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How to properly bath a Hedgehog?

Updated on July 2, 2013
Playing in the garden before a good and relaxing bath.
Playing in the garden before a good and relaxing bath. | Source

Introduction.

Having a Hedgehog is amazing, they're really lovely creatures and with many personalities and characteristics unique of this exotic pet, but one thing is really important when we're talking about hedgehogs: "The bath time".

While most of the other pets require a weekly bath, hedgehogs require one bath every three or four months, this is because they are really clean pets, they tend to be just like the cats, cleaning themselves from time to time making this task easier, but sooner or later even these hedgehogs require a good bath.

I will write some tips and recommendations in this subject, because like everything else with the hedgehogs and their bath we need to keep control of some parameters to avoid problems in health or temperature mostly, I'll also upload a video about my personal hedgehog and the bath time with him.

Hedgehog bath time.
Hedgehog bath time. | Source

What we need?

First of all, before bathing our hedgehog we need some things for him and to arrange some parameters in our place where we're going to bath our hedgehog. We're going to need:

  • If you're reading this before having a hedgehog, the first you need: A Hedgehog.
  • A toothbrush or a little brush.
  • A medium size towel, a fluffy one is better.
  • A container for the water.
  • A neutral soap or baby shampoo.

After we get all those things, then we're ready for bathing our hedgehog but we need to fulfill some parameters if we don't want that our hedgehog with any sickness or dropping the temperature to much to the case of hypothermia. To avoid that we are going to do:

  • AVOID bathing our hedgehog in an open area.
  • Choose a small room or bathroom to this.
  • If the ambient temperature is colder then you will need to put a heater inside the room to maintain the room around 77°F.
  • If the ambient temperature is warmer then you don't need the heater, just with a small room is enough.
  • The water in the container needs to be temperate, not too hot or to cold, this can produce a temperature shock in our hedgehog and this can be mortal.

If we have all these thing done, with the perfect room and water, and with the material we need for a good and relaxing bath, then we can continue with the "bath time ritual".

Temperate water is perfect to relax our hedgehog, making it easy in controlling of our pet.
Temperate water is perfect to relax our hedgehog, making it easy in controlling of our pet. | Source

Hedgehog Bath Video.

In this video I'm showing: "How to bath a hedgehog without harm".

We need to keep and eye in the water, keeping it warm. Also some hedgehogs are friendly with the water but others hate the water, in the case of my hedgehog, he's trying to escape the water falling from the water tap, but later with the temperate water he began to relax and with the toothbrush with a layer of neutral soap in it, you can also use a drop of baby shampoo if you have some, don't use many of this products because some hedgehogs with large quantities can react to them, drying the skin or losing spikes.

I start grooming my hedgehog in the directions of the the spikes, I brush onto the spikes and between the spikes to clean everything and remove any trash or insect that he can holding. I do it gently, this grooming will relax our hedgehog, but in the case of my hedgehog when I arrive to the head to start brushing there, he gets mad and starts snorting.

The stomach and the hair there is washed by the warm water you can grab your hedgehog and with your thumbs you can scratch his abdomen just to clean that area, some hedgehogs love this.

Later after the grooming I close the water and I pick him up and put him in a towel, later I just wrap him with the towel and wait about 30min with him hugged, giving a little heat. You can also use a hairdryer to make this faster, but I don't like using the hairdryer because if we aren't careful we can overheat our hedgehog burning him, but you can use it with caution and in a distance of 12in. just blowing a little of hot air.

Taking a nap while drying my spikes.
Taking a nap while drying my spikes. | Source
Source

After the bath.

After the bath we can do several things, like trimming the nails of our hedgehog, cleaning the ears or increase the bond with your hedgehog with socialization process.

If you wish to trim the nails of a hedgehog after a bath is the perfect time because the nails are softer and easier to trim because our hedgehog is relaxed, we need to trim the nails of our hedgehog every 6 months preferably but you can trim the nails every year if you use another methods like putting porous bricks or rocks in the cage, with this the nails will be sanded just by walking over the rocks or bricks, this will not trim your hedgehog nails, but can give you a little more time, because trimming their nails can be an horribly task to do, because they don't like it. You can put a cloth in their eyes too to help you if they are anxious when you´re trimming their nails.

If you wish to clean the ears of our hedgehog just with a piece of paper in form of pyramid introduce it gently into the ears and just do circles with it, most of the hedgehog don't like this or feels tickles, this can be a hard work indeed but you only need to do it once a year.

If you want to start a socialization process or you don't have any idea what this is, it's about making a bond owner-hedgehog with greater results. Maybe you have seen that your hedgehog is always roll in with the spikes pointing out, and in the offensive/defensive against you, then you need a socialization urgently. It's easy, spend some time with it and losing the fear to the spikes and start patting your hedgehog and tickling him/her, in this process the hedgehog will get used to our smell and be more friendly you will meet him/her and our hedgehog will be more friendly with us.

Extra information and tips.

I leave you another video about my hedgehog exploring the front garden and storming the anthill in there making a mess, but I also I want to say that this is a necessity for hedgehogs, taking a walk in a close garden or yard, making a trip in a close by small pond or even exploring the house would be really nice to them. They are in a cage 24/7 at least take them to a trip once every week for 30 min, this will help you a lot with the process of socialization if you're new to hedgehogs or to make stronger the bond if you're a veteran hedgehog owner, don't forget to change the routine of your hedgehog a little once in a while, this will relax them a lot, helping you if you have a bad mood hedgehog or an aggressive one, keep an eye in this subject to make stronger the bond between owner and hedgehog.

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About the Author.

My name is David Zermeño, I'm a hedgehog owner and I love taking care of them, I love giving advice and sharing my knowledge about them with others, I'm making a research in genetics about the various color mutations and albinism possibilities a hedgehog can produce.

I hope you liked this Hub, if you do then vote up and share it with friends and family, also you can give me a feedback to keep track of my hubs and the interests of my followers and fellow Hubbers and the community, also feel free to share your opinion or tips in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

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