Although hedgehogs don’t have allergy-irritating dander like some other common household pets, there are those that are allergic. Skin redness, small red or white bumps, watery eyes, or sneezing are all potential reactions that may occur as a result of handling a hedgehog. A hedgehog may be right for you if you don’t want a high-maintenance pet, however, you need to be around to provide your hedgehog with food, water and plenty of love.
Housing Your Hedgehog
One of the most important parts of having a pet hedgie is making sure that he or she has a comfortable and adequate living environment. Hedgehogs like to explore and move about, so the more space you’re able to provide them, the better. Generally, a 24”x24” space is the absolute minimum that you should provide. Your hedgies living quarters should be well-ventilated and clean. The cage should also have sufficient space for things like a wheel, eating area, sleeping area, and litter box.
Are Hedgehogs Good Pets For Kids?
Choosing a hedgehog as a pet can be a great decision if you know what you’re getting into. Hedgehogs may not be the best pets for children. The small animals become frightened easily, when they feel threatened they curl up into a ball a will maintain that position until they feel safe again. This position makes their sharp spines stick out. Make sure that your young children are patient and calm enough to handle a hedgehog properly.
An overly eager child could injure himself or the hedgehog. Hedgehogs that aren’t regularly handled can become antisocial and easily startled, making patience one of the key traits that a prospective hedgehog owner must have. It also should be noted that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hedgehogs may carry salmonella in their stool and potentially transmit ringworm to people. Following proper sanitary regimes will most likely keep hedgehog owners from receiving any disease from their hedgehogs.
What Else Should You Know About Hedgehogs?
What else do you need to know before buying a hedgehog? It’s illegal to own a hedgehog in some areas of the U.S. so you’ll need to check your local laws before purchasing a hedgehog as a pet. If you don’t want to end up with an antisocial sharp ball of spikes as a pet, make sure that you handle your hedgehog once a day. Hedgehogs are typically active in the late afternoon or early evening, so those are the hours when a hedgehog should be taken out of its cage. Once hedgehogs feel comfortable, they may sit in your hand or on your lap and possibly settle in for a nice nap. Even though they’re not soft and fuzzy, hedgehogs can be hard to resist. The easy-to-care-for animals have a sweet temperament, require little maintenance, and can provide years of love.