog or should your hedgehog fall be very observant and at the first sign of difficulty walking or moving, get them to an emergency vet.

You must respect your Hedgehog’s boundaries and personality, and remember they depend on you to love them, care for them, feed them, and keep their habitat and their body clean. If you understand these things and follow these guidelines you will have a long and happy life with your Hedgehog.
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