- Pets and Animals»
Owning a Hedgehog and be very rewarding but also a challenge. They are very exotic animals and they need a lot of TLC.
Most hedgehogs, if raised right, are very social and loving creatures. They eat kitten chow, it's the best and most affordable product out there for them, and to supplement protein they really enjoy meal worms. Just be careful not to feed them to many because it will cause them to become over weight which can cause premature death. They also enjoy an occasional hard boiled egg.
They are also hypoallergenic friendly, which is why people turn to these cute spike balls. Hedgehogs also have no depth perception so buying them a multilevel habit is not a good idea. Most hedgehog owners use totes because that provides them a large amount of space to well, be a hedgie.
Another thing you are going to need is a giant running well, they will use it and love it. Hedgehogs are nocturnal so if you are a morning person they are not going to be the best to be in your bedroom. They are also almost blind so don't be surprised if they huff up at you when you try to wake them up or pick them up.
One thing almost all hedige owners know is this rule of thumb, "picking up is prickly, falling is fine." There bodies are made for small impacts but when picking them up chances are you will get poked.
One last thing you will need is olive oil, yes I said it. Hedgehogs tend to have dry skin, so treating them with some olive oil will help this 1 or 2 drops every other day will really help. You just have to make sure that you get the oil on the skin and not on the quills. It will not do you much good up there.
If you got a real young hedige they will lose their quills like crazy, Don't freak out it's normal, they are just growing bigger and stronger ones, just like we loose our teeth they loose their quills.
When a hedgehog is being introduced into a new world they often lick their quills to remember the scent, this is how they identify if it is a good or a bad thing. So if your hedgehog is running around licking it's back, that is normal too.
A sick Hedgehog
Just like all other animals they can get sick and prefer a room temperature area, if is to cold they will hibernate and when to hot they will not eat and die.
The biggest battle you may face is mites. There are like fleas but worse they burrow in the skin and can cause infection and cause a premature death. If you catch them early you can treat your sick buddy at home but if not they will require a vet visit. Some signs that are early are more than average flaking of the skin and baldness "quill loss" If you hedgie starts to cough you need to get them to a vet because it could be a more serious problem.
Also, cancer. That is where the highest death rate comes from hedgehogs do face many other problems but those are the three you are more likely to face.