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Hedgehogs are small, tiny, spiny and insect-eating mammals. They are very adorable and little animal. They are also known as timid little animal. One thing, you should remember that they are wild animals. So, before bringing them home as a pet, you will have to know the details about them and their lives. You should also know the fact that they can easily respond to their owner’s voice and appearance as well. If you socialize them properly then they are very much interactive as well. But they are not good in all circumstances. So, before making a decision, you should learn much about them as much as possible in order to make sure that the interesting creature is right for you or not.
Where do they live?
Wild hedgehogs are actually native to Asia, Africa, Europe and New Zealand. They are not a native animal of US. They are quiet, native and interactive as well. They are entertaining as well. You do not need to do a lot of maintenance in order to keep them as pet. They are nocturnal as well. If you have 9 to 5 job, then they can be your good pet. They tend to live alone and solitary. But if you keep them with other hedgehog, then they will fight a lot. Most of the North American hedgehog pets have been bred from the African species. They are considered to be domesticated. These pets are generally known as African Pygmy Hedgehogs. You will have to give them the right living set-up and environment. These animals can give you fun and they can be social pets as well.
They need an escape-proof cage. This cage should be as large as possible. The cage floor should be solid as well rather than made with wire. So, the feet of your hedgies cannot stick between the wires. You can put the newspaper at the floor of the cage. You can also arrange some paper-based bedding for your pet.
Apart from this, they need a heavy and untippable bowl for pelleted food. You will also have to arrange a smaller bowl for the insects. Some of them like to drink water from the water bottle or some of them tend to have it from bowl.
You need to provide them with a smooth-sided wheel in order to run in. you can also give them an upside down wooden box with a cut out door. Or you can give them a plastic igloo as well. You can find these in most pet stores.
The cage of your pet should be cleaned regularly in order to keep your pet free from faecal contamination. You should clean the leftover food debris as well from their cage. You should remove their old bedding and replace it with new one at least once in a week.
You should give them daily exercise routine. Daily exercise is very much essential; for them. You should also give them mental stimulation while they are in their cages, ledges, tunnels and all.
They are mainly insect-eaters. But they do not only eat insects all the time. Wild hedgies eat different kinds of foods including mollusks, worms, amphibians, lizards, snakes, bird’s egg, fish, mushrooms, roots, berries and melons as well.
On the other hand, domesticated hedgies eats a number of insects such as crickets, earthworms, wax worms and all. They also eat a small amount of fruits and vegetables such as apple, carrots, peas, corn other fruits.
They love to catch prey. It is their hobbies as well. But you should not offer them a lot of insects. This will misbalance their overall dietary system. They will become an overweight as well.
They are active and playful. But it is little bit tricky at the time of choosing toys for them. You will have to choose the safe and enriching toys for your pets. You will have to pay a lot of attention to these things:
- Ease to move and not so heavy
- Funny and entertaining
You can give them a playing tunnel. This will provide them with a cozy place. This tunnel can give your pet a dark and quiet area in order to hide in. You can also give them a mini house in order to take shelter in that. You can also give them a treat ball. You can also give them a wheel toy that will help them in order to do a lot of exercises. The regular exercise is very much good and essential for their health.
Pros of having them as pet:
They have a lot of good points that can make them a good pet. These benefits are such as follows:
1. They are quiet: Hedgies are relatively quiet. But occasionally, they make cute purring sound. If you live in a quiet apartment, then your pet will not create any problem for you. You do not take much tension about your pet and their noise.
2. They do not need much interaction: These animals are different from other pets. They enjoy some daily interaction with humans but they tend to live on their own. It is absolutely fine for them to spend one hour or so in order keep him tame.
3. Low maintenance: You should not think too much about their maintenance. They need low maintenance. You do not need to take them for a walk like dog. You can provide an exercise wheel in order to meet his exercise requirements.
4. They are interactive: These animals tend to be awake on and off throughout the day and night. So, it does not matter which schedule you are working. You can easily make interaction with your pet.
5. They don’t hurt you: If you handle them carefully and gently then their quills donât hurt you. but you should know the fact that baby quills are relatively sharper than the adult quills.
6. They don’t stink: They do not carry as much as body odours like other pets. You will have to keep their cage clean. Then the odour and bad smell will not be an issue.
You can keep them as pet. This little creature can be loving, interactive pet after bring them home.
Written by: Webard