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Make Your Garden Safe For Hedgehogs

Updated on December 18, 2014

Are you a Hedgehog Fan? Make your garden safe for hedgehogs - a Hedgehog Haven

Is your garden really safe for hedgehogs? Do you have a hedgehog in the garden? Are you a hedgehog fan like me? This page is about garden advice for hedgehog lovers. How do you encourage hedgehogs to visit your garden? How do you make your garden safe for hedgehogs?

Do you love hedgehogs? Would you like them to visit your garden? How do you help wild hedgehogs survive and stay in your garden?

This page is inspired by Guthram the hedgehog. So how do you keep things safe for animals in the garden? It is a privilege to enjoy wildlife in your garden and the hedgehog is an animal children love. Here we also continue the story of Guthram the Hedgehog and give a few pointers about the care and rescue of hedgehogs.

Hedgerow photo by Photahsiamirabel. Please do not copy

Persimew Designs has a large range of cute hedgehog cards and gifts including a mug for each month of the year and some great Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire Night designs. Why not take a look? We love hedgehogs.
Persimew Designs has a large range of cute hedgehog cards and gifts including a mug for each month of the year and some great Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire Night designs. Why not take a look? We love hedgehogs. | Source

A Hedgehog Calendar for 2013

And a reminder that hedgehogs need YOU!

Some people keep hedgehog pets, but wild hedgehogs will come to stay in your garden if you treat them right! Keep your garden safe for hedgehogs and they will delight you with their antics for many years.

In Autumn or Fall hedgehogs need YOU! This is the time of year when hedgehogs most need your help and consideration. You are likely to find small orphans and please ALWAYS check garden and Guy Fawkes night bonfires before lighting them. That is SO important to save lives!!!

Hedgehog Toys on Amazon

Housing An Orphan Hedgehog

Rescuing An Orphan Hedgehog - a story for hedgehog lovers

Over the Winter, Guthrie Hog the hedgehog thrived. He was indoors and even the warmth of our old terraced house was enough to keep the tiny orphan hedgehog from hibernating. When a hedgehog hibernates it uses much less energy than normal of course but it requires fat reserves to do so and a growing baby hedgehog has a much greater need for energy!

The RSPCA advise keeping an orphan hedgehog in a cardboard box in the garage, but in my view this is wrong for two reasons. The garage is a potentially toxic environment should a hedghog escape from its box and it is cold, so he may well hibernate. We don't want that to happen to undersized orphans, so indoors is best. Remember the hedgehog is home to all sorts of biting bugs though and get the vet to deflea him safely!


About those toxic chemicals? If you keep a car in your garage at normal times, the floor may well collect oil and anti-freeze as it drips from the underside of your car. A hedgehog, or any other animal such as a cat, may well walk in oil and lick it off his paws. Antifreeze is highly toxic and will kill in small amounts. It is also highly palatable. A hedgehog (or cat) will lick it for the sweet taste. Hedgehogs like unusual tastes too.... when they get the taste for something interesting they will keep sniffing it, licking it and self-anointing....

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Hedgehog lovers always check bonfires for hibernating hedgehogs!

Fire kills many hedgehogs in Winter - apart from careless driving it is a major cause of fatality in wild british hedgehogs. As we approach the season for celebrating gunpowder, treason and plot, remember hibernating hedgehogs! Many hedgehogs are burned to death or horribly injured when bonfires are lit to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. A pile of sticks, logs and garden rubbish makes an absolutely perfect hibernarium for a sleepy hedgehog. So whenever a bonfire is planned, build it the day it is lit - you can store the wood close by - and check for little residents before lighting it!


Cute Hedgehog Birthday Mugs

A Hedgehog for each Month of the Year

A Cute Range of Hedgehog Mugs for all the months of the Year. Yes, we really do have a hedgehog mug for every birthday or notable occasion (plus a few more).

Cute hedgehog movies for hedgehog fans. Hedgehog Self-Anointing - Hedgehogs Anoint Themselves With Saliva

Have you ever seen a hedgehog anointing? It is the most amusing sight! These videos are of pet hedgehogs self-anointing. A hedgehog will often start to cover itself in frothy saliva when it smells or tastes anything interesting! This is called anointing, or self-anointing, and it either cute or disgusting depending on your perspective on life! I would really like to embed a video of a wild one if I can find it!

