Choosing a Pet Hedgehog

Have you decided to adopt a hedgehog? These little guys are certainly adorable, and can make really cute pets. Hedgehogs have some specific care requirements, so you’ll want to be sure to do some research before bringing your prickly pet home. It’s also very important to choose the right hedgie: after all, adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment. A local Tipp City, OH vet offers some tips on choosing hedgehogs in this article.

Where To Go

Look for a reputable breeder, if possible. Good breeders will provide warranties against certain health problems, and will be willing to take the hedgehog back if need be. Some pet stores also sell hedgehogs, although their employees may not know as much about caring for them, and may not pay them as much individual attention as a breeder would.

Health

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a healthy hedgie. Look for one that is at a good weight and has bright, round eyes; a nose that is only slightly moist; and smooth skin. Sick hedgehogs may have sunken, dull, or waters eyes; runny noses; scaly or crusty skin; and/or fecal matter stuck to their bottoms.

Temperament

Hedgehogs all have their own personalities. Here’s a quick way to see if your potential pet is friendly: hold the little one in the palm of your hand. Hedgie may ball up initially, but if he’s friendly and relaxed, he may soon uncurl himself and wave his little paws around. A hedgehog that barks, hisses, or tries to run may not be properly socialized. Licking or nibbling, on the other hands, are actually good signs, and indicate that a hedgehog is friendly and sociable.

Age

Hedgehogs should be at least six weeks old before becoming available for adoption. If you want a young hedgie, look for one that is about 8 to 12 weeks old. You can get an older hedgehog, but, since they only live a few years on average, you won’t have as much time with Hedgie.

Other Factors

You may have a personal preference for a specific color or sex. If so, you’ll want to factor these things into your decision. Of course, if a specific hedgehog melts your heart, you may have an easy choice!

Do you have questions or concerns about your hedgehog’s health or care? Call us! As your Tipp City, OH animal clinic, we’re here to help!

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