Bringing Home Your New Hedgehog
Once you have decided to adopt a hedgehog and have done your research to know that they are the right pet for your family there are several things that you need to get before you bring home your new pet. It is always better to be prepared before you bring your hedgehog home to reduce the amount of stress they endure changing locations.
The first thing you need is a cage. There are several types of cages that work well for hedgehogs. Some people simply buy a rubber container that is over 8 inches tall so the hedgehog cannot crawl out. Another option is to purchase a cage with a plastic bottom and wire top. You can get these cages at most pet stores or online at several different stores. The best dimensions for a cage that your new hedgehog will be comfortable in are 18x18x24. You want enough room that your hedgehog can get the exercise it needs and to be able to fit all the other items your hedgehog will need in the cage.
Along with the cage hedgehogs will need several other things to keep them happy and healthy. You will need a water bottle, just like what you would get for a hamster and a dish for your hedgehog food. You can find great little ceramic dishes of any color in most pet stores or online. Three other things needed to complete your hedgehogs home are a corner litter pan, something to hide in, and an exercise wheel. Hedgehogs are very smart animals and prefer to use a litter pan if they have one available. You can get triangle or corner litter pans from most pet stores that fit great into the corner of the cage and fasten to the wire. You need to get one that is no more than three inches tall at the shortest side so the hedgehog can easily climb into the litter pan.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and like to be able to hide in something during the day when they are asleep. There are several great products that can be found for them. Most pet stores carry a wide variety of options including plastic igloos, fake wood logs, or wood houses. You want to make sure there is plenty of room for the hedgehog to turn around and lay down. Make sure that if it's a long and narrow hiding spot that there are two ways for the hedgehog to get out so they don't get stuck trying to back out. You will also need to get an exercise wheel for your hedgehog so it doesn't become to fat. The best wheel to get is one that is a solid plastic wheel. They can get their feet stuck in the metal wire wheels. They should measure about 12 inches in diameter so the hedgehog can comfortably run on the wheel.
Finally the last thing you need to get ready before you bring your new hedgehog home is the bedding for the cage. It is best to use kiln dried pine shavings for the bedding. DO NOT use shavings from a local mill unless they have been cleaned and kiln dried because they can carry mites or bugs that will make your hedgehog sick. Once you have the cage all set up it is time to get your new hedgehog and bring him to his new home.
Examples of Hedgehog Cage and Supplies
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