Hungry Hedgehog Supplies - Food For House Hedgehogs

A heads up for hedgehog fans! Here are some proprietary hedgehog foods developed for hedgehogs in captivity.

Hedgehog food in bulk size. This makes is cheaper to buy and keep your hedgehogs happy.

My friend Elaine, the hedgehog rescue lady, made her own hedgehog food for years until Spike's Dinner was specially made and formulated. The key things to remember are that hedgehogs usually eat live foods and are lactose intolerant. Bread and milk can kill them. A simple home made food is a mix of cat food with a few drops of Abidec baby vitamins.

The Ever Hungry Hedgehog

How hedgehog lovers prepare food For Hedgehogs

Any growing animal needs a lot of food - the right food. Largely due to hedgehog rescues and people keeping hedgehogs as pets an ideal food called Spike's Dinner was developed. Before this, hedgehog food was best prepared with a base of cat food (more nutritious than dog food, but don't use fish flavour).

Hedgehog Care is still going strong, Elaine Drewery may be in her seventh decade, but she continues to devote her life to caring for this now endangered species. I received her newsletter only last week and as always it brought a smile. Elaine has done so much to help Hedgehogs and other injured wildlife.

Elaine Drewery's hedgehog Recipe

Here is Elaine's recipe for hedgehog feeding:

"Mix the following well and serve in a shallow dish

(coffee jar lid will do).

Feed two 3 tablespoonful portions at dawn and dusk:

1 tin of dog or cat food (not fish flavoured) - 8 out of 10 hedgehogs actually prefer Whiskas Chicken Supermeat.

1 small cup of bran, available from health food shops.

1 small cup of Haith's Prosecto Bird Food, available from

1 level teaspoon of SA37 vitamin supplement, available from pet shops or If SA37 is not available use 2 drops of Abidec, available from the chemist, vets or

1 level teaspoon of Sterilised Bone Meal, available from pet shops.

1 level teaspoon of Can-addase Enzyme Supplement, available from vets.

Hedgehogs also enjoy the following as a snack:


peanuts (not salted or roasted)




chicken leftovers (leave the bones in)

mashed potatoes

Our recipe was more basic in those days, we certainly used the two drops of abidec and the bran, but not the bonemeal, or bird food. This was probably a mistake. However, the story still has a happy ending!

Making Your Garden Safe For Hedgehogs.

A Wilderness is more Hedgehog Friendly

We all know people with manicured gardens don't we. The lawn has moss- it's the end of the world! A daisy pokes its little head out and it's weedkiller time! If you want to protect wildlife keep your garden natural. Here are some Dos and Don'ts for Hedgehog Safety from Elaine's book and website:

Entice regular visits to your garden by cultivating a wild corner or nature reserve and leaving out cat food and water. He will be pleased to eat your slugs and beetles in return but if you care about hedgehogs do not use slug pellets, insecticide or herbicide. Store chemicals, battery fluid and disinfectant with utmost respect. Leave a graduated edge as an escape route from your pond or swimming pool. Re-site your bonfire prior to lighting and examine your compost heap before thrusting your fork.

Do not suddenly keep shed doors closed which have been previously left open for some weeks without first checking that there is no nesting hedgehog inside.

Never litter open tins, jam jars, yoghurt pots and keep drains covered. Cattle grids, sumps, soak-aways, grain pits, garage inspection pits, holes for posts, footings foundations and cesspits - especially when water drains in - are obvious traps, and rolls of wire netting; strawberry nets, tennis and sheep nets. Keep Fido and Tabby amused by their own toys, hedgehogs are not compatible playthings.

Without these deadly hazards our gardeners' friends might be better able to negotiate the horrors of abundant and busy roads, avoid the agony from agricultural sprays and pellets; escape his natural predators and discover the luxury of the rare square yard of undisturbed earth into which he can build his humble home.

Excerpt taken from Elaine's book "Hedgehogs In My Care"

Swing Out Sister

Elaine's daughter sings in this great band! Check them out here!

Hedgehog Nesting Boxes? - Wild Hedgehog Resources

Looking for instructions on how to build a hedgehog nesting box? Hedgehog Food? Hedgehog Gifts? This module is here to help you find it, just type what you need in the search box!

Guthrie's Garden Holiday

Reintroducing Hedgehogs to the Wild

When you release your orphan, he may still be dependant to some extent on you feeding him. He will not have learned to hunt, and the food nature provides is altogether less appetizing than Elaine's recipe. We steeled ourselves to capturing bugs and slugs and snails and putting them in his box. He showed no interest in natural prey whatsoever! It was a real worry. How would we prepare him for his new life?

We decided we would accustom him gradually and moved his home into the garden as soon as the weather became warmer. We put a lid on his box, a "hog flap" in the side and built an enclosure around the box. The intention was to release him over a two week period and get him acclimatized to outdoor living. In the event it is just as well we did!

True Story of Oliver Brown the Hedgehog
True Story of Oliver Brown the Hedgehog

Just take a look at Elaine's website gallery. See the sign to Oliver Brown Ward? That is in Oliver's memory. This very rare and lovely book tells Oliver Brown's story.


True Story of Oliver Brown - Elaine Drewery and her books

The work of Hedgehog Care in itself is worth spotlighting. I searched for Elaine Drewery's book "Hedgehogs in my Care" and I found something else. This book is very expensive on but visiting is worthwhile. You could always donate some of the difference in price to Hedgehog Care!

Guthram Meets Nigel the Dentist

Hedgehog Dentistry

It was during the period of acclimatizing that we noticed Guthrie had become quite bad tempered and had a swelling on his nose. This wasn't right, so we took him to Mr Ed Way, our regular vet. He was very pleased that we had brought him in because he had developed a large abcess on his snout.

In retrospect, I wonder if this was caused by the lack of bonemeal or bird food in his diet? He didn't enjoy the sweet treats Elaine recommends, but his diet had been entirely soft food (he refused the apples hedgehogs supposedly enjoy) and perhaps he was missing chewing as well as vital nutrients.

There was no way he was ready for release. The abcess needed draining and he needed antibiotic treatment and close observation for two weeks. Guthram once more became a House Hog and we received our first surprise. Our vet did not charge us for the treatment! Sometimes vets treat wild animals for free - but only if the intention is for release. We were very grateful as we were then quite hard up and happy anyway.

However, things took a turn for the worse and the abcess returned. It was obviously resistant to the antibiotic, so in fear and trembling we took him back to the Vet. Mr Way x-rayed him and discovered the abcess was dental in origin. Extracting hedgehog teeth was beyond him, so he recommended a nearby practice that dealt with more wildlife cases and Guthrie Hog went to meet Nigel the Vet.

You see these zoo programmes don't you where tigers have root canals and bears have extractions? Well, here was a tiny animal in need of serious dental work. My heart bled for him as I have had a dental abcess and know how awful it feels. The poor little man had been so brave for so long and the pain accounted for his recent bad temper which we had put down to nature asserting itself!

The outcome was good! Guthrie had two teeth extracted and some antibiotic padding in the abcess. He would soon make a full recovery and be released for real - but that's another story!

Supplies for Hungry People - Not to be seen by dentists of course....

...but if the Hedgehog says you have done a good job, why not treat yourself?

If you are a fan of hedgehogs, hedgehog rescuers, or just wildlife in general - or if you enjoyed my lens - please sign Guthrie's Guestbook! Thank you!

© 2009 Lisa Marie Gabriel

Guthrie's Guestbook

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    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 5 years ago

      More, more! Thank you!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Hedgehogs really are sweet little guys. Love the video of the baby hedgehogs. Oh so cute...

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      They need all the help they can get, thank you

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful lens. Blessed by an Angel !

    • profile image

      FindVetsin 7 years ago

      Really interesting I think I am gonna try to get some wild hedgehogs in my garden - they are fascinating animals

    • BrickHouseFabrics profile image

      BrickHouseFabrics 7 years ago

      Thankyou for sharing!

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! A delight to look at and packed full of information.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about hedgehogs, and about Guthrie in particular! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens! I'm happy Guthram feels better after his teeth problems. Thanks for sharing your story. :)

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I've never seen a hegehog - very cute. I hope you keep Guthram. 5*

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Your hedgehog is having so much fun! :) Love it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oh I cannot wait for the next instalment!! SquidAngel Blessings for you. And yes, lensrolled to that lens of mine...

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      This is a great lens and will undoubtedly help anyone who finds themselves with an orphaned hedgehog on their hands. They are fascinating creatures. 5*

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      I agree with aj. I didn't know very much about hedgehogs but now I do. I really didn't know you could get hedgehog chocolates! This lens offers a great service to those with hedgehogs.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another well done, I didn't know much about hedgehogs, but I've learned quite a bit from reading your lenses...great job!